Stakes of Measuring Social Performance in Microfinance

A look at various approaches to measuring social performance assessment
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This discussion paper describes initiatives concerning social performance assessment and management, focusing specially on the initiative that the CERISE network conducted.

The paper discusses:

  • The stakes and expectations brought to the fore by these approaches so as to take them into account better in the future;
  • The consequences, strong points, risks and reluctance in the face of these approaches;
  • The progress in ‘social performance assessment tools’;
  • The ‘Social Performance Indicators (SPI) – CERISE Initiative’ that works upon the following four major dimensions of social performance:
    • Orientation towards poor clientele who do not have access to the banking sector,
    • Diversification of services so as to adapt them to the needs of this specific public,
    • Establishment of relationships of trust with its clients and strengthening of their social and political capital,
    • The institution’s social responsibilities with respect to its employees, its clients and their communities.
  • Other initiatives that aim to examine the progress made on the tools to measure social performance;
  • Technical limitations of rating social performance;
  • Expectations and rating constraints.

The paper concludes that the future of ‘societal responsibility assessment’ approaches for MFIs remains to be written and would depend on whether the approaches are built solely between the investment funds and international audit firms, or are initiated by professional microfinance associations.

About this Publication

By Doligez, F. & Lapenu, C.