SPTF Newsletter

November 2020                                            

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What are you most proud of in 2020? 

The team at SPTF has never been more proud of our community than we are now. In the midst of an intensely difficult year, you have shown your determination commitment to client centricity. All year, we followed your stories and highlighted them in our newsletters and social media. You inspire us! We want to amplify your accomplishments by continuing to share them with our membership. Tell us what you are most proud of in 2020, and we will feature it in our 2021 newsletters.  Email us!


December 3, 2020
12:00pm EST
Spanish webinar: How to implement the digital credit standards 

RIFF-CAC presents a  webinar in Spanish on how to implement Smart Campaign's guidelines for responsible digital credit

In June 2019, the Smart Campaign released guidelines that describe how FSPs can protect clients as they transition to digital credit. Fundación Genesis Empresarial (Guatemala) used these guidelines as a foundation for designing their digital financial services offerings. In this journey, Genesis implemented a RIFF- CAC improvement project that helped accelerate the digitalization process. Participants in this webinar will learn from Genesis' successes and challenges and ask questions of General Manager Edgardo Pérez.

December 3, 4, & 7, 2020
French training: Development and Use of the Business Continuity Plan (BCP) in Financial Institutions

In this online training in French, participants will learn the technical aspects of business continuity planning (BCP) in the context of COVID-19. 

Trainer Yves Deceuninck is an expert and management consultant in the area of risk management for financial institutions. In this crisis born from the COVID-19 pandemic, he has supported several institutions in the development of their business continuity plan.



Join a new initiative to strengthen human resource management in microfinance

The e-MFP Human Resources Action Group invites you to participate in a new Human Resources Management (HRM) initiative. The action group has developed a survey for financial service providers to understand their current state of HR practice and gain insight into alternative approaches that contribute to social and financial performance.

This survey is for all institutions who are serious about cultivating talent and protecting and benefiting their employees. Completing the survey will take about 90 minutes--you will be asked to reflect on your current HRM practices and be introduced to new ideas for how to do things better. e-MFP will share the global (anonymized) data from the entire survey response, so that you can compare your organization’s performance to the global benchmarks and identify areas of strength as well as opportunities for improvement. 

Interested? Watch a 4-minute video about this initiative in English or French. Spanish is coming soon!

Ready to go? Take the survey in English or French. Spanish is coming soon!

This initiative is part of a broader effort by the e-MFP HR Action Group to develop standards and benchmarks for human capacity development. By participating in this survey, you are assisting in their effort to bring awareness and resources to the area of human capacity development in microfinance. 

Collaborating partners: SPTF, MFC, TripleJump, Incofin, ADA, ILO, and Academy of German Cooperatives

Investors focus on client protection pathway after Smart Campaign closes 

Many of the Social Investor Working Group's recent meetings have focused on how to advance client protection practices after the Smart Campaign closes at the end of the year. The end of the Campaign provides an opportunity to rethink the client protection pathway, and investors have been particularly interested in rethinking the Campaign's endorsement process. While investors broadly agree that endorsement should continue, many believe it could be strengthened with increased transparency about endorsers' actions to improve client protection practices. 

To that end, the SIWG has created a sub-group focused on client protection, which has begun discussing these potential changes. View the sub-group's draft concept note on endorsement -- to be renamed "Commitment to Implement Client Protection Practices" -- here.  

Announcement: Social Investor Working Group elects Frank Streppel, Edouard Sers as co-chairs

SPTF congratulates Frank Streppel of Triodos Investment Management, who won the recent election for SIWG co-chair. In addition to co-managing the group, Frank will serve as one of two social investor representatives on the SPTF Board of Directors. He joins Emmanelle Javoy of Symbiotics, who was elected co-chair of the SIWG last year. 

Additionally, given the increased workload of the SIWG during the pandemic, the SIWG has decided to take on a third co-chair. We are happy to report that Edouard Sers of Grameen Credit Agricole Foundation, runner up in the election, has agreed to take on this role. He will serve as SIWG co-chair but will not have a seat on the SPTF Board of Directors. 

Frank and Edouard join the team as the SIWG continues to coordinate social investors' response to the pandemic and align investor input on the client protection pathway. The group has held 14 webinars since the pandemic hit in March, drawing more than 200 investors to the discussions, including a third of whom were joining SIWG calls for the first time.

To read more about SIWG's work this year -- which has included sharing investors' COVID coordination frameworks, reviewing reasonable covenants in light of the pandemic, and discussing implementation of SPTF's SPM Crisis Checklist -- view the meeting briefs on the SIWG's webpage

Celebrating our contributing members

European Investment Bank 

BNP Paribas

SPTF Members: Responsibility in Action

  • Congratulations and applause to e-MFP on another successful (and first virtual) European Microfinance Week! Check e-MFP's website in the coming days for presentations, videos, and the conference report.
  • Based on demand from members, The Microfinance Centre is now offering digital readiness resources, including a Digital Readiness Self-Assessment Tool, and an ongoing training series called Digital Literacy Bootcamp.
  • Earlier this year, BNP Paribas signed the 4th edition of its Employee Disability Agreement, which affirms the company's commitment to towards the professional integration of people with disabilities. This edition of the agreement established an objective of hiring 165 disabled employees, including 15% on permanent term contracts, over the three-year period of the agreement; increased professional integration and job retention for disabled employees; and training and awareness raising among able-bodied employees. 

The Responsible Inclusive Finance Facilities

RIFF grantees emphasize the importance of client data insights for crisis recovery

Over the past six months, SPTF has championed the importance of using data insights from clients to understand their COVID-related struggles and opportunities.

With FINCA and 60 Decibels, we offered the COVID-19 Client Interview Tool and a series of nine virtual events highlighting institutions from around the world who are collecting client data as a key part of their COVID response and recovery.

RIFF grantees have featured prominently among the institutions who are using the COVID-19 Client Interview Tool, including ASKI Philippines, members of the Cambodia Microfinance Association, members of the Lao Microfinance Association,  Assilassimé Solidarité Togo, RENACA Benin, U-IMCEC Senegal, members of the Uganda Microfinance Foundation, Cooperativa de Ahorro y Crédito Microfinanzas Prisma, and four FINCA affiliates: Haiti, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

Apply for co-financing for an SPM project

If you’re interested in applying for co-financing for an upgrade project from one of SPTF’s regional responsible inclusive finance facilities, see below for the next application deadline in your region. 

  • Responsible Inclusive Finance Facility for Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East/North Africa (RIFF-SSA/MENA). Learn more about the facility. Next application deadline: Accepting applications on a rolling basis
  • Responsible Inclusive Finance Facility for Central America and the Caribbean (RIFF-CAC). Learn more about the facility. Next application deadline: March 31, 2020
  • Responsible Inclusive Finance Facility for Southeast Asia (RIFF-SEA). Learn more about the facility. Next application deadline: Accepting applications on a rolling basis.

Congratulations to Aracely Castillo, incoming Executive Director of REDCAMIF

As he steps down from his 21-year position as Executive Director of REDCAMIF, SPTF congratulates Ivan Gutierrez for his success in this role. We also congratulate the incoming Executive Director, Aracely Castillo! For the past three years, Aracely has served as SPTF's Coordinator for the RIFF-CAC and we are grateful for her dedication to SPM.


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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