Introduction to the SPTF Universal Standards for Social Performance Management

Guiding MFIs to achieve a double bottom line

This is an introduction to the Social Performance Task Force’s Universal Standards for Social Performance Management. It discusses the need for each of the six categories in the Standards, and reasons why an institution seeking a double bottom line should meet these Standards.

The publication explains how the Standards incorporate the Smart Campaign’'s client protection principles, how they should be used, and to whom they apply. Meeting the Standards signifies that an institution has strong social performance management (SPM) practices. To achieve this, institutions must:

  • Define and monitor social goals;
  • Ensure board, management, and employee commitment to social goals;
  • Treat clients responsibly;
  • Design products, services, delivery models, and channels that meet clients’ needs and preferences;
  • Treat employees responsibly;
  • Balance financial and social performance.

These six categories of standards set out actionable management practices related to setting strategy, building employee buy in, and putting the client first, at all levels and in all departments of the institution.

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