SPTF Newsletter

Your SPM Updates for September 2019         

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Making Digital Credit Truly Responsible

SPTF and the Smart Campaign commissioned MicroSave Consulting (MSC) to study the dynamics of the digital credit sector on both the demand and supply sides. The output of the study was a comprehensive report on the current state of digital credit in Kenya. It looks at the evolving challenges in digital credit and makes recommendations for responsible and customer-centric digital credit delivery.

We are pleased to co-host a series of webinars to discuss the key findings and discuss the implications with our global audience (see Events). A blog series from MSC highlights key learnings from the study: Where are the women in the digital credit bandwagon? Lessons from Kenya and Is there room for optimism in the Kenyan digital credit sector? We encourage you to join in this important discussion about the future of digital credit!


September 25 - October 16, 2019

Webinar: How can we make digital credit transformative? 

Together with MSC and the Smart Campaign, we are hosting a multilingual series of webinars that share our key findings from MSC's research and talk through the recommendations made. Smart Campaign Senior Director Alex Rizzi will speak in the first webinar along with SPTF's Amelia Greenberg and MSC's Isvary Sivalingam. 
Click on the links below to register for the webinar of your choice:

October 2 at 4 am EST (English)
October 9 at 9 am EST (French)
October 16 at 1 pm EST (Spanish)

Can't make any of the above times? Listen to the September 25th recorded webinar here

October 21-25, 2019

SPTF at SAM 2019 

SPTF Deputy Director Amelia Greenberg will deliver two trainings and host a panel at ADA's SAM 2019

Reponsible Digital Transformation Training:Co-led by Amarante Consulting, this introductory training will answer fundamental questions such as what is digital transformation, why do it, and how do we integrate inclusion, responsible practices, and value for clients into a digital context?

Introduction to Responsible Inclusive Finance Training: This training will define responsible inclusive finance and introduce the Universal Standards and the SPI4 audit tool, and offer modules on integrating social performance into DFS, outcomes management, and SPTF's upcoming activities. 

Panel presentation on measuring and understanding customer outcomes: SPTF will moderate a debate among the panel speakers on the pros and cons of their respective approaches to outcomes management.

SAM 2019 registration is available here. For more information on any of the SPTF events listed above, contact Amelia Greenberg.

October 1, 2019

SPTF at the Impact Ecosystem Event

Jurgen Hammer, SPTF's Managing Director for Europe, will be speaking at this event. There is a growing movement toward impact finance and social business in Luxembourg, driving both financial and non-financial returns for the benefit of investors, customers, employees, and the greater society. Join the conversation!

Registration is free but mandatory in advance. 

October 15, 2019

SPTF at Luxembourg Conference: Evaluation of blended finance: Challenges and possible ways forward

Jurgen Hammer, SPTF's Managing Director for Europe, will be speaking at this event, which aims to raise awareness of the main challenges around the evaluation of blended finance and financial instruments, and to share lessons learned about the methodologies applied in existing evaluations.  

Registration is free but mandatory in advance.

November 21-22, 2019

SPTF at European Microfinance Week 2019 

SPTF Director Laura Foose will host a panel discussion at e-MFP. The panel will explore client outcomes, focusing on the roles and responsibilities of three key players in the ecosystem: regulators, investors, and financial service providers. 

Registration is open.  

October 17, 2019

CGAP Webinar: The Role of Technology in Digital Transformation 
Webex, 9:00am Eastern Daylight Time

Integrating digital technology into business operations can help FSPs reduce transaction costs, increase customer outreach, and deliver better value to their customers. This webinar will focus on the technology-related challenges and opportunities for FSPs. Panelists will provide insights into how FSPs should think about technology, the kind of IT infrastructure they need to digitize, and ways to overcome issues related to legacy operating systems. 

Register here

SPTF Announcements

SPTF Blog Post: Suddenly, This Summer

Suddenly, this summer, there are encouraging signs that the corporate world is approaching business in a new way. The Financial Times launched a new weekly feature called Moral Money--a column dedicated to discussions of socially responsible business. The New York Times featured an attention-grabbing article written by a retired corporate lawyer who now believes that corporations should write ethical rules into their bylaws so that companies are obligated to act in the best interest of multiple types of stakeholders, including communities and employees. And then the crescendo: 181 members of the Business Roundtable, which includes some of the most powerful figures in corporate America, announced that it will henceforth commit to balancing the interests of shareholders with those of everybody else. 

