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Organisation general information
Organisation name: 
University of Bergamo – Department of Management, Economics and Quantitative Methods and Research Group “Finance and Development” of the CESC Research Center (Center for Socio-Economic Dynamics and Co-operation)
Founding year: 
Total number of staff: 
Resources dedicated to microfinance: 
Percentage of microfinance activities: 
Between 70 and 100%
Type of organisation: 
Non profit
Researchers, University
Organisation's contact person
Contact person: 
Prof. Laura Viganò
Via dei Caniana 2
+39 (035) 205 2553
+39 (035) 205 2549
Organisation summary

The University of Bergamo comprises different departments and research centres among which the research CESC Research Center (Center for Socio-Economic Dynamics and Co-operation) established in 2016. The Research Group “Finance and Development” (FinDev) is one of the projects of the research centre.

The Research Group FinDev aims to analyze the contribution of finance to economic development, with particular attention to the innovative methodologies of financial intermediation applicable to low income countries. In this framework, microfinance is studied. FinDev works in close co-operation with the department of Management, Economics and Quantitive Methods.

Thanks to a grant provided by the Giordano Dell'Amore Foundation, the group is equipped with a specialized library. The Foundation also financed some research projects. The activities of the group primarily comprise scientific research and the publication of the Journal Savings and Development (

Type of intervention: 
  • Research in Microfinance
Countries of intervention: 
North America
South America
Areas of intervention: 
  • Macro level: Client protection, Strengthening national/regional microfinance support sector, Capacity building (focused on all MFIs)
  • Intermediate level: Community-based finance solutions, Rural finance, Value chain development, Microfinance investment vehicules, Post-conflict/disaster microfinance, Business development services, Social impact/performance, Urban finance, Gender
  • Micro level: Capital/equity investments, Financial product development and innovation, Delivery models (group, indiv.), Performance (financial and social), Ratings and external audits, MFI operations (e.g. general management, governance, finance and accounting, staff training, recuiting), Risk management
  • Other themes: Academic research, Impact and performances studies
Main competences: 

Main competencies of the faculty members include:

  • Prof. Laura Viganò, Ph.D in Financial Intermediation, Director of FINDEV and of the Research Centre on International Co-operation. 25 years experience in rural finance and microfinance. Visiting instructor at Ohio State University – Rural Finance Group, consultant for several national and international organisations in developing countries. Author of books and academic articles, with special focus on financial markets and intermediaries in developing economics (e.g. credit scoring in microfinance, risk management in rural areas). Director of the Master in Microfinance offered by the University of Bergamo. Editor of the Journal Savings and Development.
  • David Castellani, Ph.D. in Financial Intermediation, post doctoral fellowship with FinDev.
  • Peter Cincinelli, Ph.D. in Financial Intermediation.

The team has conducted several research projects and consulting works in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Some other external collaborators work for FinDev on temporary basis and bring in their specific experience.


FinDev also relies on long term experience of members of the Department of Management, Economics and Quantitive Methods, who have worked in different research and training projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Research initiatives include:

  • Disaster Risk Management in Microfinance Intermediaries
  • Remittances as development tool
  • The international conference "BOULDER-BERGAMO - Forum on Access to Financial Services: Expanding the Rural Frontier" (2008)
  • MicroRiMI (microfinance, risk management and innovation) a three-year field research project, aiming at better understanding risk management strategies of farmers and the possible, sound intervention of MFIs, based on a case study in Ethiopia. Within this project, several research sub-projects are ongoing based on the data collected (disaster risk management, index-based insurance, households' financial statement analysis)
Please indicate any innovations in your microfinance program planned for the coming year: 

•    Liability structure and lending performance in MFIs
•    Liquidity management in African banks
•    The development of African financial markets