Unitus Announces Grama Vidiyal, AMK as Latest Partners in Social Performance Management Implementation Project
Indian, Cambodian Institutions Join Effort to Maximize Effectiveness of Microfinance
BANGALORE, 26 May 2010 — In keeping with its goal of bringing greater effectiveness to the work of microfinance institutions (MFIs) worldwide, global nonprofit Unitus, Inc. proudly announces today the signing of Cambodia’s Angkor Microfinance Kampuchea (AMK) and India’s Grama Vidiyal as the second and third participants in Unitus’s innovative Social Performance Management Implementation Project (SPM IP).
“We are pleased to include AMK and Grama Vidiyal in the SPM IP as both organizations are highly regarded and have ambitious business and social goals.” said Richard Wardell, VP Global Programs with Unitus.
Social performance management (SPM) is an institutionalized process that involves setting clear social objectives (e.g., improved quality of housing, healthcare), monitoring and assessing progress toward achieving these goals, and using the insights gained to improve the overall performance and impact of MFIs.
“The SPM IP is a unique opportunity to be more innovative in how we collect information and integrate client-centric evaluation into our operations, building on the social performance management strengths for which AMK is already recognized,” said Paul Luchtenburg, CEO of AMK. “I am very excited to be partnering with Unitus on the SPM IP, as I think together we can ensure that our organization is best positioned to meet the needs of our borrowers.”
Launched in September of 2009, the SPM IP is a two-stage process that harnesses Unitus’s solid understanding of the MFI strategies and operations to aid partners in integrating social performance management tools into business practices. In the project’s SPM Foundation phase, Unitus works with MFI partners to conduct analysis of existing social performance data, collects additional data using the Grameen Foundation Progress out of Poverty Index™ (PPI™), and conducts an internal social audit using the CERISE Social Performance Indicator (SPI). Based on SPM Foundation phase findings, partners may choose to participate in the project’s second SPM Optimization phase to fully adopt and integrate SPM into their regular operations.
“This is a very exciting opportunity for Grama Vidiyal, especially as our 25th anniversary approaches,” said Grama Vidiyal Founder & Chairman Managing Director Mr. S. Devaraj, “We are confident that the insights gained from a stronger understanding of our clients’ needs will ensure a more impactful and prosperous second quarter century for our organization.”
Today’s announcement follows the November 2009 introduction of India’s Ujjivan as the SPM IP’s first MFI participant. Both AMK and Grama Vidiyal expect to complete the first phase in late summer of 2010, with recommendations for phase two delivered during the fourth quarter of this year.
“The project is intended to help MFIs create the systems necessary for evaluating client satisfaction, and to offer insight into how to best meet client needs,” Wardell said, “we firmly believe that delivering what the clients need and value is the best way to ensure positive business and social outcomes.”
About Angkor Microfinance Kampuchea
Angkor Microfinance Kampuchea (AMK) is a licensed Microfinance Institution operating in Cambodia. AMK originated from the savings and credit components of the community development work of Concern Worldwide in Cambodia from 1993 but only became a directly implemented program in 1999. Following the new Cambodian microfinance regulation, AMK became a separate company and obtained a license from the Cambodian central bank in 2004.
AMK mission is “to help large numbers of poor people to improve their livelihood options through the delivery of appropriate and viable microfinance services”. Thus, AMK’s priorities as a provider of rural finance are centered in its operational and financial sustainability, while maintaining its social objective. AMK is currently serving almost 220,000 clients with loan portfolio nearly 25 million US dollar, and covering all 24 provinces and city throughout the country. For more information, please visit www.amkcambodia.com
About Grama Vidiyal
Grama Vidiyal Microfinance Limited (GVMFL) is a leading and profitable microfinance institution (MFI) serving over 850,000 poor women in Tamil Nadu, India. The Activists for Social Alternatives (ASA) is the not-for-profit, Mother NGO founded by Sri. S. Devaraj the present CMD of GVMFL P. Ltd., and was named Grama Vidiyal meaning “Dawn of Rural Poor”, the microfinance program of ASA, registered as a Public Charitable Trust in 1997 and then transformed into GVMFL, an NBFC, in February 2007. For more information, please visit www.gvmfl.com
Unitus, an international nonprofit organization, fights global poverty by accelerating the growth of microfinance—small loans and other financial tools for self-empowerment—where it is needed most. We target our efforts in high-need regions of the developing world where microfinance has promise but is struggling to grow. Over the past decade, we’ve helped our partners serve more than 10 million families throughout India and Southeast Asia, East Africa, Mexico, and South America.
Unitus is a 501(c) 3 with offices in Seattle, USA, Bangalore, India and Nairobi, Kenya.
About the Grameen Foundation PPI™ and the CERISE SPI
The Grameen Foundation Progress out of Poverty Index™ (PPI™) is a country-specific quantitative and standardized survey administered to MFI clients to assess client poverty level and monitor changes in client social and economic well-being. The PPI was commissioned by Grameen Foundation, in collaboration with the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), the Ford Foundation, and Microfinance Risk Management, L.L.C., to enable MFIs to better understand their clients’ needs and evaluate the effectiveness of their programs and products.
The CERISE Social Performance Indicator is a 45-question quantitative and standardized survey to assess MFI systems in key areas including outreach to the poor and excluded, ability to adapt products and services based on client need, capacity to improve economic and social benefits to clients, and level of social responsibility. Each was chosen by Unitus for use in the SPM IP from a collection of competing measurement tools for its ability to provide a holistic picture of an MFI’s social performance.