MIX Announces Release of Social Performance Indicators

Mar 2009
Washington D.C, United States, March, 24 2009 - All 1,300+ microfinance institutions (MFIs) that report to the Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX) have received a questionnaire designed to evaluate social performance. The questionnaire, available in English, Spanish, and French, consists of 22 core indicators covering topics such as client poverty level, progress out of poverty, product design, and institutional policies and procedures.

The indicators result from collaboration between MIX and the Social Performance Task Force (SPTF), a group of hundreds of leaders from every microfinance stakeholder group: practitioners, donors, investors, technical assistance providers, national and regional networks, rating agencies, researchers, and others. The SPTF came together in 2005 in response to growing demand across the industry for some way to measure “the second bottom line” – a framework, analogous to the financial performance reporting framework, to report social performance.

Last spring, MIX piloted an initial set of SPTF-designed social performance indicators to a test group of more than 100 MFIs. Based on their feedback, the SPTF revised the material into the 22 core indicators now receiving general distribution via MIX. The criteria for inclusion were:

• Each indicator had to be relevant
• Each indicator had to be easy for the MFI to obtain
• Each indicator had to be easy to verify
• Each indicator had to be one an MFI would be willing to have published

Responses have been coming in steadily since the indicators’ release. (English and Spanish versions went out in mid- to late February; the French version in mid-March). MIX and the SPTF stress, however, that social performance management is new to the microfinance industry and that the current effort is a work in progress. The SPTF will review all responses at its next meeting, scheduled for June in Madrid, and will continue refinements and revisions.

Starting in Autumn 2009, MIX will add the indicators to the MIX market data, and will weigh social performance reporting when determining the number of diamonds an MFI receives for transparency.

For more information, please contact Micol Pistelli at MIX (MPistelli@themix.org)
or Laura Foose, Chair of the Social Performance Task Force (LFoose@alternativecredit.

To read full article and view survey, please download document below.


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