Tools and Resources for Assessing Social Impact



This method measures the social impact of a microfinance institute (MFI). This is accomplished by forming a social performance assessment team to conduct audits by interviewing management, staff, board members, and clients; reviewing the strategic and business plans and minutes of board meetings; reviewing data from the MFI's client database; gathering data from external surveys or other sources to validate the MFI's database and searching secondary source data, such as national data, the MIX, market studies, etc.; creating a map of geographic coverage; and making branch visits. The result is a detailed social audit report for the institution and a social scorecard.

ACCION developed the SOCIAL tool in 2003, and tested it out at four partner institutions. The methodology was quite labor intensive (2 staff people at the MFI for a week) and therefore it was made available for public use, but ACCION does not offer this assessment among the services available through its technical assistance packages. ACCION has also developed a set of consumer protection (the baseline for social performance) measurement tools that enable microfinance institutions to evaluate themselves using the framework of the Principles of Client Protection and a checklist of key indicators.

Tags: framework, report, scorecard/rating

Key Elements
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