Social Performance Task Force

SPTF Newsletter

Your SPM Updates for October             

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Newsletter highlights  

  • SPTF's next annual meeting will be held in India in February 2018. The event -- entitled Customer Centricity Learning Event: Enabling Financial Choices and Positive Outcome for Low-Income Customers -- will be jointly organized with CGAP, LeapFrog Investments and IFMR Trust. See below for more details. 
  • The updated Implementation Guide in English and French is now available. Read below to learn more about the new features of the Guide, including dozens of new examples of SPM implementation in the field. 


Oct. 23, 2017

Outcomes Working Group Webinar 
10 a.m. - 11 a.m. EDT

Join this webinar to hear Fundacion Paraguaya and Truelift representatives discuss their experience with measuring, analyzing, and using client outcomes data to make decisions. The webinar is the latest from SPTF's Outcomes Working Group, which promotes strong outcomes management by financial service providers (FSPs).  

Nov. 7, 2017

Outcomes Working Group Webinar 
10 a.m. - 11 a.m. EST

During this Outcomes Working Group webinar, Jacqueline Foelster of MIX will discuss her organization's Voice of the Client research. MIX recently released Voice of the Client reports for Peru and Cambodia, based on the latest pilots of that technology with several FSPs in each market. 

Nov. 14 - Dec. 12, 2017 

Training of Trainers Webinar Series 

This series, funded by the Responsible Microfinance Facility, is designed to help technical assistance (TA) providers better implement three aspects of SPM. Each topic will be held in French and English, and each webinar will be 90 minutes.

Pricing Transparency 

Client Complaints Mechanism

Preventing Overindebtedness

Nov. 29 - Dec. 1, 2017 

European Microfinance Week 

This year's European Microfinance Week will feature several trainings, panels and discussions on social performance, including: 

  • Nov. 29, SPI4 ALINUS Training
  • Nov. 29, e-MFP Investor Action Group Meeting on SME Finance. The SPTF Social Investor Working Group has teamed with this e-MFP group to discuss how SPM standards apply to SME finance.
  • Nov. 30, Panel: Social Performance in Fintech. SPTF Executive Director Laura Foose will moderate, drawing on lessons from SPTF's fintech webinar series
  • Dec. 1, Panel: Financial Inclusion of Refugees. SPTF Deputy Director Amelia Greenberg will moderate, with panelists from EIB, UNHCR, MfW, and Mastercard. Amelia runs SPTF's Refugee Microfinance Working Group, which aims to promote financial inclusion for refugees. 

SPTF Announcements

Implementation Guide 2.0 now available

The updated Universal Standards Implementation Guide is now available in English and French. Spanish will be available in the coming weeks. 

The Guide provides practical, actionable guidance for improving SPM. It is a "one-stop" guide for SPM, making it easier for all stakeholders to understand the Universal Standards and put them into practice. 

The updated Guide reflects the updates to Universal Standards 2.0, and it provides dozens of new field examples and links to tools and resources. Some of the field examples are templates -- for example, a client consent form to be used before sharing clients' data outside the institution -- which you could copy and modify to fit your institution. Some field examples are sample reports; for example, there are several social dashboards that real institutions use to report on SP to their boards. 

The Guide is designed primarily for financial service providers (FSPs) who seek to achieve social goals, but it will also be useful to other stakeholders who need to understand SPM and how to evaluate it -- including funders, auditors, raters and TA providers. 

SPTF Annual Meeting 2018

The SPTF will hold its next annual meeting in Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India, February 19 - 22, 2018. This year's meeting - entitled Customer Centricity Learning Event: Enabling Financial Choices and Positive Outcomes for Low-Income Customers - is an event jointly organized by SPTF, CGAP, LeapFrog Investments and IFMR Trust. Our goal is to influence financial service providers, investors, and policymakers to adopt a business model that is based on understanding and serving the unique and diverse needs of poor people.

Details and event registration coming soon! Contact if you have questions about this year's event. 

