The importance of measuring client outcomes

Outcomes process

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The World Bank is hosting a day-long event today (as I write this, actually) presenting lessons and implications of the latest research on microcredit. Based on the swiftness of my Twitter feed, the event, “Financial Services for the Poor: Lessons and Implications of the Latest Research on Credit,” is very popular and timely. (You can follow it using the hashtags #WBlive and #Microcredit2015.) Much of the evidence shared this morning (when they had a live video feed of the event), confirmed our understanding that microcredit alone is not enough.[1]

Indeed, the speakers in the 10 AM session (agenda), in response to an audience question, “If you had $1 million, how much of it would you put toward microfinance?”, recommended that we should invest our money in human capitol, namely early childhood education and conditional cash transfers (CCTs).

We would add health-related products and services: from health education for positive behavior change to healthcare delivery, and everything in between. We also believe that it is essential to measure and track the client outcomes of our interventions over time — be they microcredit, savings, insurance, or non-financial products and services.

On February 4th, the Social Performance Task Force (SPTF) Outcomes Working Group hosted a virtual meeting on the “Selection of Outcomes Indicators.” The purpose of this working group is to develop practical guidelines for credible measurement of and reporting on outcomes, drawing on experience with different approaches and tools.

Frances Sinha of EDA Rural Systems introduced the session and explain how theory of change connects to indicators. Bobbi Gray of Freedom from Hunger explained the criteria applied to developing outcomes indicators — including a new set of Health Outcome Performance Indicators (HOPI) in partnership with the Microcredit Summit Campaign — and lessons learned. Anne Hastings of the Microfinance CEO Working Group discussed their plans for laying the groundwork for a common measurement and monitoring system.

Feb 5th meeting resources

If you would like to learn more about the pros and cons of the Health Outcomes Performance Indicators, join us on March 4th with the SEEP Network’s HAMED Working Group for the webinar, “Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise: How MFIs Can Track the Health of Clients.”


SPTF’s Outcomes Working Group will host a repeat of their December 14th virtual meeting on Tuesday, March 3rd at 4 AM (EST) // 9 AM (GMT) // 12 PM (East Africa) // 2:30 PM (India). Panelists will discuss the Theory of Change and how it helps us think about what to measure and when.

Recordings and materials from the original meeting (December 14th) are available online.

Speakers:

  • Frances Sinha, EDA Rural Systems
  • Anton Simanowitz, Independent consultant

The idea of a Theory of Change is now increasingly applied to strategic planning. It is beginning to be applied to measurement of change. This webinar will review the framework of a Theory of Change and to discuss how it can help an institution think through the ways in which it aims to achieve change, what inputs lead to what outcomes, and the time frame for expected change to take place. These are questions that are fundamental to appropriate research design and help in identifying relevant outcome indicators (short-term and long-term) and in analyzing the data to reflect a relevant sequence of inputs, outputs and outcomes.

About the Outcomes Working Group

  • Facilitator: Frances Sinha, director of EDA Rural Systems (India) and SPTF Board member.
  • Purpose: Develop practical guidelines for credible measurement of and reporting on outcomes, drawing on experience with different approaches and tools.
  • Introductory presentation

[1] Social Performance Task Force (SPTF) “Repeat session of the Outcomes Work Group: Theory of Change” WebEx meeting.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015 at 4:00 am | Eastern Standard Time (New York, GMT-05:00)

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Meeting number: 315 311 993
Meeting password: sptf

Join by phone
1-877-668-4493 Call-in toll-free number (US/Canada)
1-650-479-3208 Call-in toll number (US/Canada)
Access code: 315 311 993

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Add this meeting to your calendar.

Concrete Steps to Managing Social Performance: SPTF’s Campaign Commitment

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From Intent to Action: Resources to Pursue Responsible Inclusive Finance

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Dina Pons of Incofin IM, the moderator of the workshop, “Responsible, client-centric practices at every level, and demonstrated commitment to fulfilling its mission,” started the presentation with the following description of Responsible Inclusive Finance:

Every institution along the value chain of “responsible inclusive finance” – whether socially or financially motivated – employs responsible, client-centric practices at every level of its business and demonstrates commitment to fulfilling its mission.

Read the summary of proceedings for this workshop.

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Strategic Partnership To Deliver Social Performance Assessments

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Moody’s and the Microfinance Centre (MFC) made an exciting announcement recently about a new strategic partnership to help microfinance institutions track and compare social performance with the Moody’s Analytics Social Performance Assessment (SPA), bringing attention to the important question of whether we are truly having a positive effect on the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable. Moreover, the SPA will help social investors to identify and support those MFIs that do.

