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SPTF Spotlight: Highlighted SPM Resources 

Update: SPTF's Work on Financial Inclusion of Refugees

Guidelines on financial inclusion for refugees 
The final version of "Serving Refugee Populations: The Next Financial Inclusion Frontier" is now available. The guidelines, written by SPTF consultant Lene Hansen, summarize the state of knowledge and practice, provide specific “how-to” guidance for financial service providers (FSPs), and suggest a business case framework. 

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is translating the guidelines into Arabic, French, and Spanish. These versions will be available in 2017.

Refugee Workshop at European Microfinance Week
The SPTF hosted a full-day workshop on financial inclusion for refugees at European Microfinance Week. More than 20 professionals from various stakeholder groups attended.
During the workshop, Lene Hansen shared findings from her research, and three practitioners presented their experience: Alia Farhat, of Al Majmoua Lebanon, Allan Waititu, of Equity Bank Kenya, and Mado Kubaki, of CARITAS Congo. Participants identified key lessons from discussions, key obstacles to refugee financial inclusion, and next steps.  

Key lessons from the workshop:

  • Refugees are not as mobile as FSPs and other stakeholders sometimes assume. More than half of refugees have been in displacement at least 10 years.
  • Refugee clients have low delinquency rates. However, providers sometimes take particularly conservative risk mitigation measures when lending to refugees. 
  • Non-financial services are critical to build trust and acceptance among all parties.
  • FSPs do not need to develop a new type of product for refugees. 
  • FSPs should offer the same terms and products to refugees and to nationals, so as not to breed resentment among the two groups.

Primary challenges to providing financial services to refugees

  • Information gap:  Both FSPs and refugees lack information about each other.
  • Hostile attitudes: Many stakeholder groups have members who are suspicious of and unwelcoming to refugees. 
  • Prohibitive legal environment: Laws may prohibit FSPs from extending services to refugees or restrict refugees to engage in income-generating activities.

Next steps

  • Advocate for change of laws that restrict financial inclusion of refugees.
  • Write more case studies on FSPs that are providing service to refugee clients.
  • Contact grassroots organizations that are already working with refugees to help connect FSPs to refugees and to better understand their financial needs.
SPTF Guidance Note
SPM Standout

Low Growth: SPM Solutions 

Low growth can constrain your social goal of financial inclusion and may harm your financial bottom line. This guidance note will help you use the Universal Standards to tackle the challenge of low growth.


Learn how Crezcamos provides clients with a solid analysis of their investment plan and financial education.

Is your institution looking for an SPM consultant?
Check out the SPTF Technical Assistance Database!

Social InvEstorS Working Group
Outcomes Working Group

Grassroots’ Partners Named 2016 Best for the World Funds 

Congratulations to SPTF member Grassroots Capital Management for having two of its partner funds recognized in the first annual Best for the World Funds list by B Lab.  

Pilot Testing Data Collection on Indicators

The SPTF Outcomes Working Group is working with several financial service providers (FSPs) in Peru to pilot test data collection of outcome indicators developed by the group.  The SPTF is working with FSPs to clarify theories of change, identify indicators to track, and develop a system for data management. Data collection will begin in 2017. 

Past Meetings & Webinars
SPTF Resource Center

Microfinance Centre Webinars

The Social Performance Fund, with the help of MFC and CERISE, developed SPI4 marketing data webinars for specific manager groups within an organization. This webinar is designed for marketing and product development managers. 

CGAP Customer Segmentation

Watch this video to learn about the CGAP Customer Segmentation Toolkit


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 Guidance Notes SPTF Resource Center
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