SPTF launching membership fees in 2018

As you have heard over the last few months and seen in recent email communications, SPTF will be launching membership fees in 2018. This new funding model is important for the continuation of the SPM infrastructure, as well as to provide a clear signal to future funders that our members value the work we do. Fees will be applicable to organizations that are members of the SPTF, but they will vary by stakeholder group and size. 

Over the last month, SPTF board members held webinars with their stakeholder groups to answer questions about membership fees. For any further questions, please contact

SPTF Investor Webinar Series: SPM in Fintech

CDC Group and SPTF have partnered to develop a webinar series that focuses on ways investment analysts can evaluate client protection risks in fintech investments. 

While the series is for investors only, the lessons and discussions from this work will be of value to the SPTF community, as we know that fintech is a new topic that many of our members are trying to better understand. 

The series kicked off October 6, with Alex Rizzi providing an overview of Smart Campaign's work on fintech and Pim Engels of FMO talking about how he approaches consumer risks in these investments. The next session will take place on December 5 and will feature Anup Singh of MicroSave discussing the issues of predatory marketing and repayment capacity analysis. More details on the webinar will be shared soon. 

Anna Kanze of Grassroots Capital Management joins SPTF Board 

SPTF is thrilled to welcome Anna Kanze to the SPTF Board of Directors. Anna is the Chief Operating Officer of Grassroots Capital Management. She has been an active participant in the SPTF Annual Meetings and Social Investor Working Group (SIWG) since 2008.

Anna has been a member of numerous SIWG initiatives, including the ALINUS working group to align investors' due diligence with the Universal Standards, discussions on measuring and reporting outcomes, and discussions on lenders' guidelines for setting covenants in support of responsible microfinance. Anna has also contributed to the Universal Standards indicators, practices and Implementation Guide, with particular emphasis on articulating Dimension 6.

Throughout her time with SPTF, Anna has encouraged consolidation of industry initiatives -- including responsible pricing, the Smart Client Protection Principles, and the Universal Standards with broader industry standards and ratings (e.g., IRIS and GIIRS). This helps raise awareness of the group’s work beyond microfinance, reduce the reporting burden of MIVs and MFIs, and share our best practices with new sectors and members.


Responsible Microfinance Facility
(RMF) - Quarterly Update

Responsible Microfinance Facility 

The Responsible Microfinance Facility (RMF) is an initiative aimed at strengthening capacity and SPM practices of financial institutions in Africa and the Middle East. The RMF offers trainings and provides co-financing to financial institutions for capacity-building activities. Launched in 2015, the RMF is funded by the Agence Française de Développement and managed by SPTF in collaboration with the Smart Campaign. The facility has been extended to run through 2018. 

The RMF has received more than 190 applications to date for trainings or grants to co-finance projects that were designed by FSPs. The RMF has approved 36 trainings and 42 co-financing grants, implemented across 28 countries in Africa and the Middle East. 

The RMF Steering Committee reviews applications on a quarterly basis. Please apply by November 24, 2017 to be considered in the fourth quarter review. Application forms are available in French or English. 


News from our Members

2017 Symbiotics MIV Survey

The 2017 Symbiotics MIV survey is now available. The survey, which is done on an annual basis, provides comprehensive market trends and peer group analysis on microfinance off-shore investments.

This is the second year that SPTF has partnered with Symbiotics to add questions to the MIV survey that look at how MIVs incorporate various aspects of social performance into their activities. The questions cover policies, tools, and initiatives related to the work of the SPTF and its Social Investor Working Group in the pursuit of ensuring responsible investment in inclusive finance.

Smart Campaign: Tiny Loans, Big Questions 

Last month, Smart Campaign published a brief, "Tiny Loans, Big Questions," discussing emerging client protection risks posed by fintech. The brief, which uses the Client Protection Principles as an organizing framework, synthesizes research done by MicroSave and CGAP on client protection in digital credit, as well as adds Smart Campaign input on the subject. 

"The Pulse of Impact Management"

The SVT Group and the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey have published "The Pulse of Impact Management," which provides practical information about how impact investors are tracking and reporting social and environmental impact. 


Client Protection and Risk Management Associate, One Acre Fund

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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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