Technical Assistance Providers

A list of recommended Technical Assistance (TA) providers and their offers to support networks in implementing additional social performance related activities is presented below. Applying networks are recommended to form partnerships with TA Providers to implement optional activities as specified in the description of the Optional Component.

The offers marked with (*) are based on solid experience of TA provider in the work with networks.

1. Social Performance Assessment and Reporting

Cerise – SPI tool*

EDA Rural - Social Performance Country Reporting*

Microfinance Centre - Quality Audit Toolkit (QAT)*

MicroSave – SPM Assesment

MicroFinanza Srl - SPM Assessment and Action Plan

EDA Rural - SP Assessment

Microfinanza Srl - Governance Assessment and Action Plan

2. Poverty Assessment

EDA Rural – PPI

MicroSave – PPI

Microfinanza Srl - Simple Poverty Scorecard – PPI

IRIS Center at the University of Maryland - USAID Poverty Assessment Tool (PAT)

3. Client Protection

Microfinance Centre - Client Protection Assessment

MicroSave - Client Protection Principles (CPP) Assessment

SMART Campaign – Training of Networks on Putting Client Protection Principles into Practice*

Microfinance Transparency – Transparent Pricing Initiative & Data Collection Tool

4. Improving Governance and Business Planning Processes

MicroSave – Strategic Business Planning

MicroSave – Board Governance in Microfinance Institutions

5. Market Research and Client Monitoring

MicroSave – Market Research for Microfinance Institutions

Freedom from Hunger – Client satisfaction tools and training

Freedom from Hunger – Food security survey

EDA Rural – Market research

6. Non-financial Products Development and Improvement

Freedom from Hunger – Health Education and Services

Freedom from Hunger – Financial and Business Management Education

7. Individual consultants

SPTF database

8. Gender

EDA Rural - Gender Training and Assessment



1. Social Performance Assessment and Reporting

Cerise

SPI tool:*

The Social Performance Indicators (SPI) audit tool analyzes internal processes to assess if an MFI is meeting its social goals in the four main dimensions: outreach to the poor and excluded, adaptation of products and services, benefits for clients, social responsibility.The tool helps MFIs to set SP objectives to improve their SP and plan necessary steps to meet the objectives. To date, over 350 MFIs have administered the SPI tool. The SPI tool is compliant with the SPTF SP Standards (SPS) reported to the MIX.It is a low cost assessment of social performance, standardized, adaptable to different MFIs and their local contexts. It is easy to use and allows MFIs to use the tool as an internal self-assessment with support of their network.

When can a network use it?

  • The network can apply the SPI tool when:There is a need to identify strengths and weaknesses of member MFIs in the four main dimensions of Social Performance, in order to improve Social Performance Management;
  • There is a need to collect social performance baseline information from members (i.e. to create a country level report);
  • There is a need to support MFIs in reporting to the MIX on SP (SPS – social performance standards).

How can a network build capacity to use the SPI tool with their members?

Please see the respective TA Offer and ToR for Local Consultant

*This offer is based on a solid experience of TA provider in the work with networks.

EDA Rural

Social Performance Country Reporting:*

The process of support to networks and MFIs in reporting on social performance in line with the MIX/Social Performance Task Force Social Performance Standards and including country relevant metrics and analysis. Includes: exploring locally relevant indicators (in country context) as well as aligning to the MiX/SPTF Social Performance Standards, the SMART Campaign certification for client protection, and any Code of Conduct for microfinance in the local country; technical support to MFIs to report externally on social indicators as well as link in to internal reporting for effective SPM and technical support to country network to analyse data reported at the country level.

When can a network use it?

The network should engage members into the process when there is a willingness of members to start reporting externally on their Social Performance, and especially in the context of strong interest in results expressed by country internal stakeholders, like regulators, governance or broader public.

