Announcing: the Pro-Poor Principles

Pro-Poor Principles series
We are proud to announce the Pro-Poor Principles! As the culmination of three years of work, the Pro-Poor Principles form the foundation for good practice in reaching and serving poor clients. They also serve as the core of our assessment framework that will help to identify those organizations doing the most to reach people living in poverty, to meet their needs, and to track progress over time.

The journey to the principles included alpha and beta testing, using a lengthy set of indicators which were reduced and refined. Many meetings and months of deliberation were conducted by our Technical Committee of industry experts. Performance against these standards will help to define the level of recognition that a microfinance institution can receive from the Seal of Excellence Secretariat.

In this continuing series of blog posts, we will elaborate on the path that brought us to these Pro-Poor Principles. The principles will inform both the learning agenda in our community of practice, as well as our methodology for determining organizations that will be recognized by the Pro-Poor Seal of Excellence.

We appreciate any thoughts you have on the Pro-Poor Principles and how best to apply them to practice. If you would like more information, please contact MeasureLearnChange[at]gmail.com.

Principle 1: Purposeful Outreach to People Living in Poverty
Principle 2: Services that Meet the Needs of People Living in Poverty
Principle 3: Tracking Progress of People Living in Poverty

Each of the Pro-Poor Principles consists of four sub-categories:

  • Intent and Strategy: Does the organization have a plan to reach its goals?
  • Measurement and Data Quality: Does the organization use systematic data collection in its work?
  • Results Achieved: Does the organization deliver on its plans?
  • Reporting and Use of Information: Does the organization react to information it collects and adapt to get better?

Principle 1: Purposeful Outreach to People Living in Poverty

  • Intent and Strategy
    Intent and systems to offer services to people who are poor by comparison to relevant poverty lines in different regions (corresponding approximately to the bottom 40% in middle income countries, the bottom 60% in low income countries, the bottom 20% in high income countries)
  • Measurement and Data Quality
    Poverty measurement of all or a representative sample of clients upon entry, using data collection methods and checks that generate robust data with appropriate analysis
  • Results Achieved
    Percentages of entering clients below selected poverty lines, or indicators of poverty, compared to the percentages for the national or regional population
  • Reporting and Use of Information
    Poverty outreach results are reported with adequate frequency to the Board of Directors and senior management and used to monitor outreach goals and affect operational and strategic decisions regarding geographic expansion, delivery channels and product development

Principle 2: Services that Meet the Needs of People Living in Poverty

  • Intent and Strategy
    Product/service design is informed by systems in place to continuously source insights about poor clients’ needs, constraints, and behaviors at entry and over time; Processes in place to recognize and support clients in vulnerable situations or suffering financial stress
  • Measurement and Data Quality
    Robust systems for quality assurance monitoring of services to poor clients and for client protection and retention, with special attention to client and field officer feedback and experience, generate good quality data with appropriate analysis
  • Results Achieved
    Evidence from poor clients’ use of products/services, their feedback and retention indicates products/services and protection are appropriate for poor clients and their households
  • Reporting and Use of Information
    Results are reported with adequate frequency to the Board of Directors and senior management and used to assess and improve quality of products and services and their delivery

Principle 3: Tracking Progress of People Living in Poverty

  • Intent and Strategy
    Systematic tracking of progress of poor clients and their households is based on indicators relevant to the institution’s specific poverty alleviation objectives
  • Measurement and Data Quality
    Periodic tracking of poor clients over time through representative sample or census approach, using reasonably accurate and credible measures of the chosen indicators, generates quality data with appropriate analysis
  • Results Achieved
    Evidence of change in lives of poor clients and their households over time, disaggregated by location, gender, service use, and starting poverty status indicator values
  • Reporting and Use of Information
    Board of Directors and senior management draw practical inferences from research reports and apply these to review social goals, effectiveness of services, and to think strategically about ways to add value for poor clients, as well as further research needs

How do the Pro-Poor Principles compare to
Your vision of pro-poor microfinance?

Questions? Comments?
Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

Percent_poverty_world_map

8 thoughts on “Announcing: the Pro-Poor Principles

  1. Bonjour Monsieur,

    Je suis bloqué par la langue, je suis francophone de la RDC.

    Freddy NUMBI NGOIE DG ADEKOR/IMF

  2. Pingback: Defining “Poverty”: Pro-Poor Principles series | Seal of Excellence

  3. Reblogged this on 100 Million Ideas and commented:

    As the culmination of three years of work, the Pro-Poor Principles form the foundation for good practice in reaching and serving poor clients.
    Principle 1: Purposeful Outreach to People Living in Poverty
    Principle 2: Services that Meet the Needs of People Living in Poverty
    Principle 3: Tracking Progress of People Living in Poverty

  4. Pingback: Data quality and the Pro-Poor Principles | Seal of Excellence

  5. Pingback: Announcing: the Pro-Poor Principles | 100 Million Ideas

  6. Pingback: Webinar “What is Truelift?” today! | 100 Million Ideas

  7. Pingback: What about Non-Financial Services? | Truelift

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