SPTF applauds these signals and encourages business leaders to look to socially responsible microfinance providers as examples of good practice. Our sector is home to literally hundreds of financial service providers who have decided that profit is not their sole purpose. Without fuss or fanfare, these businesses are balancing growth with quality customer service and customer protection, protecting their employees’ rights, measuring the social outcomes of their work, and holding their leadership accountable for social metrics – behaviors laid out in the Universal Standards and encouraged by our global community of practice.

Read our full blog post on the CFI Blog.


Calling all social investors! Shape the agenda of the SPTF Social Investor Working Group

The SPTF Social Investor Working Group co-chairs want your input on topics for future webinars. If you are a social investor, take this short survey and let us know what webinar topics are of the greatest interest to you and your organization. Thank you!

Regional responsible inclusive finance (RIF) facilities 

Apply now for co-financing and trainings! 

The SPTF manages three regional SPM implementation facilities, each of which aims to strengthen the capacity and SPM practices of financial service providers in its region. The facilities cover Africa, the Middle East, Central America, the Caribbean, and Southeast Asia. 

Each facility offers trainings that focus on SPM-related tools, as well as building the capacity of local consultants and networks to improve SPM. The facilities also co-finance activities that are designed to help FSPs begin to assess their SPM practices and implement improvements, including in the areas of digital readiness assessment and digital transformation. 

Each facility accepts applications on a rolling basis and reviews them quarterly. The facilities and their upcoming deadlines are listed below: 

  • Responsible Inclusive Finance Facility for Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East/North Africa (RIFF-SSA/MENA). Funded by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), with additional project funding from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and from the Government of Luxembourg via the European Investment Bank (EIB). To learn more about the facility, visit its webpage. The next application deadline is December 3rd, 2019
  • Responsible Inclusive Finance Facility for Central America and the Caribbean (RIFF-CAC). Funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), with additional project funding from the Government of Luxembourg via the European Investment Bank (EIB). To learn more about the facility, visit its webpage. The next application deadline is December 19th, 2019.
  • Responsible Inclusive Finance Facility for Southeast Asia (RIFF-SEA). Funded by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of Luxembourg. To learn more about the facility, visit its webpage. The next application deadline is December 19th, 2019 


News from the SPTF Community 

SPM Annual Reports from Leading Financial Service Providers & Investors

An SPM Annual Report is a great way to report to external stakeholders on your social data and SPM programs. These are excellent examples of SPM Reports:

Congratulations to Fundación Génesis Empresarial

SPTF congratulates Fundación Génesis Empresarial on earning Truelift Leader status! "Leader" is the highest Truelift recognition, reserved for financial service providers who are financially sustainable and fully adheres to the standards of responsible financial performance. It surpasses minimum requirements, excelling in all three Pro-Poor Principles. The institution has audited financial statements, an appropriate Return on Assets and Portfolio-at-Risk, and has undergone a sustainability assessment. It has a clear theory of change for its clients that focuses on employment, quality of life, education, and/or enterprise skills. A Leader has Smart Certification and fully meets the Universal Standards dimension on balanced financial and social returns. 

Truelift is a global initiative to push for accountability in pro-poor development. Truelift is a trust mark – in microfinance and other forms of social business – to signify commitment to positive and enduring change for people affected by conditions of poverty.

Read the Microfinance Barometer 2019

This year's edition of Microfinance Barometer features articles from SPTF and our partners CERISE and e-MFP. Check out the publication and these articles in particular:

  • Social Performance Management is becoming mainstream: An opportunity - or a threat - for the impact investment sector? by Jurgen Hammer, Managing Director of SPTF Europe
  • Reusing the (Social Performance Management) wheel: what can impact investing learn from microfinance? by Bonnie Brusky, Deputy Director of CERISE
  • (Micro)finance for Resilience: Helping Clients Adapt to Climate Change by Daniel Rozas, Sr. Microfinance Expert at e-MFP


Resources and References

Explore the resources below for tools and guidance to help strengthen your social performance management and achieve your social and financial goals.

Universal Standards for Social Performance Management Technical Assistance Database  Universal Standards Implementation Guide
SPI4 Tool SPTF Guidance Notes SPTF Resource Center
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