Standard 2b

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.


Guidance on Standard 2B

Imp-Act/MicroSave Guidance Note on Governance

This briefing focuses on the role of the board of directors in ensuring effective governance. In this context, the section on adopting a statement of values or code of conduct is relevant (page 6).

How to Develop an Institutional Code of Ethics

Establishing high standards of ethical employee behaviour is a two-part process; first, the provider defines standards of behaviour, and second, those standards are brought to life throughout the institution. This guide focuses on the first part of the process—defining standards of behaviour through a formal Code of Ethics.

Imp-Act SPM Practice Guide: Chapter 3

This chapter tackles creating a strategy to achieve social objectives (starting on page 64). This requires managers to use clients’ needs as a starting point, rather the products themselves, else risk missing an opportunity to effectively help clients. As part of this, the chapter discusses how to identify and overcome barriers that clients face in their economic lives, and how to reduce or mitigate risks.

Imp-Act/MicroSave Strategic Planning Guidance Note

This briefing offers guidance on how to ensure that social performance is included in strategic planning processes, as well as how to address key challenges. Pages 5-7 cover key issues to consider when setting a strategy for social performance management.

Internal control: Imp-Act Guidance Note

This briefing emphasises the importance of integrating social performance into internal controls and audit. It offers guidance on how financial service providers (FSPs) can systematically check compliance with their social mission into: client protection, quality of service provided to clients, and monitoring impact on clients’ lives.

Imp-Act Risk management guidance note

This briefing provides a quick overview of the main non-financial and operational risks typically overlooked by FSPs. It discusses the key institutional questions, and the importance of analysing existing practices to assess how the FSP may overlook some of these risks. It also presents emerging practices that FSPs are finding useful to help them integrate social performance into their risk management activities.

Learning from Client Exit: Imp-Act Practice Note No. 3

This Practice note will help your FSP track and understand client exit in a simple, low-cost way. It looks closely at what client exit can mean for your programme, and shows how you can define and measure your FSPs exit rate. It overviews tools you can use for finding out who is leaving your programme, and how these tools can help you profile the different types of leavers. The note also provides guidance on finding out why clients are exiting, and explains how to use exit information in the most effective way.

Imp-Act Guidance Note on Staff Incentives

This briefing frames the key questions to consider when reviewing an FSPs staff incentive system. It then identifies some emerging practices that FSPs are finding helpful in ensuring that the staff incentive systems appropriately balance their social and financial performance objectives. 

Tools and Templates

Small Enterprise Foundation (South Africa) Code of Ethics

This is an excellent example of a clearly written and well-structured code of ethics. It covers standards of behaviour expected from staff in relation to clients, the provider and the wider community. It also references rights of staff as employees of SEF, and lays out clear guidelines in terms of sanctioning unethical behaviour.

Smart Campaign Sample Client Protection and Ethics Codes

The SMART Campaign has compiled a list of codes of ethics from providers around the world, which are available for organisations to download and adapt.

Employee code of conduct e-Learning module (Grameen Financial Services, India)

This tool helps create a corporate culture that values high ethical standards among staff by ensuring that staff understand the provider's Code of Conduct.

Case Studies

FinDev Azerbaijan: Retaining key staff through a “pay for performance” culture

This case study provides a practical overview of the process of developing and implementing FinDev’s staff performance appraisal system and salary compensation scheme (including that of senior management). Written by the AMFA Network as part of the MFC SP Fund project.

ABA Egypt Compliance with the Universal Standards in Dimension 2 and 6

This presentation gives a practical overview of the systems and processes that ABA Egypt has put in place to comply with each essential practice of Dimensions 2 and 6.