Strategic management of marine-based research and development activities, and investments, addressing climate change mitigation.
Microfinance Services Pty Ltd (Aust.)
Managing Director / Senior Consultant
Description of duties
Overall strategic management, poverty reduction and microfinance consultant.
Rural Development Consultant
Description of duties
Livestock agricultural rural finance adviser. Also responsible for advising on NGO development philosophies and approaches.
SUMMARY OF EXPERIENCE
Robert has 35 years’ experience in development consulting with the last 30 years focusing specifically on MSME financial inclusion (rural and micro); especially, digital finance, market research for microfinance product development and microfinance regulation. An agriculturalist and economist by training, he has, become widely experienced in the fields of financial inclusion and poverty reduction with a strong gender equity focus. He has extensive experience in design, implementation and evaluation of financial inclusion/microfinance programmes as well as in assisting governments, banks and donors in policy development to support financial inclusion. He has been involved in the development of, and subsequent delivery of, CGAP microfinance training and consulting materials including the CGAP Institutional Appraisal Format and Business Planning Format. I also have practical experience in project management, in the role of Team Leader and Project Director.
He has extensive experience in the design and conduct of financial inclusion market research (particularly with respect to uptake of digital financial services) leading to the development of client-focussed products and cost-effective delivery systems. He is experienced in undertaking detailed financial analysis of microfinance institutions and assisting the development of central bank microfinance regulation and supervision.
He has a specific interest in the design of sustainable microfinance products adapted to the financial needs of micro-entrepreneurs, and which are capable of including the very poor and remote rural communities. This includes the use of digital solutions such as mobile phone banking which has the potential to revolutionise access to microfinance in remote regions and dramatically reduce costs and efficiency of product delivery. He has worked in widely differing environments throughout Asia, the Pacific and Africa. He has worked for the ADB, the World Bank, GEF, CGAP, DFID, AusAID, USAID, AfDB, Finnida, UNDP, IFAD, FAO and a variety of international and local NGOs.
As Managing Director of Blue Carbon Services Robert is responsible for managing a number of seaweed-based research projects aimed at deep-sea carbon sequestration for climate change mitigation. Blue Carbon Services is currently implementing a three-year one-million-dollar research project funded by the New Zealand government to investigate the role of seaweeds in carbon sequestration and Greenshell mussel production.