SPTF Newsletter

Special Edition May 2020                                                                     

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   "We will either find a way or make one."

- Hannibal (247-182 BC)


“Hope is an element in which people take action, and energize themselves.”-Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, BRAC


SPTF Announcements 

Introducing the COVID-19 Client Interview Tool

The COVID-19 Client Interview Tool is a set of simple, standardized questions for financial service providers (FSPs) to use when interviewing their clients during the pandemic. 

The survey questions are designed to produce actionable information for FSPs and their investors. Use it to understand the differences between clients and make informed, nuanced decisions about how to serve clients during and after the crisis.

The survey is available free of cost in English (now) French, and Spanish (next week). FSPs can apply for co-financing to assist with the cost of implementation. SPTF is partnering with FINCA International to provide a free, electronic tool for capturing and analyzing the interview data.

Find out more on our website or by watching this video presentation and then check out the tool!

Social investors create joint frameworks to coordinate response to COVID-19

Social and development investors have come together to agree on a set of common principles and processes to work with providers affected by COVID-19. The following three initiatives represent a major step in ensuring that investors can provide the most effective and coordinated support possible:

  • Key principles to protect microfinance institutions and their clients in the COVID-19 crisis. This pledge outlines the objectives and principles by which investors will guide their coordination on a broad array of issues, from financial decisions regarding the investments themselves to protection of clients and staff, coordination of technical assistance, management of foreign exchange risk, and other issues. The section focused on client protection and social performance management draws on SPTF's resources for SPM during a crisis
  • Memorandum of Understanding on Coordination among MIVs in response to COVID-19. The MOU provides a specific process and framework for managing debt rescheduling, loan workouts, and related actions aimed at limiting the financial risk – and particularly, liquidity risk – that financial service providers face due to COVID-19.
  • Alongside these two agreements, investors can use a common reporting template – the Crisis Assessment Tool – for their portfolio FSPs to provide regular updates during COVID-19. The use of this common tool will reduce the reporting burden on FSPs – many of which are being asked by their investors to report their financial situation on a monthly and even biweekly basis. It also supports coordination among investors by ensuring that all have access to a common set of data.

A key factor in the success of these initiatives is critical mass. We thus call upon all investors to join these efforts -- not only by signing on to one or both of these agreements, but also by implementing the principles and guidance that they embody. To add your institution's name to these initiatives, please email contact@e-mfp.eu.

SPTF Events

May 21, 2020

Spanish Webinar: La Herramienta Encuesta de Clientes Durante COVID-19
WebEx, 1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. EDT 

Join this webinar -- which will be held in Spanish -- to learn more about the COVID-19 Client Interview Tool, which is a set of simple, standardized questions for financial service providers (FSPs) to use when interviewing their clients during the pandemic. Join here when it's time for the meeting. See below for the equivalent webinar in French and for other COVID resources in Spanish

May 22, 2020

English Webinar: Liquidity risk management during COVID-19
WebEx, 9 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. EDT / 13:00 UTC

Join this webinar -- which will be held in English -- to learn about how financial service providers can improve liquidity risk management and scenario planning to better ensure business continuity during COVID-19. The webinar, which is geared toward Tier 2 and Tier 3 MFIs, will be led by consultant Nitin Madan. Join here when it's time for the meeting, and read more about our liquidity management series below


                     Resources You Can Use

Maintaining a Healthy & Productive Workforce During the Pandemic 

Watch our webinar full of practical advice on supporting your workforce. Speakers from ILO, Maha Agriculture (Myanmar), and Finca Impact Finance answer questions such as: How can MFIs protect their employees in this moment? What works to keep employee morale high? Looking ahead, how can MFIs position themselves to emerge from the crisis with a strong workforce, ready to serve customers?

Watch the webinar and read the notes.

Cybersecurity for Financial Inclusion

Last month, Suricate Solutions, Smart Campaign @CFI, and SPTF presented essential cybersecurity practices for FSPs to implement, as well as guidance on how FSPs can help their clients protect themselves from cyber fraud.

Watch the webinar and read the publication: Safer remote working: Ten basic cyber security practices during COVID-19, and beyond

Resources in French

SPTF has held several webinars in French over the past month. Check out the recordings and notes:

  • L'outil d'enquête client COVID-19: Renseignez vous sur l'outil d'enquête clients élaboré par la SPTF en collaboration avec 60_Decibels, et sur la platforme de sondage sûre, avec un serveur basé sur « l'informatique en nuage », créée par FINCA en collaboration avec la SPTF. Cet outil vous aidera à comprendre la situation des différents segments de clientèle et à y répondre de manière appropriée.
  • Gestion du risque de liquidité: Discussion des actions fondamentales à entreprendre pour s’assurer d’une bonne gestion du risque de liquidité.
  • Cybersécurité dans le secteur de la finance inclusiveOrganisé par la SPTF, en collaboration avec Smart Campaign et Suricate Solutions, ce webinaire vous renseigne sur les principes fondamentaux de la cybersécurité pour les prestataires de services financiers. Cette question revêt une importance cruciale à mesure que le secteur de l'inclusion financière élargit son offre de services financiers numériques. 
  • Échanges avec les membres du SPTF sur une réponse à la pandémieÉchanges avec les membres francophones du SPTF sur les ressources utiles et leurs préoccupations actuelles.

