SPTF Newsletter

Your SPM Updates for May & June 2019         

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SPTF & Microfinance Opportunities launch action research project on wage digitalization

The SPTF is happy to announce that it has partnered with Microfinance Opportunities (MFO) to design action research on customer empowerment through interviews with workers in Bangladesh's garment manufacturing sector who have undergone wage digitalization.The project launches this month and will continue into next year. Through this research, SPTF and MFO will seek insights into how customers become empowered and what roles various stakeholders can play to support this. Read more below.


May 29, 2019

Investor Webinar: Promoting Fair and Transparent Pricing in DFS 
WebEx, 9:30 a.m. - 11 a.m. EDT 

Join this webinar, open to investors only, to discuss Guideline 6 of the Guidelines for Investing in Responsible DFS: Promote Fair and Transparent Pricing. On the call, Dr. Thomas Koch will discuss DEG/KfW's draft briefing note, which was developed for investors who are assessing fair and transparent pricing in digital finance and fintech investments. The webinar follows Dr. Koch's presentation of his draft note at the IFC-SPTF investor forum earlier this month.

June 6, 2019

Customer empowerment webinar: Update on Data Platform
WebEx, 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. EDT

M-CRIL will share experience of bringing a customer empowerment focus to a recent social rating in India. This included both a review of FSP practices and client interviews. We hope also to hear from CERISE, who is planning to test the customer empowerment framework with a partner in Myanmar. For more information on the SPTF Customer Empowerment Working Group, visit our website.

June 13, 2019

Investor webinar: Update on Data Platform
WebEx, 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. EDT

Join this webinar, open to investors only, to hear the latest updates from MicroFinanza Rating on its Data Platform, which provides validated data on financial service providers’ pricing, client protection, social performance, and financial performance. The platform allows users to analyze market trends, benchmark investees with peers, monitor investees over time, and consolidate portfolio-level data. When it’s time to join the webinar, click here. Email katiehoffmann@sptf.info with any questions.

June 11-13, 2019

Online discussion: How do social norms impact women's financial inclusion and how can they be shifted to promote inclusion?

FinEquity -- a global community to advance women’s financial inclusion -- is hosting a three-day, online discussion focused on how social norms affect women’s financial inclusion and how different actors can address them to promote inclusion. The discussion will be facilitated by leading researchers and practitioners from the financial inclusion, health, and women’s economic empowerment communities.

July 1-5, 2019

Social Performance Assessment Intensive at the Frankfurt School
Frankfurt, Germany

CERISE will be teaching the Social Performance Assessment Track at the Frankfurt School Inclusive Finance Summer Academy. Join senior professionals from around the world for a five-day intensive with daily plenary sessions, specialized technical tracks, networking activities and targeted teambuilding. Find out more and register here

October 21-25, 2019

African Microfinance Week 
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

African Microfinance Week, known as the Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance or "SAM," is a conference organized by ADA dedicated to the development of financial inclusion in Africa. SPTF will organize three events during the week: a peer-learning session for auditors on the SPI4 audit tool, a digital transformation training, and an SPM training with modules on client outcomes and integrating SPM into DFS. For more information, email Amelia Greenberg at ameliagreenberg@sptf.info

SPTF Announcements

SPTF & Microfinance Opportunities launch action research project on wage digitalization

The SPTF & MFO action research project on wage digitalization in Bangladesh will have four main stages:

  1. Research on the experience of workers who have undergone wage digitalization.
  2. Development of two simple modules to raise awareness around wage digitalization and to provide education so that workers are more likely to have voice and choice in any wage digitalization process.
  3. Dissemination of those modules to workers.
  4. Research on the experience of workers who were exposed to the awareness and education modules.

Through this research, SPTF and MFO seek insights into how customers become empowered and what roles various stakeholders can play to support this.  For further information, please contact the facilitator of SPTF's customer empowerment working group, Anton Simanowitz

Home"Customer Analytics: Data analytics for customer-centric business approaches"

Earlier this month, CGAP partnered with the SPTF to present a mini-training on customer analytics. Check out the recording and presentation, which discuss how to convert data into useful insights. CGAP epmhasizes that, in order to use data effectively, an institution should begin by identifying its biggest challenges, and then consider what it could understand better about its customers to address those challenges. 

                                             ifc pic

Check out the summary presentation and webinar from the IFC/SPTF Social Investor Working Group Forum!

Earlier this month, the SPTF Social Investor Working Group co-chairs led a webinar summarizing the main takeaways from the SPTF-IFC Investor Forum, which took place in D.C. in April. The forum -- Responsible Finance for Digital Inclusion: Investing for Impact -- drew 85 investors and key industry players from a dozen countries. Over the two days, participants discussed the latest developments in impact investing tools for financial inclusion and the larger impact space, critical to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Investors shared their approaches to assessing and managing increased risks in the rapidly evolving digital finance landscape. Participants also learned about the Guidelines for Investing in Responsible Digital Financial Services, and its importance toward investing for impact. 

If you missed it, catch up on the forum’s discussions by listening to the summary webinar recording and viewing the presentation. Detailed minutes, presentations, and background materials are posted on the forum’s website. For any questions, email katiehoffmann@sptf.info.   

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 Microfinance Facility (RMF) for Africa and the Middle East. Funded by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), 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 18 June 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 30 June 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 21 June 2019 


News from the SPTF Community 

ADA and CERISE publish study on social performance management

In the last five years, CERISE has collected more than 400 SPI4 social audits. In 2018, ADA and CERISE joined forces to analyze this database of audits and to review the current practices related to the assessment and management of social performance. The study places a particular focus on the profile of the financial service providers that carry out a social audit, on the main strengths and weaknesses of these actors in terms of social performance management, and the potential synergies between social, financial and environmental performances. The study is available in English and French

A must-read blog: "Microfinance in the Digital World: Seven Questions for the Future"

Add to your reading list this new blog post from the Center for Financial Inclusion and FinDev Gateway. In it, thought leader Beth Rhyne poses seven essential questions for the future of our industry and provides her thoughts on how traditional microfinance providers must respond to the digitalization of financial services. 

Exciting efforts to bridge the gender digital divide

Women are less likely to have access to digital financial services than men, making them among the most likely to experience exclusion. The SPTF is excited about a USAID initiative called the W-GDP WomenConnect Challenge. Launched one year ago, the project supports organizations working to change social, cultural, and economic dynamics that prevent women and girls from accessing and using technology.

To learn more about WomenConnect, check out this video, and read about the nine organizations being supported by USAID.

MSC's "20/20" blog series examines the past and future of our industry

MicroSave Consulting Managing Director Graham Wright shares observations and insights in an important three-part blog series. In Part 1, Mr. Wright charts the industry's evolution from microcredit to microfinance and from analogue to digital. In Part 2, he examines the question: "How much progress have we made in 20 years?" And in Part 3, he expands on the enormous challenges that we must solve -- namely, consumer protection risks and the digital divide.                                          

IPA hiring new new Director of Poverty Measurement

Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is hiring a new Director of Poverty Measurement. The director will have overall responsibility for the technical direction, development, and quality control of the public PPI tools and materials. Read more about the job here


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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