FIELD compiled the following resources focused on various aspects of technology - from how technology can effectively be used by programs and their clients, to how to assess and develop an effective management information system, and more.
- CDFI Loan-Fund Loan-Management Software: User Feedback from 76 Survey Respondents across Nine Products. To help CDFIs understand loan software options, the Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) produced the “CDFI Loan-Fund Management Software,” which provides user feedback on various loan management software packages. The report provides both overall and software-specific results, drawn from a Web survey OFN implemented in November 2007. The report can be downloaded free from the OFN Web site after completing the software feedback survey, otherwise the report costs $25 to download.
- FIELD Best Practice Guide: Volume 5, Business First: Using Technology to Advance Microenterprise Development. This guide navigates the whirlwind of the technological revolution, introducing a framework by which microenterprise practitioners can use technology to enhance and expand their business, and offering practitioners guidance on assisting clients with technology needs. From devising a technology plan, to automating office operations, to doing business on the Web, this publication covers the whole spectrum of microenterprise technology needs. Included in the final section is a set of tools that will help both programs and their clients assess and make better use of technology options. (August 2003, 110 pages, authored by Karen Doyle Grossman and others.)
- MIS for Microenterprise: A Practical Approach to Managing Information Successfully. This manual from FIELD is a step-by-step guide to help microenterprise development practitioners develop an effective management information system. It provides practical guidance on understanding the parts of an MIS and their relation to each other, what organizational factors influence how an MIS should be designed and managed, how to define information needs and assess the appropriateness of available software to meet them, and how to implement and use an effective MIS. (September 2002, 190 pages, authored by Charles Waterfield.)
- 2002 FIELD MIS Software Review. This software review from FIELD, a companion document to the MIS for Microenterprise manual, contains detailed reviews and comparisons of 11 major commercial software products designed for use in the microenterprise field. (September 2002, 65 pages, authored by Charles Waterfield.)
- Best Practices in Technology and Microenterprise, Hewlett-Packard Company Microenterprise Development Program. This booklet highlights best practices that emerged from grantees in the first round of the HP Microenterprise Development Program. Best practice examples are drawn from grantees in the areas of increased organizational productivity, partnership development, and technology, and training and technical assistance. Technology, and training and technical assistance, are considered in detail by exploring mobile training and technical assistance, technology training, client technology assessments, technology as a part of the business plan, and computer labs. The booklet provides examples of grantees increasing organizational productivity and exploring the intersection of technology and training. Also included are resources for programs looking to add technology training to their service portfolio. (2005, 35 pages, The Association for Enterprise Opportunity/Hewlett-Packard Company.)
- Smart Technology for A Smarter Business Program. This training curriculum, produced by the Making Cents Consortium with sponsorship from HP, addresses the specific challenges and opportunities faced by small businesses seeking to use technology to increase the efficiency and profitability of their enterprises. The free training curriculum, which comes in modules and several languages, includes such components as self-assessments, activity booklets, virtual case studies, small group activities, and large group discussion guides that programs can customize to meet specific needs. Promotional materials also are included. (2006, Making Cents International.)
- Harnessing Technology to Transform Financial Services for the Poor. Although this article focuses on technology options being used by international microfinance institutions, it also provides an overview of the most common technology project challenges and clear recommendations for overcoming them, ending with ten questions for managers to consider in order to effectively implement new technologies. (December 2004, article in the Small Enterprise Development Journal, Vol. 15, No. 4. Intermediate Technology Publications, authored by Gautam Ivatury. To order, please contact: email@example.com, $18.75.)