Based on the recommendations of the Expert Group Meeting on “Identification of Major Issues in Eradicating Poverty and Fostering Rapid and Equitable Development” in NAM member countries, convened by NAM CSSTC in April 2001, the Centre decided to follow-up with providing a forum for micro credit institutions and practitioners to discuss and make recommendations regarding their roles in promoting and mobilizing micro credit schemes in NAM member countries. It is widely believed that  a properly designed and implemented micro credit schemes is central to alleviate poverty by providing support for lower-income groups to increase their income. Micro credit is a powerful tool to promote economic growth, to reduce poverty, to support human development and empower women’s role in the community and economic development.  Empirical studies in various developing countries have shown that women, both in urban and rural areas, do play a very significant role in the success of these micro financing schemes.

Therefore, a number of NAM member countries have successfully promoted and implemented micro finance practices in their attempt to empower women’s role in small-scale businesses and build up the capacity of their Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). NAM CSSTC invited policy makers and practitioners from different NAM member countries in different regions who are concerned with the micro credit services to a workshop held in Jakarta, Indonesia during 24-26 June 2002. They were expected to deliberate on  the relevant aspects concerning key issues, technical aspects and policy ,and also to make recommendations to enhance the sustainability of micro finance institution as well as people’s involvement in such particular financing scheme. This workshop was financed by the Government of the Republic of Indonesia.  NAM CSSTC presents this report for the consideration of NAM governments, micro finance institutions, NGOs, and others to enrich their thinking on this issue.

In the next few years, NAM CSSTC intends to follow-up on the recommendations presented by the experts with the objective of assisting interested NAM member countries in translating ideas into concrete programmes and actions on the ground, by for example, organizing other non specific meetings and providing technical experts to interested NAM member countries