SPTF Newsletter

Special Edition April 2020                                                                                           

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Be brave. Lead with compassion. Do it together. 

We celebrate your courage! - The SPTF team 


Social Responsibility to Employees During the Pandemic

A Focus on Employees + Customers

All of us want to reach the other side of this pandemic with our customer and employee relationships intact. We want to be proud of how we treated people in the most turbulent times. 

In the month of April, SPTF is exploring the theme of social responsibility to employees as it relates to the COVID pandemic. We urge you to watch our video on this topic and read our new blog post (below). As we develop more content, we invite you to join the conversation! Tell us:

  • What are your human resources (HR) challenges right now?
  • What creative HR solutions are you trying?
  • How are your employees responding to this crisis?

SPTF has also published A customer-centric response to the COVID-19 pandemic: Social Performance Management in Practice. These field examples, and the accompanying checklist, demonstrate how you can stay committed to your social objectives during this difficult moment.

Blog: Read SPTF's post on the FinDev Gateway blog

Check out SPTF's post on FinDev Gateway, which outlines three things practitioners can do today to treat staff responsibly during the crisis. 

Video: Tips for Treating Employees Responsibly

We gathered insights from across the industry and distilled them into a short video for practitioners. Check it out and leave a comment. We would love to hear about your tips!



                        Resources You Can Use

A centralized source of information on crisis management

We encourage you to submit your publications and events to FinDev Gateway, a collective space for the global finclusion community to share news and resources on the topic of COVID-19 and crisis management. Also available in Spanish and French

SPTF's Coronavirus Must-Reads

We've combed through much of the industry's pandemic-related resources to bring you a short list of Recommended resources. 

  • Accion published a briefing note that outlines its findings on how COVID-19 is impacting the financial inclusion industry and provides guidance for senior leaders on protecting their customers, employees, and business operations.
  • Larry Reed's Blog, Soul of Finance, offers first-hand accounts from the field, data on how MFIs and customers are being affected, as well as ideas on how digital financial services and customer education are useful for customers.  
  • BRAC International's COVID-19 information page for employees and clients has excellent videos and posters that can be replicated by other providers. 
  • Microfinance Center's webinar series: “How to build a corporate immune system for the crisis" is a series of webinars aimed at helping microfinance institutions overcome the challenges caused by the pandemic. Topics include business continuity, stress testing, loan restructuring, financial modeling, and more. All sessions are recorded and available on the MFC website.
  • ADA's Guide to Business Continuity Planning is a practical guide for MFIs and includes guidance for analysis and a checklist of measures for crisis management and BCP. It is also available in French and Spanish
  • COVID19: A Framework for the Microfinance Sector outlines a strategy for the rescue of the microfinance sector due to distress caused by the twin health and economic crises. 

                            SPTF Social Investor Working Group

Investors: Join the next SIWG call on April 29 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, April 29 from 9am EDT to 10am EDT. Please note this is a different time than our previous calls. 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 at katiehoffmann@sptf.info

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. 

4G Capital is using their existing distribution networks to get free disinfectant/cleaning supplies out to the public and is actively encouraging fellow investors to keep investing and providing the connective tissue of the economy.  
BRAC has been using their existing staff and contacts to execute a magnificent awareness campaign, delivering COVID prevention information and supplies to millions of people in the most vulnerable areas.  


CARD-MRI has been creatively leveraging Facebook to allow its members to function while quarantined.  This includes creating: (1) a FB marketplace so microentrepreneurs can continue doing business, (2) a FB healthcare group where doctors provide free health consultations via video and private messenger, and (3) a FB group where communities under quarantine can place orders for food, which CARD-MRI delivers after purchasing it in bulk from its farmer/vendor members.

      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: 

  • 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.

  • We have simplified the application forms to help FSPs apply more quickly.

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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