PUBLICATIONS

Geodata for Inclusive Finance: Data Privacy

November 18, 2019

Geodata for Inclusive Finance: Data Privacy

Ben Wallingford and Kieya Derrick, part of MFR Africa team, in coordination with Lucia Spaggiari, MFR Business development Director, did this work for NpM, Platform for Inclusive Finance, and Smart Campaign, on the highly interesting and emerging topic of geodata and privacy risks. The research included MFR experience in client data privacy, case studies on two Kenyan FSPs, and desk research. The reporting covers good practices, challenges, and open questions.

Download
Digital Pathways in Financial Inclusion

May 29, 2019

Digital Pathways in Financial Inclusion

The key relationship between financial inclusion and the technology that enables it is increasingly well recognised. The European Microfinance Award 2018 highlighted the ways financial services providers can integrate new technological opportunities into how they serve theirclients. It sought to highlight technology-enabled services that are improving access to finance for low income and
financially excluded clients. By recognising those that do it best, it hopes to promote those financial providers that offer innovative products and services capable of responding to users’ needs for trust, speed, low cost, security, usability, and transparency, and become standard-setters for other players in the market. This publication, carried out by e-MFP with Lucia Spaggiari, Chiara Pescatori, Gabriela Erice, Gemma Cavaliere, and Daniel Rozas, features the winner, finalists and semi-finalists of the 2018 Award.

Download
Assessment of the Sustainable Performance of SME Finance Service Providers

November 9, 2018

Assessment of the Sustainable Performance of SME Finance Service Providers

The European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP) and the Social Performance Task Force (SPTF) have published a study on the Assessment of the Sustainable performance of SME finance institutions. The study was drafted by Lucia Spaggiari, MFR Business Development Director, in collaboration with the e-MFP Investor Action Group and the Social Performance Task Force (SPTF) Social Investors Working Group. The proposed approach offers modular options to investors willing to assess the sustainable performance of SME FSPs (Financial Servive Providers). The suggested metrics adapt the SPTF Universal Standards of Social Performance Management to the different goals, language and needs of SME banks and other SME FSPs.

Download
Microfinance Barometer 2017

July 10, 2018

Microfinance Barometer 2017

Measuring client outcomes: The frontier of social performance management” on the 2017 Microfinance Barometer. The piece, written by MFR Business Development Director and Coordinator of the e-MFP Investors Action Group Lucia Spaggiari, explains how financial inclusion and impact finance are learning from each other at the frontier of social performance management.

Download
Insight – Responsible pricing: field evidence

June 18, 2017

Insight – Responsible pricing: field evidence

MFR would like to share its experience in assessing responsible pricing and to provide some operational guidance to financial service providers (FSPs) to promote best practices. The recommendations presented here largely draw upon the research and guidance provided by responsible inclusive industry stakeholders, namely MFTransparency, Smart Campaign, and the Social Performance Task Force.

Download
Research Paper on the Socio-economic Outcome Management of Microfinance Services in Palestine

April 15, 2017

Research Paper on the Socio-economic Outcome Management of Microfinance Services in Palestine

In the framework of FIN PAL – Financial Inclusion in Palestine Program, financed by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, MFR was engaged to develop this research. The paper aims at designing the architecture to manage outcome, proposing a set of indicators and two alternative approches, tailored to the context of microfinance in Palestine (but customizable for other countries). This paper is strongly positioned as a pioneer in the growing literature of measuring the changes at client level thanks to the innovative perspective of involving the whole industry in a systematic way, with a shared and agreed methodology.

Download
Risk Management, the Engine for Responsible Financial Inclusion

March 23, 2017

Risk Management, the Engine for Responsible Financial Inclusion

Towards positive impact on risk management and consumer protection. The Risk Management Graduation Model (RMGM) is a scalable, comprehensive risk management framework for microfinance institutions. This framework has been rigorously developed, tested, and implemented by financial institutions, consultants, networks, and microfinance associations worldwide as a global risk management benchmark.

Download
Guidelines on Outcomes Management for Investors

November 7, 2016

Guidelines on Outcomes Management for Investors

Outcomes Management for Investors: “Guidelines for integrating outcomes measurement, analysis, and reporting into the operations of inclusive finance investors, asset managers, and other funders”. The paper is developed in partnership with the European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP) and the Social Performance Task Force (SPTF).

These guidelines review emerging practices and provide insights on why and how investors can engage in the challenging task of outcomes management.

Download
Insight – Financial literacy

September 27, 2016

Insight – Financial literacy

Client financial literacy is generally low. It is not automatically achieved with financial access and it needs deliberate financial education measures to improve. Henley Business School and MFR would like to contribute with a client level research to the analysis of financial literacy and its implications.

Download
Insight – Housing outcome

November 15, 2015

Insight – Housing outcome

Change measurement and housing microcredit: a good match.

The measurement of outcomes appears to be relatively more cost-effective in housing than in other areas such as income.

Lapo Microfinance Bank in Nigeria received funding from the French Development Agency to develop a loan product to finance affordable housing. MFR would like to share the experience of developing a system to measure the outcome of the affordable housing loans.

