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Associations Now

Communicating Advocacy and Services Through Microsites

ASSOCIATIONS NOW, May 2011 Small scale

By: Octavio B. Peralta

Summary: How one association uses microsites to keep members and nonmembers up to date on the work it is doing.

I always tell colleagues and friends in the association profession that doing good is one thing, but communicating it is another. Both are equally important to me, especially in the sphere that our association, the Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific (ADFIAP), operates in: development banking.

The Unknown Side of Banking

Not many people are aware that there is such a thing as development banking. Development banks, or development finance institutions (DFIs), are government-owned financial institutions found in most developing countries. They provide long-term financing and technical assistance to enterprises and projects that are of priority and interest to the country. They fill the gap in the financial system and finance activities that commercial banks are usually unable or unwilling to do.

The recent global financial crisis put more emphasis on the role of development banks as markets became jittery, commercial banks held back lending, small businesses were cash strapped, and banking regulations were tightened.

Serving a Diverse and Dispersed Membership

ADFIAP’s mission is to advance sustainable development in the countries where the association has members, using finance as an instrument to make this development happen. In the context of ADFIAP, sustainable development means having a “quadruple-bottom-line” result with economic, environmental, social, and governance dimensions.

ADFIAP currently has 126 member DFIs in 44 countries and territories in the Asia-Pacific region, and the constant challenge for our small secretariat in Manila, Philippines, is how to communicate our services and knowledge resources to our membership. One way we found success is through microsites.

Niche Platforms to Communicate

Aside from the official website for ADFIAP, we have five microsites. A microsite is an individual web page or cluster of pages that is meant to function as an auxiliary supplement to the primary website.

Three of our microsites are project sites, and two others provide knowledge and branding resources. Here’s a closer look at each of these sites:

Environmental Governance. This microsite is ADFIAP’s collective and responsive effort to its pursuit of sustainable development through its adherence to the principles of a safe and clean environment.

Corporate Governance. This site is ADFIAP’s response to the growing need of our members to implement good corporate governance policies and practices in their respective institutions.

SME Finance Initiative. This site represents ADFIAP’s economic development advocacy of sustaining the engine- of-growth sector for small and medium enterprises.

I am ADFIAP. Part of a branding campaign that aims to transform our members into advocates or ambassadors of the association, this microsite features a CEO from one of our member banks, success stories of members, a discussion forum, and downloadable resources.

ADFIAP e-Library. For knowledge resources on development banking, this microsite is a repository of more than 400 articles, speeches, and presentations on the operational experiences of member banks.

In addition, three more microsites are being developed to cover the association’s training institute, consulting unit, and corporate social responsibility center.

In ADFIAP’s experience, microsites offer its members, partners, and benefactors resources that are specific, focused, and relevant to a targeted audience. At the same time, microsites provide an association like ADFIAP an opportunity to communicate its work and advocacy, show its results, and be innovative in terms of content and delivery of services.

Octavio B. Peralta is secretary general of the Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific and the World Federation of Development Financing Institutions in Manila, Philippines. Email: obp@adfiap.org

Small-Staff Stats

Name: Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific
Location: Manila, Philippines
Staff Size: 10
Members: 126 institutions, 44 countries
Budget: $500,000
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