Social Performance Indicators Initiative - Phase 2. Audit of the social performance of microfinance institutions: the definition of a tool

Presentation of the second phase of the Social Performance Indicators Initiative, aimed at defining a tool for auditing the social performance of Microfinance Institutions (MFIs).

October 2004

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Summary :

The document looks back at the first phase of the initiative: the objectives were to develop a conceptual framework for defining social performance in the MFI sector and suggest a set of operational indicators designed to measure the different dimensions and elements of MFI social performance. Social performances were divided into four main dimensions: outreach to the poor and excluded; adaptation of the services and products to the needs of the target clients; improving clients’ social and political capital, and the social responsibility of MFIs. The set of indicators was defined and a questionnaire designed with a list of indicators for the 4 dimensions. The questionnaire was tested with MFIs in the second phase in order to finalize the auditing tool. The objectives were to check the accessibility, availability and reliability of the information provided, to define the questions precisely and to test the capacity of the tool to distinguish between different types of MFIs and different approaches to clients, in terms of social performances. The final result of this second phase will be a simple tool aimed at auditing the social performance of the institution. The tool will be made of (1) the questionnaire, divided into the 4 dimensions of social performances and (2) a companion manual documenting the source of information, the method of verifying the validity of the data, and some indication of how to use the tool, (3) the results and analysis for the participating MFIs in the appendix.