Christophe Jacquet, Human Resources Manager at BNP Paribas Fortis, tells us about the mission
he carried out last summer in a Burundi-based MicroFinance Institution.

MFSF logoThe mission took place at the end of July 2011 in an MFI -MicroFinance Institution- called CECM (Credits and Savings Cooperative Association) that is based in Bujumbura, Burundi. The mission had a double bottom line: first, define performance management policies and second, participate in the drafting of an HR procedures handbook for the staff.

This request for a mission resulted from the growing size of CECM, which has reached a critical size and wants to be able to cope with its 2012 business plan (increase in both the number of staff and local agencies). Moreover, the Board had recorded discrepancies among staff members’ performance and was therefore aiming at improving the performance management system and at elaborating a training policy.

MFSF photo“Prior to the mission, I did some research on MFIs’ functioning and more specifically on HR managementin MFIs. Once I was in the field, I did an HR audit of CECM, analysing the functioning of the existing HR process. I based my work on internal documentation such as the business plan, staff statutes and other HR documents. Then I conducted interviews with staff members from different hierarchical levels and departments (Branches, Credit, Finance, Debt Collection and Management).

Hence, I conducted an analysis and wrote an assessment report with observations and recommendations that I presented to the Board at the end of my mission. Back in Belgium, I worked on an HR procedures manual for the staff and then sent it to CECM. I tried to be as pragmatic as possible so to enable CECM to implement efficiently the recommendations I made.

For me, this mission was a marvellous experience on a professional, cultural and human level. I’d recommend it and would do it again!”