SAM and EMW 2021 – Focus on outcomes measurement

This year, CERISE was thrilled to take part in the African Microfinance Week (SAM) in Kigali in October, and in the virtual edition of the European Microfinance Week (EMW) in November.

During the SAM, CERISE conducted various trainings in collaboration with SPTF, among which one was specifically focusing on clients’ outcomes measurement (picture above). The training started with an introduction to the new revised Universal Standards for Social and Environmental Performance Management (USSEPM) related to clients’ outcomes measurement. And then, the idea was to show, through the case study of Crystal in Georgia how clients’ outcomes can be linked to SDGs and how to use this data for strategic decision-taking to improve an FSP’s overall performance. More than 80 experts (consultants, TA providers, researchers, investors, donors, etc.) participated to this training enabling very interesting interactions and exchanges among peers.

At EMW 2021, CERISE moderated two sessions. On November 17th, it was a joint meeting of the e-MFP Investors Action Group, CERISE LabODD (SDG Lab) and SPTF Social Investors Working Group. This session was an enriching process of international peer learning, with about 40 participants and 5 discussants: Ariane Schoen (Invest in Visions), Haruna Tanaka (Gojo), Yamini Annadaman (Ankuram), Nicolas Karambadzakis (ECLOF) and Amelia Kuklevicz (Grameen Foundation). They shared different perspectives and concrete experiences around a recent publication on Outcomes management and SDGs prepared by CERISE, e-MFP and SPTF: Outcomes management for Financial Service Providers: A proposed standard framework aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (Draft Working Paper | Version Nov 03, 2021).

The sharing illustrated the publication findings: tips for future data collection, how to make sure client data is used for decision making, challenges and next steps on outcomes measurement/management. It was nice to see the momentum for outcomes management, and discuss the issue of trust in data, role of FSP/external service providers to collect the data, standards/benchmarks for outcomes, etc.

CERISE, e-MFP and SPTF will finalize the draft publication with the latest inputs.

Read MicroCapital Special Report: Aligning Incentives, Setting Realistic Expectations for FSPs’ Outcomes Measurement at the e-MFP Investors Action Group

On November 18th, CERISE moderated a panel session on Impact and Outcomes Measurement – Investors’ Perspective. Cécile Lapenu presented recent trends influencing outcomes management, the efforts towards standardization and towards ensuring outcomes data can help in decision making to provide better products and services to clients. 3 panelists shared their perspectives as investors: Safeya Zeitun, Head of Impact at Tameo Solutions, Rachel Bass for The GIIN and Juan Luis Podesta, Technical Assistance Manager, Advisory Services for Triple Jump.

The session went deep into the current topics and questions regarding outcomes measurement and management. Participants discussed the issue of core standard indicator / additional customized, value of standards (benchmarks, easy entry point for FSP, minimum data for decision making, tracking changes overtime, etc.). They discussed the “why”, the business case, and how we should focus on the “sphere of influence” of the FSP to collect actionable/realistic outcomes, integrate negative outcomes, and take context into account to understand nonlinear changes. Finally, panelists reflected on how to change the culture towards more data-driven approach of decision making, to improve trust and quality of data.

Read MicroCapital Special Report: European Microfinance Week Action Group Meeting: Investors Not Incentivizing MFIs Sufficiently re Measuring Social Performance