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The SPM Resource Center is the industry's most comprehensive library of resources for SPM and client protection. Our two featured resources – the CERISE SPI4 Assessment Tool and the Universal Standards Implementation Guide – provide comprehensive guidance across all SPM issues. For resources on specific aspects of SPM, explore each category of resources below.

CERISE SPI4 Assessment Tool
The CERISE SPI4 is a social audit tool that can be used for reporting and performance management, to assess level of implementation of the Universal Standards.

Universal Standards Implementation Guide
The Universal Standards Implementation Guide offers comprehensive guidance to financial institutions on how to implement the practices found in the Universal Standards for Social Performance Management.

Client Protection Self-Assessment Tool
This Excel-based assessment for financial service providers generates scores on each of the seven Client Protection Standards.

Achieving a social mission requires purposeful management, guided by a strategic plan. This strategy should include your mission, a definition of your target clients, a description of your social goals, targets and indicators to measure the achievement of those goals, and an explanation of how your institution will use products and services to achieve its social goals. Dimension 1 has two standards:

The provider has a strategy to achieve its social goals.

Use the resources in this section to help you deconstruct your mission, define your target clients, clarify your social goals, targets and indicators, and define how your institution will use products and services to achieve its social goals. 

The provider collects and discloses accurate client data specific to its social goals. 

Use the resources listed in this section to help you collect the right information, ensure its quality, and use it for internal and external reporting.

This collection of videos from around the world showcases providers, investors, and other stakeholders who value and prioritize Social Performance Management (SPM) and the Universal Standards.

Financial service providers from all over the world explain how they are implementing the Universal Standards in their operations and strategy. Use these videos to understand how the Universal Standards work in practice, and to convince others of the value of SPM.

Investors and other stakeholders discuss the importance of the Universal Standards. Use these videos to understand the relevance of SPM and the Standards for other stakeholders and to convince others of the value of SPM.

These videos present more of the technical details of SPM. Use them for your own learning, or when giving trainings to others.

Your board, management and staff should be clear, committed and incentivized to achieve your social objectives. Dimension 2 has three standards:

Members of the Board of Directors hold the provider accountable to its mission and social goals.

Your board should use social performance information to shape and adjust your institution's strategy, and hold the director to account for achieving social objectives. It should also protect the provider's social focus in times of transformation and growth. Use these resources to learn more about turning commitment into action at board level.

Senior management oversees implementation of the provider's strategy for achieving its social goals.

Your board should be accountable for using social performance information to ensure your organization is on track to achieve its social objectives and treat clients in an ethical manner. The board should also be actively managing risks that your institution faces in relation to its social objectives. Use these resources to help build your board's oversight capacity.

Employee recruitment and evaluation are based on both social and financial performance criteria.

From the moment they are hired, your institution should instill its values in new employees, and encourage these through routine training and balanced incentives. Use these resources to build commitment to your social objectives and responible treatment of clients among staff.

Your institution should understand how financial and non-financial services fit into your clients' lives and help them to achieve their financial goals, whether this be to smooth their income, invest in opportunities, or to create a safety net for emergencies. Once you have a clear picture of clients' needs and preferences, design your intervention accordingly. Dimension 3 has two standards:

The provider understands the needs and preferences of different types of clients. 

Listening to clients means understanding how the needs and product use of different client groups vary, how client satisfaction and exit varies by client group and the reasons behind these. Use these resources to build your listening skills and analytical acumen.

The provider's products, services, and delivery channels are designed to benefit clients, in line with the provider's social goals. 

Client-centered design means thinking through how to reduce barriers to financial access, as well as helping clients to cope with risk and emergencies, and invest in opportunities. Use these resources to help your institution turn insights about clients into smart product design and effective delivery. 

