Paper

Towards Defining Social Performance of Microfinance Institutions - Literature Review and Synthesis

What do we wish to measure as social performance of MFIs?
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This paper defines the social performance of an organization and presents options for its measurement. It states that the social performance of an organization comprises the relations of the organization with its clients and other stakeholder groups.

Measuring social performance involves evaluating principles and intentions, analyzing processes and actions, and measuring outcomes. MFI social performance assessment should:

  • Include dimensions like business ethics, community initiatives, environment protection, governance, human rights, workplace environment, corporate philanthropy and the social impact of products;
  • Focus on core social issues such as MFI  relations with employees, beneficiaries and communities;
  • Take into account that different institutions have different objectives, and therefore, different dimensions of social concern. 

To achieve performance assessment that a wide range of MFIs can use, universal values, such as eradicating poverty, equality, democracy, social cohesion must be taken into account. Indicators must be based on information that is easily available to all MFIs or can be captured through rapid surveys or interviews.

About this Publication

By Lapenu, C. & Zeller, M.
Published