How can a network build capacity to support members in SP reporting?
Please see the respective TA Offer

Microfinance Centre

Quality Audit Toolkit (QAT)*
Quality Audit Tool (QAT) assesses the quality of management systems. The QAT assesses the status and effectiveness of internal systems in relation to social performance management and identifies action areas where performance can be improved. It can be also used as a quick self-assessment tool; it can be integrated into the organizational internal auditor’s work or used by external parties to conduct an objective assessment of management processes for the purposes of social rating. QAT includes 6 Principles of Customer Protection.

When can a network use it?
QAT is a good starting point for building understanding of MFI staff of what SPM is in practice, improving the practice of an MFI in SPM by identifying strengths and weaknesses to improve and assessing the status and effectiveness of SPM systems in an MFI.

How can a network build capacity to support members in improving the quality of the management systems?
Please see the respective TA OfferToR for Local Consultant and QAT Overview

*This offer is based on a solid experience of TA provider in the work with networks.

MicroSave

SPM Assessment:

MicroSave's Social Performance Management Assessment (SPMA) is aimed at supporting MFIs to respond to the call for independent assessment of the MFI’s intent, actions and outcomes.

MicroSave’s SPMA toolkit is participatory, quick, low-cost and actionable in order to foster improvement in overall performance. It is designed to assist MFIs and their stakeholders – Board, management, staff, clients, financial institutions, potential investors and others – to conduct a rapid diagnostic of an MFI and determine how well its processes and outcomes are aligned with its mission and social objectives. The MicroSave’s SPMA methodology has a strong emphasis on client/staff surveys and feedback, and a participatory process which leads to the identification of priorities as inputs to the development of an action plan. Actionable information on client / staff needs and perceptions in turn leads to increased staff and client retention – thus improving both social and financial performance.

When can a network use it?

SPM assessment is done when a member MFI is eager to know its own social performance level and would be comfortable to dig out gaps in their social performance. The assessment helps the network member to develop an action plan that would guide the member to address key social issues.

How can a network build capacity to use the SPMA tool with their members?

Please see the respective: TA Offer, MicroSave SPM Team, ToR for local consultant

MicroFinanza Srl

SPM Assessment and Action Plan
The objective of the social diagnostic is to carry out a detailed analysis of the institution policies and procedures related to social performance and social responsibility. Particular attention is given to alignment of the organizational and operational aspects (including MIS and SP monitoring and reporting system) to the social mission. The report aims at identifying the main internal weaknesses as well as the existing strengths, opportunities and areas of improvements of the institution. The output is an operational tool that could help the network, the MFI’s executive management and BoD as well as external supporters to strengthen the SPM system of the MFI, getting the operational systems aligned to the social mission and foreseeing the steps needed to implement SPM. The report provides recommendations to improve policies, procedures, practices and tools related to consumer protection and social performance, which guide the network and MFI in the development of a complete SPM action plan.

The SPM Action Plan will be developed on the basis of the diagnostic.

When can a network use it?
This tool should be used when: Network and member MFIs want to increase their ability to assess (and self-assess) SP; Member MFIs want to know their strengths and weaknesses in SP and in their Social Responsibility and Client Protection approach; member MFIs are willing to develop an action plan to address their SP weaknesses and to align their systems and policies to the social mission and consumer protection principles; the network is willing to assist member MFIs throughout the process (from planning to implementation of recommendations) and in identifying the priorities for actions. The process will also contribute to increase the ability of MFIs and network to report reliable SP indicators to the Mix (and internally).

How can a network build capacity to support members in improving their ability to assess SP and identify priorities to action?
Please see the respective TA Offer, and ToR for Local Consultant

EDA Rural

SP Assessment
EDA Rural offers diagnosis of SPM in MFIs, following the lines of a social rating, but without a
grade. The process ends up with recommendations on what to improve in terms of SPM.

In order to receive the offer, please contact komalrana[at]edarural.com
 

Microfinanza Srl

Governance Assessment and Action Plan
Microfinanza approach will be based on building capacities of network members through training on governance and on how to assess governance and on the job training (going through governance evaluation of interested MFIs) with Microfinanza experts. These initiative will enable network staff and consultants to increase their ability to assess governance and to replicate governance evaluation with other members. The process will contribute to improve the knowledge of participants about corporate governance topics and to evaluate the effectiveness of a corporate governance system and its alignment to social performance.