Treating vulnerable clients in a responsible manner should be the bare minimum requirement for providers. This means protecting clients from over-indebtedness, treating clients fairly and respectfully, ensuring their privacy, resolving their complaints, and using transparent prices. Dimension 4 has five standards:

Prevention of overindebtedness

Avoiding over-indebtedness means aligning all steps in the credit process - from design, appraisal, monitoring and reporting - to ensure that client debt does not exceed their capacity to repay. 


Transparency means giving your clients the right information at the time and in the right way, so they can clearly understand and take informed decisions. This includes providing transparent information on product pricing, terms and conditions. 

Fair and respectful treatment of clients 

Providers should define clear values around fair and respectful treatment of clients, and enshrine these in policy and practice. Respect for vulnerable clients in especially important in the sales and collection processes. 

Privacy of client data 

Ensuring the privacy of clients' data means having the right technological systems in place, and informing clients about their rights and responsibilities. 

Mechanisms for complaint resolution 

Financial service providers (FSPs) should value, encourage, and resolve client complaints in a swift, fair and transparent manner. Not only will this improve client trust, but provide a useful source of feedback about your products, services and staff. 

Your staff are your greatest asset for achieving your social objectives. Actively value your staff, make sure they're clear on their roles and responsibilities, and listen to their ideas about how to improve your organization - and they will do excellent work for you. Dimension 5, which Cerise+SPTF co-developed with the International Labor Organization and the e-MFP Human Resources Action Group, has three standards:

The provider follows a written human resources policy that protects employees and creates a supportive working environment. 

Creating a supportive working environment means having the policies and procedures in place to guarantee that your institution is a non-discriminatory and safe place to work, and that it remunerates staff appropriately and addresses their grievances. It also involves avoiding child labor. Use these resources to strengthen your support for staff.

The provider communicates to all employees the terms of their employment and provides training for essential job functions. 

In order to do excellent work, staff need clarity on their remit, training to achieve this successfully, and a fair and transparent system for evaluating and incentivizing their performance. Use these resources to guide your thinking about how to support staff.

The provider monitors employee satisfaction and turnover. 

A staff-focused organization will take regular steps to understand whether staff are satisfied in their work, why they chose to leave your employment, and act when red flags arise in the course of this routine monitoring. Use these resources to strengthen your practice.

As a social enterprise, your organization needs to balance both financial and social performance. This means thinking through what appropriate growth means in the context of delivering value to clients, making sure your shareholders share your vision, and pricing your services to deliver both quality to clients and sustainability to the organization. Dimension 6 has four standards:

The provider sets and monitors growth rates that promote both institutional sustainability and social goals. 

Growth underpins financial sustainability, but overheated or irresponsible growth can signal a lack of focus on social performance issues. Use these resources to calibrate your institution's relationship with growth.

Equity investors, lenders, board and management are aligned on the provider's social goals and implement an appropriate financial structure in its mix of sources, terms, and desired returns. 

For providers that take on debt and equity investors, aligning expectations around risk and return are crucial for maintaining a double bottom-line focus. Use these resources to guide your thinking.

The provider sets prices responsibly.  

Your provider's strategy around profits should balance both your long-term institutional sustainability and the well-being of those you seek to serve. Use these resources to start a conversation in your institution about getting the balance right. 

The provider compensates senior managers in a way that is appropriate to a provider with stated social goals.

What do your staff pay scales say about your institution's priorities? Use these resources to get the balance right.

In a context where climate change and environmental degradation are already affecting every region of our planet, and in particular the most vulnerable populations, it is clear that financial and social sustainability objectives will not be achieved without considering environmental issues. FSPs should seriously engage in improving their environmental performance, avoiding to generate negative environmental impacts and contributing to foster climate change adaptation, environmental risk mitigation and regenerative solutions. Dimension 7, which Cerise+SPTF co-developed with the e-MFP Green Inclusive and Climate Smart Finance Action Group (GICSF-AG), has three standards:

The provider has an environmental strategy and systems in place to implement it.

Use the resources in this section to understand what environmental performance management means in practice, explore a variety of case studies, and get inspired to define your FSPs' environmental strategy.

The provider identifies and manages environmental risks and opportunities.

