2019 marks ten editions of the European Microfinance Award and to celebrate, e-MFP has decided to reach out to the previous winners, for a ‘where are they now?’ blog series, published throughout 2019, to look at what they have been doing with their initiative since they won, and how the winning of the Award has helped, and what plans they have in store. In 2016, the theme of the Award was "Microfinance & Access to Education". Kashf Foundation of Pakistan won for Kashf School Sarmaya, or Kashf Education Financial Program (KEFP), a holistically designed credit facility providing access to finance to Low Cost Private Schools as well as a capacity building and training for teachers and school owners, and a training of trainers on Financial Education for Youth. We’re delighted to catch up with them in the second of our interviews.
When we at WSBI set out its Scale2Save Programme in 2016, we anticipated that customer centricity was a challenge for savings and retail banks in Africa. The programme’s first-ever study, "State of savings and retail banking Africa", released earlier this year, has proven that to be true. Based on responses to a survey of 34 WSBI Africa member institutions, the study shows that making small-scale savings work requires both more thought on the supply side, and a better acknowledgement of the needs of people – the demand side – too. The 50-page report is part of the research component of Scale2Save – a partnership between WSBI and Mastercard Foundation – and reveals that member banks offer an array of transaction and savings accounts as part of their drive to attract and satisfy customers.
In 2012, the Social Performance Task Force published the Universal Standards of Social Performance Management. Created both by, and for, practitioners in the sector, these Universal Standards gather together a collection of good management practices which should enable financial service providers to accomplish their social mission. Since then, how have microfinance institutions appropriated these standards? In 2014, the social audit tool, SPI4, developed by Cerise, was fully aligned with these standards so as to allow financial service providers to assess their social performance management practices, to identify their strengths and weaknesses and to target possible avenues for improvement. Accordingly, since 2014, Cerise has collected in a centralised database all of the SPI4 audits which have been performed and submitted. In 2018, ADA and Cerise joined forces to analyse this database and to carry out a study to review the current practices related to the assessment and management of social performance.