Institute of micro-finance and cooperative development.


CSD was first conceptualized in 1991 by Mr. Shankar Man Shrestha and shared with Mr. Ganesh Ram Shrestha and Mr. Lumin Kumar Shrestha, who endorsed the concept and suggested and supported to get materialized through the consent and support of a group of like minded eminent persons who had their own reputation and credibility in the development arena of Nepal. The group decided to get it registered as a non-governmental organization (NGO) based on their vision of “self-help” development in rural community. This gave birth to the "Centre for Self-help Development (CSD)” on 13th August 1991 (Shrawan 28, 2048), as an organization dedicated to promoting self-reliant society through the promotion of self-help groups and organizations at the grassroots level for enhancing livelihoods of the poor through the mobilization of their own resources and improving their access to financial resources of bank and financial institutions. CSD believes that the poor and the disadvantaged groups do possess potential for sustainable economic development and uplifting their life status.

The CSD Governing Board entrusted Mr. Shankar Man Shrestha as the Founder Executive Director to lead the organization. CSD's first venture was launched in Jumla, the remote district of Karnali as the Community Self-help Development Project in cooperation with Canadian NGO CECI followed by another community development project in Kalikot in cooperation with SNV. The project succeeded to bring about visible change in the lives of people therein. Seeing the outstanding result of those projects Shapla Neer, a Japanese NGO came forward to cooperate on similar project in the district of Dang and Salyan which was extended to Okhaldhunga in the later years.

In the Terai region however the developmental thrust was on providing the financial access to the poor and the ultra-poor. CSD believes that poverty in Terai areas persists because of inaccessibility of financial services to the poor to undertake income generating activities. Initiatives towards this were taken through Self-help Banking Program (SHBP) from 1993 as a pilot test in 3 VDCs of Siraha, Saptari and Udaypur districts which later grew bigger and took the form of Swabalamban Laghubitta Bikas Bank Ltd. ; now a national level microfinance bank with a network of 109 branches serving more than 2,50,000 women members in the country.

The Self-help Banking Program (SBP) was a landmark program in supporting poor women at the grassroots level through the provision of microcredit facilities based on the Grameen model of non-collateral, solidarity-based, group guarantee lending. Various skill development training were provided to the beneficiaries apart from a week long compulsory pre group training (PGT) to the microfinance clients. To add all these more than 160,000 people were imparted with the know-how of microfinance through CSD as of now.

CSD not only pioneered the microfinance in Nepal as the first licensed NGO MFI but has been a proven learning ground for many of the MFIs in Nepal. This is the result of CSD’s Training Support Program (TSP). It is one of the sectors CSD has been working for very long. As a Centre for Learning, CSD allow sharing the knowledge through training, exposure visits, workshops, seminars at the national, regional and field levels with the participation of officer level to junior level field staffs upgrading the understanding and enhancing the level of knowledge in microfinance.

Major Policy Shift

From year 2011 after CSD transferred microfinance portfolio to the Swabalamban Laghubitta Bikas Bank Ltd. It concentrated mainly on the capacity building of MFIs and Cooperatives. From the year 2013 it decided to shift its focus to the activities like providing training on various facets of microfinance and cooperatives based on their staffs and client’s needs, conducting researches on microfinance related problems and issues, providing consulting services to MFIs and co-operatives, extending business development services to graduating clients and conducting periodic financial health checkup services to MFIs and co-operatives upon the request from the concerned institutions.

CSD has now reset its mission on strengthening the microfinance sector in Nepal, serving the sector as the apex level organization focusing specifically on developing CSD as the national level training and research institute of microfinance and cooperative.  This is the major shift in the policy of CSD in view of the need of the hour of the microfinance and cooperative Institutions in Nepal. CSD vows to work with microfinance and cooperative institutions and government and non-government national and international agencies in the years to come to cultivate and strengthen self-help development among MFIs and cooperatives and their members. Microfinance and cooperative sectors have huge potential to grow and develop by uplifting the deprived and marginalized families of the country. It aims to provide high-quality, demand-driven, affordable training to the microfinance institutions to build up their capacities to serve the rural market.

Achieving the goal of having well trained and capable human resources in microfinance sector requires renewed commitment and investment that presents CSD with a tremendous, ambitious, yet achievable opportunity to fulfill this new important mission. Serving and building the capacity of MFIs also demands a remarkable shift towards an institutional client service mindset, honing a new business model and developing new skills ranging from conducting training need assessments to designing and delivering training, as well as monitoring and evaluation of the training program administration. Nepal lacks researches in microfinance and cooperatives despite tremendous growth in the sector in the last decade and a half. There are noticed a large flaws in the sectors and hence calls for immediate attention to probing them on time.

CSD Governing Board had decided to offer CSD membership not only to the professionals and to dedicated social workers, but also to the socially committed microfinance and cooperative institutions from the various parts of the country and dedicate itself as a network of such institutions. To this effect, it has invited applications from the qualified institutions. It mapped out further programs as such that a wide and strong network in microfinance industry could be developed and the length, breadth and depth of microfinance services could be increased at par with proper coordination and communication among these MFIs and cooperatives.