Use the resources in this section to help you set up an adapted environmental risk management system.

The provider offers financial and non-financial products and services to achieve its environmental goals.

Use the resources in this section to design and implement innovative products and services with a positive environmental impact. The proposed resources focus on climate-smart and sustainable agriculture and renewable energy.

Recursos para enfrentar la crisis de COVID-19

Visite nuestra página de recursos en español COVID-19 para acceder a nuestra colección de recursos.


Guía para la Digitalización
Esta guía explica los pasos necesarios para lanzar los primeros canales y servicios digitales para los clientes de las instituciones financieras que atienden a clientes de escasos recursos. La guía documenta también la experiencia de siete cooperativas ecuatorianas en su proceso de digitalización utilizando estos pasos.

Documentos Principales

En esta sección se puede descargar y leer varios recursos en español que corresponden a las dimensiones de los Estándares Universales.

El Manual de los Estándares Universales para la GDS versión 2.0 presenta en un solo documento todos los estándares y practicas esenciales necesarios para una gestión sólida de desempeño social.  La versión 2.0 de los Estándares Universales, publicada en agosto del 2016, contiene los estándares de Certificación de Protección al Cliente de Smart Campaign, los estándares de GDS  y practicas recomendadas para nuevos productos como los microseguros, pagos por agentes, servicios digitales y las microfinanzas verdes. Utilice este manual para conocer el marco internacional de buenas prácticas en la GDS.

La Guía para la Implementación de los Estándares Universales para la Gestión del Desempeño Social (GDS) ofrece una guía detallada para los proveedores de servicios financieros (PSFs) acerca de cómo implementar las practicas que se encuentran en los Estándares Universales. Utilice esta guía para mejorar la GDS en su institución, o para apoyar las practicas de GDS de sus instituciones miembro/asociadas o de las instituciones en las que invierte.

La Guía de auditoría SPI4 de Cerise es una guía práctica sobre cómo realizar una auditoria social y analizar los indicadores SPI4.

Estas notas informativas reflejan las lecciones aprendidas durante los últimos tres años del proyecto del Fondo de Desempeño Social relacionado coordinado por MFC con su trabajo en el sector microfinanciero, con los proveedores de servicios financieros y las redes.

Este boletín describe las actividades principales del SPTF en América Latina durante el periodo del 2014-2016.

SPTF tem alguns recursos sobre los Estandares Universales em Português:


Dans la présente section, vous pouvez télécharger et lire des ressources en français qui sont conformes aux différentes dimensions des Normes Universelles de Gestion de la Performance Sociale.

Le Manuel des Normes Universal version 2.0 est un manuel complet sur les meilleures pratiques à adopter pour aider les fournisseurs de services financiers (FSFs) à placer les clients au centre de toutes décisions stratégiques et opérationnelles et d’aligner leurs politiques et procédures avec des méthodes professionnelles responsables.

La version 2.0 publiée en Août 2016, regroupe les Normes de certification de la Protection Clients de la Smart Campaign, ainsi que de nouvelles normes et pratiques de Gestion de la Performance Sociale (GPS) recommandées pour les nouveaux produits tels que la micro-assurance, les agents, les services numériques et de la micro finance verte.

Lire la déclaration conjointe de la SPTF de la Smart Campaign et de CERISE sur l'effort collectif mit en oeuvre pour créer les normes universelles 2.0 et l'engagement de ces organisations à les promouvoir.

Le Guide de mise en œuvre des normes universelles fournit des conseils pratiques et une façon de faire afin d’améliorer SPM. Son principal objectif est de donner aux utilisateurs un guide "one-stop" pour SPM, ce qui facilite à toutes les parties prenantes la comprehension des normes universelles et à les mettre en pratique."

Le Guide d’Audit SPI4 est le guide pratique qu’il vous faut pour vous accompagner dans la réalisation d’un audit et dans l’analyse des indicateurs SPI4!

