Memorandum of Understanding

Memorandum of Understanding

December 19, 2001 This Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) serves as formal recognition of the intent of ten organizations to establish a Micro-finance Association for the purpose of advancing the interests of the microfinance industry in support of sustainable and equitable economic growth in Azerbaijan.

These organizations include, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Azerbaijan, the Foundation for International Community Assistance (FINCA) Azerbaijan, Mercy Corps Azerbaijan, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), the Norwegian Humanitarian Enterprise (NHE), Save the Children (SC), Oxfam, World Vision Azerbaijan, ACDI/VOCA and International Organization for Migration (IOM). In recognition of the unrealized potential of micro-finance in Azerbaijan related to lack of public understanding of micro-finance as well as the absence of a suitable legal framework governing microfinance service delivery, and in recognition of our common interests as micro-finance providers and/or donor agencies in the improvement of best practice dissemination and implementation, in the promotion of transparency and accountability in micro-finance service delivery, and in the growth of sustainable micro-finance institutions, the above organizations agree to work together to build a lasting Micro finance Association.

It is expected that the Micro-finance Association will:

- develop a common agenda and action plan to advance the interests of the micro finance community
- serve as a common voice for the micro finance community
- pursue public and private funding for Association operations and sponsored activities
- serve as a focal point for collection and dissemination of micro finance best practice information
- document and publish Azerbaijan-specific micro finance information
- organize meetings and conferences for the advancement of micro finance in Azerbaijan
- conduct and promote other activities defined by the members

In the intervening period, prior to the formal constitution and registration of the Micro finance Association, the signatories to this memorandum agree to work together in the following ways to advance the development of the Association and to promote the wider development of micro- finance in Azerbaijan:

- send representatives with decision-making power to regular meetings of this informal network
- commit available human resources to joint projects, including the process of registering the Association and/or fund-raising for the Association
- commit reasonable levels of financial resources (e.g. membership dues) to the establishment and ongoing operations of the Association

On behalf of our respective organizations we express our intent to combine our efforts to these activities and to the greater purpose of establishing a Micro finance Association in Azerbaijan.