Download
Baromètre de la Microfinance 2014

July 6, 2015

Baromètre de la Microfinance 2014

Depuis les premières expériences de microcrédit il y a 40 ans, le secteur de la microfinance a connu une forte croissance. Ce rapide développement positionne la microfinance comme un instrument majeur d’inclusion financière, même si le secteur a connu des crises qui appellent à la mise en œuvre de modèles économiques plus responsables pour assurer la pérennité de sa mission.

À l’intérieur des graphiques donnent un aperçu des notations sociales dans le monde.

Download
Insight – El nuevo marco regulatorio para las microfinanzas en Bolivia

January 7, 2015

Insight – El nuevo marco regulatorio para las microfinanzas en Bolivia

Bolivia es reconocida internacionalmente como el país donde empezó, a inicios de los años noventa, la “comercialización” de las microfinanzas, con la constitución del primer banco especializado en microfinanzas (Banco Solidario S.A.) y con la creación de los Fondos Financieros Privados como un medio de transformación de las ONG´s de microcrédito en entidades reguladas (FFP´s). El sector de las microfinanzas creció rápidamente, logró superar exitosamente una fuerte crisis de sobreendeudamiento en el 2000, y se consolidó gradualmente a través de los años, consiguiendo amplio alcance, buena cobertura geográfica y resultados económicos positivos.

MFR desea compartir los cambios observados en el nuevo marco regulatorio para las microfinanzas en Bolivia, sus beneficios e implicaciones con el objetivo de identificar las consecuencias y posibles resultados para el sector en el corto y mediano plazo.

Download
Insight – The Microfinance Sector in Nigeria

November 10, 2014

Insight – The Microfinance Sector in Nigeria

Since the advent of microfinance banking in Nigeria, the microfinance sector has been confronted with several challenges and the impact of the global financial crisis on microfinance banks has been more severe than anticipated.

MFR would like to share the main features of the Nigerian microfinance sector, highlighting the major challenges the industry is still facing.

Download
Microfinance Barometer 2013

July 8, 2014

Microfinance Barometer 2013

In less than a decade, microfinance has generated two opposite reactions: hope and enthusiasm, following Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank’s Nobel Peace Prize; doubt and mistrust, in the wake of repeated crises worldwide. So, is there still a case for microfinance? In this 4th edition of the Microfinance Barometer, researchers and practitioners worldwide answer positively: not only does microfinance have the potential to contribute to the social, economic and financial inclusion of the worse-off populations; it is also ready to take the necessary steps to ensure that its practices are more responsible, innovative, and impactful.

Inside, a series of graphs showing worldwide social rating results.

Download
Does Good Client Protection Impact Financial Performance?

May 12, 2014

Does Good Client Protection Impact Financial Performance?

Financial Performance and Good Client Protection.

Serve clients well. Prevent over-indebtedness. Be transparent and price products reasonably. treat clients respectfully, listen to their grievances and protect their privacy. It’s hard to argue against any one of these things. The seven Client Protection Principles make undisputedly good sense. But do they make for good business?

Download
Insight – The Microfinance Sector in Morocco

March 14, 2014

Insight – The Microfinance Sector in Morocco

Morocco microfinance sector is among the most developed in the MENA Region, accounting for about 64% of the total outstanding portfolio in the Region.

MFR would like to share some of the results arising from the Country Study recently carried out in Morocco, with a particular focus on the repayment crisis that affected the Country and highlighting the main opportunities and threats for investments in the microfinance sector after the crisis.

Download
Insight – Educación Financiera

December 28, 2013

Insight – Educación Financiera

El 75% de los proyectos de Educación Financiera comenzaron a finales de los años noventa. Es notorio el reciente interés que la educación financiera ha despertado alrededor de todo el mundo, existiendo varios factores que legitimaron la necesidad de la educación financiera, tales como:

La metodología de calificación social examina los servicios no financieros así como políticas y proyectos de responsabilidad social que beneficien a la comunidad.

Download
Insight – Environment Rating

September 6, 2013

Insight – Environment Rating

MFR would like to share some experience in environment rating, inspired by practices observed in the field while conducting social ratings of MFIs, aiming at promoting best practices.

Some may argue that the environment is not relevant in microfinance. While there is little debate around the major role that the public institutions should play, in our opinion microfinance institutions should be:

  • encouraged to avoid harming the environment;
  • rewarded for positive commitment and actions;
  • regarded as powerful channels for green projects.

Download
Insight – Transparency in practice

June 7, 2013

Insight – Transparency in practice

Examples of transparency into practice. MFR would like to share some experience in client protection, inspired by good practices observed in the field while conducting social ratings, client protection certifications and financial ratings of MFIs, aiming at promoting best practices.

Download
Insight – Treat your employees responsibly

March 7, 2013

Insight – Treat your employees responsibly

This insight aims at contributing to the market transparency by providing an independent analysis of the implementation of USSPM #5 in the Philippines. MFR’s Social Rating methodology is fully aligned with the Universal Standards for Social Performance (USSPM) and includes a dedicated annex where the implementation of each standard can be demonstrated (USSPM external validation).

Download