When can a network use it?
The network should apply to this toolkit mainly when: corporate governance is an area of improvement within the members MFIs; Board of Directors want to improve its practice and awareness about SPM; supervision, control and decision making process need to be strengthened; management information system at the Board level need to be improved (also from a SP point of view); relationships between BoDs and the management should be improved; conflict and difficult situation policies and procedures (including enforcement procedures and code of conduct) need to developed and approved.

How can a network build capacity to support members in improving their governance processes?
Please see the respective TA Offer, and ToR for Local Consultant and Training of Trainers on Governance
 

2. Poverty Assessment

MicroSave and Eda Rural

Implementation of the Progress Out of Poverty Index (PPI):

The PPI is a poverty measurement tool with a country specific scorecard developed by drawing out important indicators from a reliable and nationally accepted household expenditure (or income) survey. The tool estimates the likelihood of a client falling below specified income levels or poverty lines: the national poverty line, the USD 1.25/Day/PPP, USD 2-4/Day/PPP international poverty lines etc – as defined in the country context.

This tool helps MFIs track poverty levels of groups and individuals and their movement out of poverty over a period of time. The tool can also be used to assess/validate the extent to which programmes are reaching the intended target segment.

As a social performance tool, the PPI provides management with the ability to: divide clients into distinct poverty bands, integrate financial and social indicators, correlate product offerings and distribution channels to poverty levels, track movement of clients across poverty lines, assess how well a social mission is translated into action.

When can a network use it?

The tool can be implemented when the Network’s members have a clear mandate to target low income and poor clients (as part of deep financial inclusion) and to help them ‘progress out of poverty’. The members should plan to gauge and validate the social performance of their intervention strategy by defining poverty benchmarks, establishing data on household poverty, tracking outreach to poor households; and, in the longer term, tracking and analyzing change in the poverty levels of client households.
 

How can a network build capacity to use the SPMA tool with their members?

Please see the respective: TA offer Microsave, TA Offer EDA Rural  and ToR for Local Consultant

Microfinanza Srl:

Simple Poverty Scorecard – PPI

Simple Poverty Scorecards (PS), also known as PPI (Progress out of Poverty Index), are easy-to-use tools that estimate the likelihood that a household’s expenditure is below a given poverty line. The scorecards use ten simple indicators that field workers can quickly collect and verify. The scorecard’s accuracy and precision can be calibrated to a range of poverty lines, including national and international poverty lines, and any other poverty line relevant for a given country. The poverty scorecard is a practical way for pro-poor programs to monitor poverty rates, track changes in poverty rates over time, and target services. Currently there are 40 countries where poverty scorecards are available. The approach used for the development of these scorecards is the one pioneered by Mark Schreiner, who has developed the majority of the scorecards.

When can a network use it?

The network should apply the tool with its members when outreach to the poor and poverty alleviation are significant components of the social mission and goals of the MFIs and when member-MFIs share an overall objective consisting in improving their social performance measurement and management system. In this case, the development of poverty indicators to measure outreach to poor and low-income clients is a crucial step towards monitoring the achievement of social objectives. Monitoring client’s poverty will allow the MFIs to better understand and segment their clients portfolio and to serve them with improved products and services.

How can a network build capacity to use the SPS-PPI tool with its members?

Please see the respective TA Offer and ToT Curriculum

IRIS Center at the University of Maryland

USAID Poverty Assessment Tool (PAT)

The USAID Poverty Assessment Tool (PAT) is a poverty measurement tool developed by the IRIS
Center for USAID. Each country-specific PAT is developed from and calibrated against a nationally-representative household survey, such as the World Bank’s Living Standards Measurement Survey (LSMS), or a similar, nationally-representative household survey. The PAT uses a short set of practical indicators to estimate household expenditures or income, and determine the percentage of households that are below specific poverty lines: such as the national poverty line, median poverty line, and other variations of international poverty lines. While no poverty tool can accurately estimate the poverty level of individual clients, the IRIS Center uses multiple regression techniques to develop accurate and practical surveys for predicting the poverty level of groups of MFI clients or other program beneficiaries.

When can a network use it?

The PAT should be applied by any Network interested in helping its member organizations to fulfill
their goal of reaching and improving the lives of the poor and/or very poor. Whether as part of overall social performance monitoring and management, or to satisfy donor demand for demonstrating actual level of outreach to the poor, a proper implementation of the PAT will allow networks and their member organizations to accurately determine the level of poverty outreach being achieved by MFIs and other development organizations. The PAT is also ideal for those networks and member MFIs who want to learn more about their clients than just poverty levels.

How can a network build capacity to use the PAT tool with its members?

Please see the respective TA Offer, ToR for Local Consultant
 

3. Client Protection

Microfinance Centre

Client Protection Assessment

Within the methodology developed by Smart Campaign, a network ( staff or local consultant) can be trained in Client Protection (CP) Assessment delivery. The client protection assessment allows the MFIs to understand their strengths and weaknesses in terms of CP and come up with a plan of addressing the identified gaps.

When can a network use it?
The network should engage its members into the client protection especially when there is an interest among members to be socially responsible and adhere to minimum social performance standards; when there is a risk of reputation for microfinance sector, or when there are specific issues related to client protection like over indebtedness or lack of transparency.

How can a network build capacity to support members in development or/and improving client protection practices?
Please see the respective TA Offer, ToR for local consultant

MicroSave

Client Protection Principles (CPP) Assessment
MicroSave’s approach to advocating client protection involves using a variety of market research tools to examine the perceptions and priorities of the clients and staff. A comprehensive diagnostic assessment with the senior management is then conducted to analyse the compliance level and areas of improvement.

When can a network use it?
The assessment can be done when the network/members are interested to know how and to what extent they are complying with the industry standard client protection principles. Networks and members can also use this tool to assess their current practices and make amendments to improve their performance on client protection. The assessment helps the network member to develop an action plan that would guide it to address key social issues.

How can a network build capacity to support members in development or/and improving client protection practices?
Please see the respective TA Offer
 

SMART Campaign

Training of Networks on Putting Client Protection Principles into Practice:*

  • The Training Of Trainers (TOT) part of the training will build – or enhance – the network capacity to train its member MFIs on how to improve their client protection practices, and to become familiar with the Smart Campaign self-reporting tool, the Getting Started Questionnaire. During the TOT, network staff will gain an in-depth understanding of the Client Protection Principles and review adult learning techniques to enable them to conduct a successful training for their members. By the end of the training, network staff will also be in a position to support their member MFIs in conducting a self-evaluation.
  • The Smart Assessor training part of the training will enable network staff to gain the necessary skills to become an apprentice assessor, and upon successful completion of an on-site assessment, become a certified assessor.

When can a network use it?

A network should conduct a Putting Principles into Practice training for its members if it wants to raise awareness around Client Protection issues and help its members to start - or focus on - their client protection activities.

A network should conduct assessments of its members to help them identify their strengths and weaknesses around client protection and help come up with a plan of action for improving practices.

How can a network build capacity to support members in improving Client Protection practices?

Download the description of the process and the TA Offer : Attachments to download: TA Offer and ToR for Local Consultant
*This offer is based on a solid experience of TA provider in the work with networks.

 

MicroFinance Transparency

Transparent Pricing Initiative & Data Collection Tool:

Through this methodology, MFTransparency seeks to further sustainable microfinance and improve the quality of microfinance services for the poor. MFTransparency provides training and education to the broad range of stakeholders to ensure that transparency leads to a strengthening of the microfinance industry. MFTransparency’s pricing experts train MFIs, investors and donors, regulators and industry support organizations at workshops and conferences around the world. They disseminate straightforward educational materials to enable all microfinance stakeholders to better understand the concept and function of interest rates and product pricing.

When can a network use it?

