Structure of the Organization
ASA is structured in two distinct tiers: the central office and branch offices in the field. Bridging the central and branch offices are the District Offices.
ASA is a decentralized institution, each branch acts as its own cost and profit center, which encourages efficient use of resources. Responsibility lies on the branch to achieve the most it can at the least cost possible. A daily revenue stream in the form of loan repayments from clients allow each branch to disburse loans, buy materials, etc. The branches have the freedom to carry out all these activities as long as these conform to ASA’s Operations Manual. This manual is one of the most important facilitators for efficiency in ASA. Each branch has one Branch Manager (BM), one Assistant Branch Manager (ABM) and 4 – 6 Loan Officers (LO) on average. Each LO is responsible for overseeing between 18 and 24 groups comprising of 360 – 550 members. Depending on the number of LOs working in a branch, each branch can have between 72 and 120 groups totaling between 1,600 to 2,750 members. Branch Offices do not have Accountants or Cashiers. LOs are responsible for maintaining daily accounts and rotate to perform the job of cashier. Branch Accounting and transactional accounts are maintained by the Branch Manager. All activities of ASA branches can be done and approved by the branch office itself, as long as it conforms to the ceilings identified by the working manual, which changes each year to keep up with all relevant variables. The bank acts as a “security guard”, because ASA branches do not have its own security. When a branch needs more money – for example when collection is not enough – it draws money from its bank account. If the branch cannot cover all its payments from its own receipts, it can then request money from headquarters. Money may also come from other branches in the district, depending on which has surplus. Thus, funds are distributed evenly through the entire ASA structure.
District and Region Composition
Each district has a team of Regional Managers (RMs) headed by a District Manager (DM). The RM looks after 8-10 branches on average. The District Manager and Regional Manager operate from a branch in their own jurisdiction located in district town/city with extra space to accommodate them; there is no separate secretariat for DM. A district consists of 20-114 branches. The district office is in a centrally located branch of the district town/city with an extra desk for each of the District Officials including the District Manager (DM). Regional Manager (RM) sit in the different geographically important branches. RMs and DMs always supervise and monitor all the field level activities. They move from branch to branch on a motorcycle provided by ASA.
A zone is composed of 5 – 6 administrative districts and headed by a Zonal Manager (ZM). ZM looks after all kinds of administrative activities and provides necessary directions to his respective zone. ZM is reportable to the central official assigned for the concerned zone.
Head Office Composition
The President of ASA directs the personnel of different sections, which constitute the central office including: Human Resource (HR), Operation, Finance & Management Information System (MIS) Section, Accounts Section, Audit Section, Research and Documentation Section and IT. Besides the senior officials of Health, Education, Sanitation, Agribusiness etc programs are reportable to the President.