Credit Management System Profiled in CIDC Now

Arlington, VA (October, 2014)— The Council of Internation Development Companies recently published the following article in CIDC Now International Development News. The original article is available here.

FROM THE FIELD: Information Technology Powers Loan Guarantees Across the Globe

By Amanda Wilkins, Development InfoStructure (Devis)

n a recent announcement, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) said that it will guarantee 50 percent of Senegal's first municipal bond sale of $41.8 million. These bonds will be used to build a marketplace for 3,500 vendors in Dakar, the capital of Senegal, allowing the vendors to grow their business and provide the city with a way to collect rent and taxes. The office behind this new program is USAID's Development Credit Authority (DCA). Senegal, in partnership with DCA and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is leveraging private capital to further its economic development and growth.

While municipal bonds are new territory for DCA, their model of providing partial credit guarantees in order to mobilize local financing in development countries has been a success story since 1999. Through these guarantees DCA has unlocked $3.1 billion in credit with only a 1.85 percent default rate. Guarantees allow lenders to take on additional risk, and experience shows that when USAID guarantees expire, banks continue lending. 

From the Field

The Credit Management System

The IT engine behind DCA's success is the Credit Management System, a database designed, built and maintained by Devis. It allows over 200 commercial banks to report directly on individual loan status. The system integrates data from the US Treasury Department to allow standard calculation of loans in both US Dollars and over 70 local currencies. To ensure DCA's Financial Institution partners could access the web-based system, Devis and USAID tested for usability and performance in South America, Eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa. After reviewing the results of this testing, Devis developed a second data entry interface based on pre-programmed spreadsheet templates. Financial Institution partners download their information and work with it offline, and upload the completed spreadsheets using an XML format back into CMS. With data from loan guarantees in dozens of countries, CMS is critical for tracking loans, analyzing trends, and reporting on loan guarantees. 

In 2013 Devis wrote the APIs that would open CMS data to the public. This move made data available on more than 100,000 entrepreneur loans in markets across 67 countries, and was highlighted by the White House as an example of Open Data in Action. Since then, the dataset has been used in a variety of ways, from educating the public on the effectiveness of small business loans, to highlighting opportunities for improvement, such as lending to women-owned businesses.

Technology and Development: Working Together

Devis works at the intersection of technology and global development. We believe that IT is an enabler, allowing development professionals to communicate, monitor, track, record, and report - no matter where they are. Our approach reflects this view - we aim to design functional, easy-to-use technology that promotes the mission, and never gets in the way of it. And we are grateful for the continued privilege of supporting DCA by maintaining and improving the Credit Management System.

About Development InfoStructure, Inc. (Devis)

Development InfoStructure, Inc. (Devis) was founded in 1992 to provide innovative, practical approaches to information management. Devis is a leading provider of IT Consulting services and solutions to Federal, State, and Local Governments as well as the international development community. Devis' standards-based, vendor-independent approach and active support of the open source community help maximize the return on clients' IT investments.

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