World Bank Group and South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Forge Partnership to Improve Delivery of Services to People in Poverty
The World Bank Group (WBG) and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Development Fund (SDF) announced that they have forged a multi-year partnership to design and implement SDF’s Social Enterprise Development Program (SEDP) in eight SAARC countries. The partnership aims to improve the quality and delivery of basic services to the poorest and underserved populations across South Asia by combining finance, global knowledge, and capacity development support for 100 social enterprises that will receive grants of USD 100,000 to 250,000 per enterprise. Thereafter, SDF will provide finance to these enterprises to enable them to scale their impact.
“With SAARC Development Fund as a strategic partner in the South Asia region, the World Bank Group has a great opportunity to collaborate and connect countries with global knowledge and learning to improve service delivery to the poor,” said Sanjay Pradhan, Vice President, Leadership, Learning and Innovation, World Bank Group. “We believe that SDF can play a unique role in identifying and scaling of innovative social enterprises in the eight countries in South Asia, as well as enabling their replication.”
According to a press release issued by the World Bank, social enterprises use private sector approaches to improve human well-being and are often highly efficient in delivering services in hard to reach communities. The WBG will leverage its 15 years of experience in implementing the Development Marketplace, a program that identifies and strengthens social enterprises and replicates those initiatives that have proven to be successful.
“From mobile clinics to community banking, South Asia is home to many social enterprises that are doing a great job at filling service delivery gaps that cannot be met through traditional means,” said Mr. Karma, CEO of SDF. “We are thrilled to partner with the World Bank Group that has a unique experience in supporting social enterprises to maximize the positive impact they can have on society.”