Recognizing Microfinance Practitioners for Outstanding Social Performance Practices

As the microfinance industry evolves, so too does its understanding of its own goals and practices. Over the past few years, the industry has come to recognize that sound financial performance is not sufficient to ensure the achievement of microfinance’s social objectives. Social performance management — the process of ensuring that an MFI acts in a socially responsible manner — has emerged as a crucial factor in addressing this issue.

To recognize those MFIs committed to transparent social performance monitoring and management, MIX, along with CGAP, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, and the Ford Foundation, initiated an award program in 2009 aimed at promoting social performance reporting. In 2010, MIX distributed 29 Gold Awards and 82 Silver Awards to MFIs for their level of disclosure, comprising roughly 31% of all MFIs reporting social performance information to MIX. Twelve networks also received awards for achieving a target of 50% or more of their members reporting social performance data.

In our third year of social performance data collection, MIX and the rest of the awards committee has decided to strengthen the award criteria. In addition to rewarding MFIs on the basis of transparency, this year the award will recognize good practices in social performance management as well. Furthermore, the award committee is excited to announce a brand new level of award: Platinum.

The requirements to receive the various levels of the Social Performance Reporting Awards are as follows:

Silver Award:

  • Complete the social performance questionnaire found in the MIX Online Profile Editor
  • Submit proper documentation to MIX proving the existence of reported social performance policies
  • Report poverty measurement data to MIX

Gold Award:

In addition to completing the requirements of the Silver Award, MFIs must:

  • Have a social rating from 2008 or later
  • Show social change related to their mission
  • Show high levels of client retention based on their respective market

Platinum Award:

In addition to completing the requirements of the Silver and Gold Awards, MFIs must:

  • Fill out an additional survey assessing new indicators (MIX will send this survey to all MFIs in August)

To be eligible for the 2011 Social Performance Reporting Awards, MFIs must report social performance data to MIX by September 30, 2011.

Networks and investors will also be awarded for their role in promoting social performance management and reporting. Network Awards feature two levels: Silver (for reaching 60% of affiliates reporting social performance data to MIX) and Gold (for reaching 90% of affiliates reporting social performance data to MIX). Investor awards also feature two levels: Silver (for reaching 55% of financed MFIs reporting social performance data to MIX) and Gold (for reaching 25% of financed MFIs eligible for a Gold Award).

For more information about the Social Performance Reporting Awards, contact Ms. Micol Pistelli:

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