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Development Finance Solutions

IAS is specialized in addressing financial bottlenecks in various sectors of the financial industry. Our services particularly target developing countries and provide solutions by facilitating better access to finance for all stakeholders. In order to complement our regional experience with technical expertise we operate eight Competence Centres that reflect our areas of specialization. In addition, we also provide trainings in all topics related to banking and finance for all types of financial institutions and staff levels.

Higher & Executive Education

Our Higher Education Competence Centre provides advisory services at all levels of education:

  1. The Product Level: we design professional, executive and academic curricula and course materials.
  2. The Institutional Level: we provide support for staff development in academic and training institutions.
  3. The Sector Level: we tackle issues such as cost-sharing and school entrepreneur financing.

Housing Finance

To promote housing finance, IAS has been engaged in institution-building and capacity building programmes for several years. We broadly define our key working areas under two levels - sector and retail. These are our services:

Sector Level

  1. Research: we design and conduct market / feasibility studies and housing finance sector reviews
  2. Programme design: we provide guidance at the policy level on regulatory aspects of housing finance.

Retail Level

  1. Product development: we assist lending institutions in designing home improvement and home acquisition products
  2. Capacity building: our services include the development of sound lending practices
  3. Training: we offer classroom and on-the-job trainings

HR and Training

At the HR and Training competence centre, we realize that well-trained and engaged personnel can be the main asset that will ultimately make an institution more successful. Hence, we support financial institutions to develop and implement strategies in the following areas:

  1. Succession planning and talent management systems.
  2. Retention and engagement strategies.
  3. Competency gap analysis and training needs assessment.
  4. Wide range of tailor-made trainings


At the Microbanking Competence Centre, we see microenterprises as essential actors playing a decisive role in the socio-economic development of emerging states. Our primary services for financial institutions include:

  1. Downscaling: Assisting financial institutions in establishing microfinance as a successful business segment.
  2. Upscaling/Transformation: Assisting the institutional transformation of microcredit organisations.
  3. Microfinance products: Developing innovative microfinance credit and savings products.
  4. Delivery channels: We promote innovative delivery channels such as linkage banking, electronic banking, branchless or mobile banking and the “bank in a box” concept.
  5. Finance trainings: We offer class-room and on-the-job trainings, e-learning and coaching on a wide range of topics.

SME Finance

Our specialized SME Finance Competence Centre assists financial institutions in establishing or improving SME finance as a business segment. We divide our services into four main areas:

  1. Strategic planning and policy - successful business development requires the establishment of organizational structures guided by strategic planning and policies.
  2. Product development - financial products (working capital, investment loans, deposit-related products, guarantees and trade facilities) and non-financial products (business opportunities, value chain optimization and leadership).
  3. HR management - support in recruitment and development of relevant functions in the organization.
  4. Tools, instruments, and operations - we offer credit risk assessment, loan portfolio management, and reporting tools.

Sustainable Energy Finance

Set up as a think-and-do-tank, the UNEP Collaborating Centre for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance (the Centre) aims to advance transitions to resilient low-carbon and resource-efficient economies by attracting new types of investors. Its purpose is to catalyse the financing of clean energy by the private sector, which has a pivotal role to play in the Great Transition. The Centre advises governments on climate policies and supports institutions, such as development banks, in climate cooperation during the structuring and implementation of support programmes. The Centre also supports and advises financial institutions on building successful business segments for energy efficiency and renewable energy investments.

The services offered include:

  • market and feasibility studies
  • strategy and loan product development
  • capacity building
  • marketing
  • adaptation of procedures, systems and reporting tools
  • solutions for energy-savings calculations
  • advice to investors on energy efficiency measures

Risk Management

We recognize that each financial institution is different, as is the environment in which it operates. Therefore, for each project, we identify the individual needs and propose a customised solution to integrate or quantify the risk management system according to the client’s expectations. Based on previous experience and international best practices, we focus on four interdependent risk layers:

  1. Credit, Liquidity, Market, and Operational Risks; 
  2. Reputation and Behavioural risks;
  3. Compliance & Regulatory, Covenant and Capital adequacy risks;
  4. Strategy risk layer interacts with all other risk dimensions

Sustainable Rural Development

Our advisory services are guided by a holistic approach to sustainable rural development. It combines access to finance for all sizes of farms, agribusinesses, rural enterprises, and households with improved technological solutions and cost-efficient delivery channels. We offer advisory services in rural development to four main target groups:

  1. Banks and other financial institutions (FIs)
  2. Farmers and agribusinesses
  3. Municipal and public actors
  4. Other multilateral organizations  

Going the extra mile

At present, IAS is carrying out a number of projects in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and the CIS region, the MENA region and the Pacific, as well as in Latin America and the Caribbean in a broad range of areas.

Within the framework of each project, our team of experts focuses on increasing the institutional capacity of beneficiary institutions though first-rate training programmes and tailor-made consultancy services.

Our strength lies in understanding the organizational context of our clients and developing flexible solutions, both in terms of feasibility and implementation. Our position within Frankfurt School enables us to combine academic research with project implementation to generate optimal results. Moreover, we work with highly experienced and professional local and international experts.

Another major asset is our strong service orientation. IAS “goes the extra mile” to ensure project success and an open dialogue between all stakeholders. Furthermore, we also provide support in concept development throughout the entire project cycle, not just at the stage of project design. Finally, we take a hands-on approach in project implementation, which is driven by results and translates into tangible benefits for our clients and partners.