One of the aims of the Alliance of Digital Finance Associations is to ‘’enhance capacity in digital finance through the development and promotion of in-country Digital Finance Associations.’ The Alliance can only lead the profession and catalyse innovation and inclusion globally if its in-country member associations have strong capacity and sustainable presence within their countries.
The Alliance will, therefore, invest in capacity building, training, guidance, and support for its member and aspiring member in-country digital finance associations. Without strong member associations, the success of the Alliance is limited.
We know from research that “there is no single model for strengthening professional associations because all the activities need to be contextualised and customised to the particular needs and context of the association.[i]” This is particularly true for our in-country digital finance associations (DFAs) who have grown to form their own vision and approach based on needs of the country, its digital finance ecosystem and expertise within the membership. The Alliance encourages this individually so that the digital finance associations can be relevant and successful in their locations.
There are, however, some key components that contribute to the success of professional associations:
- Clear vision and mission
- Strategy and action plan
- Diverse membership
- Strong leadership
- Governance structure, constitution and by-laws, and financial management
- Legal status has been achieved (NPO or for-profit)
- Clear organisation structure and responsibilities
- Visibility in the country and market, branding, and communications strategy
- Are credible and respected by relevant bodies/organisations
- Can deliver activities, such as projects and training
- Are sustainable and have a business model or can attract funding
- Can contribute to the system and bringing change
- Can demonstrate the value that they bring and the impact they facilitate
The Alliance has already provided support to its DFA members on many aspects of the above. An eight module training program was provided on branding, marketing, and communications, and support on establishing vision and mission.
More training sessions and guiding documentation will be produced in 2021, providing a knowledge hub to DFA members. Regular online discussion forums have also been established allowing DFA members to interact and share thoughts and experience on topics including membership, leadership and business models.
Through strengthening in-country digital finance associations we are helping to ensure that within their country they are furthering the digital finance profession, the interests of their members and are making an impact in their own countries driving innovation and inclusion within digital finance. But also that globally they can effectively contribute to the Alliance’s two other aims:
- Lead the digital finance profession, provide a collective voice on industry issues, and lead the global exchange of knowledge, industry information and best practice
- Catalyse innovation and inclusion by facilitating opportunities for networking, collaboration, and partnerships
We want DFAs with experts, able to share their thoughts, knowledge, and experience, to contribute to developing industry best practice, to work on projects and collaborate with others and represent their country globally. So investing in them is vital to ensure their success, the success of The Alliance and the development of the digital finance and the digital finance profession.