"Un aperçu de la gestion de la performance socialeCet article répond aux questions suivantes: “Ce qu’est la GPS, quels sont les bénéfices potentiels à tirer de la GPS, et comment démarrer?"

Etude de cas sur l'ACFB: Cette étude de cas raconte comment l’ACFB a répondu à une crise financière en renforçant sa gestion de performance sociale (GPS), avec grand succès. Son éxperience confirme que la GPS est un élément clé de la réussite commerciale.

Les trois normes universelles de la dimension 5 sont les suivantes:

5A: Le prestataire obéit à une politique de ressources humaines écrite qui protège les employés et crée un environnement de travail motivant.

5B: Le prestataire informe tous les employés des modalités de leur emploi et fournit des formations pour toutes les fonctions professionnelles essentielles.

5C: Le prestataire suit la satisfaction et le taux de rotation du personnel.

Explore SPTF's Guidance Notes, provide brief, practical guidance on a specific tool or resource that can help you improve Social Performance Management (SPM) practices.

2016 Guidance Notes

Low Growth: SPM Solutions, Issue 10, December 2016
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.

Client Delinquency and Default: SPM Solutions Issue 9, November 2016
Client delinquency and default erodes your institutional sustainability, and is a serious warning sign about client vulnerability. This guidance note will help you use the Universal Standards to tackle this problem.

Low Productivity: SPM Solutions Issue 8, October 2016
This Guidance Note discusses ideas and resources for tackling the issue of low productivity using an SPM perspective. It is part of the Guidance Note series SPM Solutions to Operational Challenges.

SPM Solutions to Operational Challenges Issue 7, September 2016
A new Guidance Note series will guide Financial Service Provider (FSP) leaders on tackling key strategic and operational challenges from an SPM perspective.

Learning from Exit Clients Issue 6, February 2016
This Guidance Note discusses why you should collect client exit data, how to do it, and what to do with the data once you have it.

2015 Guidance Notes

Guiding Your Board to Manage Social Performance Issue 5, October 2015
This is a short guide for FSP managers on how to work with their boards to manage the FSP’s social performance. It will also be useful for others who work with provider boards, such as technical assistance providers, board chairs, funders, and others who want to understand the board’s role in SPM.

Convincing the Skeptic Issue 4, September 2015
For FSPs of every shape and size, SPM implementation means change. Changes to policies, changes to procedures, changes to organizational strategy. A smooth change management process means having everyone on board: from your investors to your front-line staff – and even sometimes your national regulator. Where you meet resistance to your SPM work, it’s useful to have a plan to convince your skeptics of the value of SPM. Where you meet resistance to your SPM work, it’s useful to have a plan to convince your skeptics of the value of SPM. For more on the financial benefits and trade-offs of SPM, read the MIX publication Where Good Intentions Meet Good Business Practice.

Mentor Guide Issue 3, July 2015
This note focuses on when and how FSPs can engage a mentor to help them improve SPM practices. The note also highlights the Mentorship Guide, a companion resource to the Universal Standards Implementation Guide.

Implementation Guide Issue 2, May 2015
This note focuses on how to use the Universal Standards Implementation Guide, which provides a “one-stop-shop” resource for implementing the Universal Standards. We hope you find this note helpful as you work to improve social performance management practices.

SPI4 Issue 1, April 2015
For our first note, we are featuring the SPI4, the universal assessment tool that integrates industry standards for social performance. The note details recent updates to the SPI4, how you can use the tool to assess practices and how it is compatible with other industry resources.

The 15 member ALINUS working group (ALigning INvestors due diligence with the Universal Standards) have agreed on a common sub-set of 80 SPI4 indicators to align their social data collection in due diligence. The ALINUS reporting option can be selected on the SPI4 welcome page. For further details (including investors using the tool and examples of SPI4 reports) please click here.

See CERISE February 2016 News for an update on the SPI4 -- Peer benchmarking now available - CERISE can now compare individual results to peer groups (regional, legal status, age, etc.).