Carol Stroud

(Bolivia 2004)

When a Bolivian microfinance organization was having trouble training staff in remote areas of the country, Crossroader Carol Stroud worked with them to find a sustainable solution. 240 characters MAX including spaces

By Kate Wilson

When a microfinance organization in Bolivia was having trouble training staff in remote areas of the country, Crossroader Carol Stroud worked with them to create a sustainable solution using existing technology allowing staff remaining in the field where they were most needed.

ANED is a national organization with 42 agencies located in very rural communities where they help deliver smalls loans and support communal banking.

When staff needed training, they would have to travel for days to capital city La Paz. The trip involved dealing with sometime treacherous terrain and unpredictable weather. These trips could also be expensive.

“It was quite challenging, especially in the rainy seasons with roads getting washed out,” says Stroud who went to Bolivia in 2005.

To address this issue, CCI worked with ANED to find a way to deliver training to the field officers. Stroud helped the organization build an e-learning infrastructure that would provide staff with relevant training while using pre-existing programs for little to no cost through the Internet.

“We were able to build capacity without the cost, which is critical in the NGO world – or any world, really,” says Stroud.

Now, ANED staff can learn in the community where they live and work; helping others to achieve financial independence and supporting community development in the process.

Through the experience Stroud saw first hand how each Crossroads placement builds on the work of others and collectively make a difference.

“Six months do not last very long, but it lasts a lifetime in the big picture,” she says, noting that more has been done since her placement ended.

Introductory courses, as well as courses in microfinance and basic accounting are now available to staff with a click of the mouse.

“We have found a new way to think, to find structural solutions in unique environments,” says Jose Luis Pereira Ossio, the former executive director of ANED.


Crossroads International gratefully acknowledges the support of: