Institutionalizing Impact Assessment: Case Study on the Philippines
This paper discusses the program, Imp-Act, initiated by the Center for Agriculture and Rural Development (CARD) in the Philippines, to bring about a greater understanding of the value of impact assessment (IA).
The paper offers the following details of the program:
- The project's immediate objective was to meet the microfinance institution's (MFIs) client information needs for IA and market research (MR);
- The Microfinance of the Philippines (MCPI) was taken as the project implementer;
- The project aims to institutionalize the conduct of IA and MR in MFIs.
The paper lists the following specific activities involved in the project:
- Development and pilot implementation of a core model of an IA/MR information system;
- Promotion and advocacy;
- Building of in-house capacities of MFIs to conduct IA and MR through training workshops.
The paper then discusses the operations of CARD and CARD's experience under Imp-Act, which include:
- Review of IA and MR initiatives;
- Defining priorities;
- Role of the MCPI;
- Issues and challenges for both CARD and MCPI.
The paper concludes with lessons learned by CARD and MCPI under the Imp-Act project about institutionalizing the IA process within MFIs:
- Beyond internal capacities, MFIs should be seriously committed to institutionalize impact and client monitoring;
- MFIs must believe that learning from clients is critical in providing effective microfinance services, improving organizational performance and ensuring institutional growth and sustainability.