The methodology is most successful when all members are interested in joining the initiative together or a whole industry/sector takes on transparent pricing at once. Group coordination and education have proved to be the “safest” and most effective means towards transparent pricing. A network may also use the Calculating Transparent Pricing Tool when its member MFIs are interested in checking/comparing their own prices.

It is beneficial to work on transparent pricing both in markets that are at an early stage of development and those that are already more competitive. In less developed markets, working on transparent pricing is an opportunity to instill good practices early on. In more developed markets, facilitating transparency allows MFIs to compete on price and thereby allows pricing to evolve and ultimately builds a more efficient, sustainable market. Work on pricing transparency tends to be less effective in markets affected by conflict and/or natural disasters as these markets are often heavily donor-funded and facilitating fair, free-market competition may not be immediately possible or appropriate.

How can a network build capacity to support members in improving transparent pricing?

Please see the respective TA Offer.

 

4. Improving Governance and Business Planning Processes

MicroSave

Strategic Business Planning (SBP):

This toolkit equips participants with relevant knowledge and a structured and systematic process to develop a strategic business plan for a market-led financial institution. Packed into a three-day training course are practical exercises for participants to go through the:

  • Strategic business planning process that helps the institution define: where it wants to go, which markets it wants to address, and where it wants to be positioned to succeed in the longer term; and
  • KOGMA Analysis (Key Objectives, Goals, Measures and Activities) that provides substance to the business plan consisting of the key objectives, goals, measures/targets and activities.

The SBP toolkit is designed to help the MFI improve its SPM practice while aligning social performance with a business-oriented or commercial approach that MFIs pursue to attain viability.

When can a network use it?

The SBP for MFIs is an especially relevant tool when MFIs want to incorporate their social objectives into their strategies more effectively. The process helps MFIs develop a coherent strategy to achieve balance in the pursuit of both financial and social goals.

How can a network build capacity to support members in improving its strategic business planning processes?

Please see the respective TA Offer SBP and Toolkit description, ToR for local consultant

 

MicroSave

Board Governance in MFIs:

Fundamental to effective governance is the ability of individual directors to work together to accomplish a balance between strategic and operational responsibilities. Effective governance occurs when a board is able to provide guidance to management in strategic issues and is effective in overseeing management implement the strategic plan goals and initiatives. Both sets of priorities are required to successfully navigate an MFI through its short and long term growth.

In MicroSave’s Board Governance in MFIs, the role of the board is discussed in detail with supporting samples to help develop systems in MFIs. In addition to covering the general aspects of governance, MicroSave has worked with Imp-Act to integrate a social lens into its Governance training.

When can a network use it?

The network should use the training with members especially when governance is in general weak among members, and/or when there is no understanding of Social Performance among board members.

How can a network build capacity to support members in training their Boards?

Please see the respective TA Offer and Toolkit description, ToR for local consultant

 

5. Market Research and Client Monitoring

MicroSave

Market Research for Microfinance Institutions:

An innovative participatory market research methodology that builds capacity within MFIs to improve understanding of the demand side of microfinance. The methodology is supported by a ‘toolkit’ that consists of more than 20 Participatory Rapid Appraisal (PRA) tools. These tools are designed to learn about customer perspectives on financial services and identify financial products and services that they want and need. Microfinance practitioners and trainers learn how to use the tools in MicroSave’s Market Research for MicroFinance training course. Classroom and in-field training prepares participants to use the tools to identify customer needs and preferences, and options for responding to them.

When can a network use it?

A network can use it to assist members to develop or improve an internal market research process and tools to obtain high quality and useful information on the client needs, financial behaviour and use of financial products.

How can a network build capacity to support members in improving its market research processes?

Downloand the description of the process and the TA offer: TA Offer and ToR for Local Consultant

Freedom from Hunger

Client satisfaction tools and training:

The training provides participants with knowledge on how to design client satisfaction measurement tools, how to collect and analyze data (both qualitative and quantitative), and how to use the data for understanding clients needs.

When can a network use it?