Resources in Spanish

SPTF has held several Spanish meetings over the past month. Check out the recordings:

  • Una respuesta social ante la pandemia COVID-19: Edgardo Pérez, Gerente General de Fundación Génesis Empresarial y Adela de Rizzo, Gerente de Gestión de Desempeño Social, Fundación Génesis Empresarial compartieron sus experiencias en la implementación de nuevas tecnologías, el enfoque en capacitación y cómo llegar a los clientes con soluciones diseñadas a la medida de cada cliente.
  • Respuestas a la pandemia para los PSFs: Este webinar incluye una presentación sobre los recursos en español disponible en el Portal FinDev, un resumen de la literatura sobre como los PFSs deben responder a la crisis, una explicación sobre como el Fondo FFRI-CAC esta respondiendo a la crisis y una presentación por el Gerente General de Fundación Paraguaya con sugerencias de buenas practicas para enfrentar la crisis. 
  • Responsabilidad social con los empleados durante la pandemia: Todos queremos pasar esta crisis manteniendo intactas las relaciones que hemos establecido con nuestros clientes y empleados, queremos sentirnos orgullosos de cómo tratamos a las personas en los momentos más turbulentos.

Managing Liquidity Risk

SPTF, through its regional Responsible Inclusive Finance Facilities (RIFFs) is hosting a series of liquidity management webinars. We would like to thank Oikocredit and ADA, who originally produced liquidity management PowerPoints and tools for their partners. When SPTF started to hear demand for these types of trainings from our partners in the field, ADA and Oikocredit allowed us to use these materials to build out webinars on liquidity management.  

The webinars are geared toward tier 2 and tier 3 FSPs, and they focus on liquidity risk management and scenario planning to ensure business continuity.

We also recommend Microfinance Centre Poland's excellent webinar series How to Build a Corporate Immune System in Response to COVID-19.


                            SPTF Social Investor Working Group

Investors: Join the next SIWG call on May 27 to continue coordinating responses to COVID

Based on demand from our Social Investor Working Group members, we will be hosting virtual meetings regarding the investor response to the COVID crisis every other Wednesday. Our next call will take place Wednesday, May 27 from 10:30 a.m. EDT to 11:30 a.m. EDT and will focus on the DFI response to COVID-19. Joining information for the call, which is open to investors only, can be found here.

On the call, we will continue sharing updates on investor efforts and resources related to COVID, with the goal of coordinating where possible and reducing duplication of efforts. Read the briefs from our biweekly calls, as well as our biweekly investor memos, here. If you have any other questions, please email Katie Hoffmann

Join our LinkedIn group for social investors!

On our first SIWG call focused on COVID, investors identified the need for a dynamic forum to share resources and lessons learned regarding the crisis. To that end, SIWG has created a LinkedIn group as a place where investors can share their latest information and questions. The group is open to investors only. Join here

SPTF Members: Responsibility in Action

Financial support from our sustaining members ensures our ongoing operations. We are proud of the ways that our members are responding to COVID-19. 

Living up to their mission of corporate responsibility, Deutsche Bank and its employees have donated 1.9 million Euros to provide food and shelter for those hardest hit by the pandemic.  Read more about their internal donations campaign here
The Oikocredit International Support Foundation (ISUP) has created a coronavirus solidarity fund to support end clients of Oikocredit’s microfinance partners in meeting the new regulations that would allow their businesses to stay open. The fund will support emergency needs and the purchase of sanitation equipment and materials, or any other items required to meet local government standards and keep their businesses open.


Friendship Bridge has been a paragon of adaptability during the pandemic.  As the vast majority of their work prior to COVID was in-person, lockdown orders all but halted operations.  However, Friendship Bridge quickly launched a company intranet so their team could work remotely, switched from in-person check-ins to phone calls and telemedicine, and have been helping the women they support to sell handmade goods online -- including face masks!

      Special Announcement: Co-Financing Still Available 

SPTF's co-financing facilities are adapting to the crisis

SPTF's three responsible inclusive finance facilities are open and accepting applications for regular projects during the crisis. We are also adapting the facilities' policies to offer extra help to financial service providers during these trying times: 

  • We have simplified the application forms to help FSPs apply more quickly.
  • In addition to our usual topics, we will be accepting applications for projects focused on helping FSPs weather the crisis, such as projects that build institutional resilience or develop digital channels to better connect with clients and staff. 

  • To accommodate time-sensitive projects related to the crisis, the facilities will be reviewing applications on a weekly basis instead of a quarterly basis.

If you're interested in applying for co-financing from one of SPTF's regional responsible inclusive finance facilities, see the respective regions below: 

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