Join us in the Philippines this October 9-11 for the 2013 Partnerships against Poverty Summit where representatives from Microfinance Opportunities, Moody’s Financial, and Alexandria Business Association – Small and Micro Enterprise will discuss how practitioners are using technology to better facilitate serving the poor and whether it can truly strengthen an institution’s social mission in the workshop “Mobile Banking: Perspectives on Challenges and Ways Forward.” Is it, in fact, a feasible means to serve the very poor? Join this panel to learn about solutions that will help make digital platforms more powerful resources for moving out of poverty.

Register today for the 2013 Summit! www.partnershipsagainstpoverty.org

Photo credit:  Equitas


Microfinance Centre to deliver Moody’s Analytics Social Performance Assessments

Warsaw, September 9, 2013 – Moody’s and the Microfinance Centre (MFC) have launched a new strategic partnership in Europe and Central Asia to deliver the Moody’s Analytics Social Performance Assessment (SPA) of microfinance institutions and operations.

This new partnership is part of Moody’s commitment to provide globally comparable assessments with local market expertise for microfinance programs. It also builds on the MFC’s vision for a sustainable and mission-focused industry. Moody’s Social Performance Group and the MFC are aligned in their commitment to ensure microfinance institutions assist the poor and underserved.

“Moody’s brings over 100 years experience in ratings and assessments while the Microfinance Centre was the first global player to work on social performance issues,” said Jody Rasch, Senior Vice President, Social Performance Group at Moody’s Analytics. “The Microfinance Centre brings a local practitioner’s perspective to the table and we are very excited to work with an organization with such a great track-record.”

“The Microfinance Centre continues to advance responsible finance and in particular social performance throughout Europe and Central Asia,” said Katarzyna Pawlak, Deputy Director of MFC. “Moody’s Analytics Social Performance Assessments will help those organizations track and compare performance, which will help bring needed attention of social investors to this sector.”

The SPA is based on a global methodology developed by Moody’s Analytics through extensive market research and participation from over 100 microfinance institutions, investors, and service providers including the Social Performance Task Force, the MIX, the SMART Campaign and others. The SPA uses a scale ranging from SP1, the highest grade, to SP5, the lowest.

About the Microfinance Centre
MFC is a regional microfinance resource center and network which brings together 103 organizations (including 78 MFIs) in 27 countries of Europe and Asia, who aid over 800,000 low-income clients. Its mission is to contribute to poverty reduction and the development of human potential by promoting a socially-oriented and sustainable microfinance sector that provides adequate financial and non-financial services to a large numbers of low income families and micro-entrepreneurs.

About Moody Analytics’ Social Performance Assessments
Moody Analytics’ SPA is an independent analysis of the operations of a microfinance institution that helps stakeholders better understand how effective it is at translating its social mission into practice.

Moody’s Analytics SPA has been recognized by the Clinton Global Initiative for contributing to the development of the microfinance industry through the creation of a comprehensive, global standard to measure social performance. Further information is available here.

About MFC’s Responsible Finance work
Since 1999, MFC has worked with practitioners and support organizations on impact assessments, social performance management, client protection, and social responsibility towards clients, shareholders, community and environment. Over 100 MFIs have benefited from MFC’s trainings, workshops, guidelines, advice and institutional assessments, and significantly more from awareness raising events. Learn more here.

About Moody’s Analytics
Moody’s Analytics helps capital markets and credit risk management professionals worldwide respond to an evolving marketplace with confidence. The company offers unique tools and best practices for measuring and managing risk through expertise and experience in credit analysis, economic research and financial risk management. By providing leading-edge software, advisory services, and research, including the proprietary analysis of Moody’s Investors Service, Moody’s Analytics integrates and customizes its offerings to address specific business challenges.

For more information please contact:
ABBAS QASIM
VP, Communication Moody’s Analytics
212.553.0041
abbas.qasim@moodys.com

LILIYA PESKOVA
Project Coordinator & Relationship Manager, Central Asia
Microfinance Centre
48.22.622.34.65 ext. 212
liliya@mfc.org.pl

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A Time of Reckoning

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Learning from a Heretic

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By Larry Reed, Director, Microcredit Summit Campaign What can we say about a book that exposes a huge vulnerability in the microfinance industry, but does so by exposing only those facts which make its case and excluding those which give … Continue reading