This should be among the first areas of client information that an institution looks at or one of the early systems that is put in place to enhance institutional responsiveness to clients. Networks can acquire it at any time based on its members needs and when members need capacity building in better understanding their clients’ needs.

How can a network build capacity to support members in improving client satisfaction monitoring?

See the respective TA Offer , ToR for Local Consultant

Freedom from Hunger

Food security survey:

A survey instrument with a scoring scale developed to classify families as food secure, food insecure, and food insecure with hunger. Can be used as a poverty assessment tool.

When can a network use it?

After an organization has set social objectives, changed targets and wants to monitor how it is doing. Best applied with incoming clients to establish outreach to the very poor and after 2-3 years to monitor change in food security levels.

How can a network build capacity to support members in improving client food security monitoring?

Please see the respective TA Offer, ToR for Local Consultant

EDA Rural

Market research

Design and training for application (or direct application) of quantitative and qualitative research methods relevant for market segmentation, product design, client satisfaction, client exit survey.

When can a network use it?

Market research (MR) should be conducted to better understand and meet the needs of client households, who usually are from diverse market segments with different types of livelihood, with varying requirements and cash flows, MR can help to identify different market segments relevant to the target group of the MFI, as well as capturing market feedback. Relevant for credit, savings and insurance.

In order to receive the offer, please contact komalrana[at]edarural.com

6. Non-financial Products Development and Improvement

Freedom from Hunger

Health Education and Services:

Highly participatory modules designed with short 30 minutes or less sessions that are appropriate for illiterate women. There is also a workshop designed to assist MFI leaders in considering the integration of health protection services. Topics include: health provider linkages, health financing products (health loans, saving and insurance), health products, and health education topics such as chronic and infectious diseases and maternal and child health and nutrition.

When can a network use it?

Can be used at any time to improve social outcomes of microfinance, but can be especially helpful in areas where illness contributes to significant repayment or drop-out issues.

How can a network build capacity to support members in developing or/and improving health education and services?

Please see the respective TA Offer

Freedom from Hunger

Financial and Business Management Education:

Highly participatory modules designed with short 30 minutes or less sessions that are appropriate for illiterate women. Some also have alternative formats for longer “workshop” style training courses. Topics include: Savings, Debt Management, Budgeting, Risk Management and Insurance, Housing Improvement, and Business Management. FFH can provide materials, training of trainers, training of facilitators on these modules as well as workshops on integration of education and supervision and quality control.

When can a network use it?

Can be used at any time to improve the social outcomes of microfinance, but can be especially helpful when it is used in coordination with consumer protection effortailure issues.

How can a network build capacity to support members in development or/and improving client financial and business education?
Please see the respective TA Offer

 

7. Individual Consultants

SPTF database:

To strengthen local capacity of providing technical assistance to member at the country level, each network is recommended to involve at least one local consultant in the project activities. In some countries, already a number of local consultants have been working on social performance related issues assisting microfinance institutions and/or networks. A network is recommended to reach out to those consultants with experience and/or bring in new ones that have potential to develop their capacity in Social Performance and will be \ able to serve the network members in longer term.

A good source of information about consultants experienced in SP is available at Social Performance Task Force (SPTF) website: http://www.sptf.info/resources/ta-providers 
The database is a list of social performance professionals who have undergone training and have experience in one or more areas of social performance. The database lists a professional names, country experience, place where the person is based, language(s), contact information, training credentials and areas of expertise.

8. Gender

EDA Rural
Gender Training and Assessment

For MFIs interested in gender issues, EDA offers introductory workshop to build awareness and commitment, followed by gender audit and action planning process aiming at mainstreaming gender into internal systems of MFI.

In order to receive the offer, please contact komalrana[at]edarural.com

9. Responsible Inclusive Finance Platform

The seven (7) Social Performance Management initiatives (CERISE, MFT, MIX, PIIF, Smart Campaign, SPTF, and TrueLift) created the “Responsible Inclusive Finance Platform”. This group convenes the leaders from each of these initiatives to explore how to best advance responsible finance practices within the microfinance sector. Dowload the presentation about the RIF Platform

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