CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor) is a consortium of 33 public and private development agencies working together to expand access to financial services for the poor in developing countries. CGAP was created by these aid agencies and industry leaders to help create permanent financial services for the poor on a large scale (often referred to as "microfinance"). CGAP's unique membership structure and network of worldwide partners make it a potent convening platform to generate global consensus on standards and norms. As such, CGAP is a resource center for the entire microfinance industry, where it incubates and supports new ideas, innovative products, cutting-edge technology, novel mechanisms for delivering financial services, and concrete solutions to the challenges of expanding microfinance.
CGAP serves four groups of clients: development agencies, financial institutions including microfinance institutions (MFIs), government policymakers and regulators, and other service providers, such as auditors and rating agencies. These four groups are the architects of a vibrant microfinance sector, as it is being integrated into the formal financial systems of all countries. To each of these client groups, CGAP provides specialized services--advisory services, training, research and development, consensus building on standards, and information dissemination.