Truelift is pleased to welcome MicroLoan Foundation Malawi as a Truelift Aspirant. At the 2014 Microcredit Summit in Mexico, MicroLoan Foundation Malawi was presented with its Truelift Aspirant Milestone Certificate. MicroLoan Foundation Malawi joins CAURIE Micro Finance and Small Enterprise Foundation (SEF) as Milestone Institutions in Africa.
As a Truelift Aspirant, MicroLoan Foundation Malawi has taken the first step in demonstrating its commitment and intent to reach, provide services for, and create positive results for clients living in poverty by completing the Truelift Indicators Tool.
About MicroLoan Foundation Malawi
The MicroLoan Foundation helps the most marginalized women in sub-Saharan Africa to develop entrepreneurial solutions to poverty and inequality. They provide small loans and extensive, on-going business and financial training to women who are excluded from financial services, the formal economy or employment. Through these services, clients develop small, sustainable businesses, which generate profits and savings, and increase household spending on healthcare, dietary consumption and education. With on-going training and support, they can build the capacity of their businesses and in time, secure long-term solutions to poverty. MicroLoan Foundation Malawi has been working in Malawi since 2002 and currently support almost 29,000 clients through a network of branches across the country. To learn more about MicroLoan Foundation, click here to access their website and here to see their MIX profile.
Truelift believes that 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 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 below information represents highlights gathered from the Truelift Indicators Tool submitted by MicroLoan Foundation Malawi.
Purposeful Outreach to People Living in Conditions of Poverty
MicroLoan Foundation Malawi’s mission is “to help the poorest women in rural Africa transform their lives by lifting themselves and their families out of poverty.” MicroLoan Foundation Malawi makes it a priority to target women in rural poverty.
Currently, 42% of their clients are located in the poorest 50% of districts. MicroLoan Foundation Malawi recruits and trains their staff so that they understand their social mission and understand the specific PPI skills required for accurate data collection.
Services that Meet the Needs of People Living in Coonditions of Poverty
MicroLoan Foundation Malawi has given priority to developing services that meet the needs of their poor clients. They offer different loan products that allow their clients to graduate from lower-value loan products to higher-value loan products. There are options for different repayment frequencies as well as loan terms.
Along with loans, MicroLoan Foundation Malawi offers ongoing business training and support to their clients. Their client-training program is designed using adult learning methodologies, which makes it more relevant to their women clients’ lives and needs.
Tracking Progress of People Living in Conditions of Poverty
Within the last year, MicroLoan Foundation Malawi has developed a new system of client monitoring that utilizes focus group discussions, exit discussion and business assessment to better understand client feedback on products and services, quality of their service delivery, risks to clients and reasons for client exit. The senior management is kept in the loop through regular reporting of these discussions. MicroLoan Foundation Malawi is able to track their clients at the individual level, which enables them to provide more flexible products and services.
On the Process to Complete the Tool: While MicroLoan Foundation Malawi completed the Truelift Indicators Tool over an extended period of time, they estimate that it would have taken 2-3 days for one person to complete it. During the process of completing the tool, MicroLoan Foundation Malawi sought help from several colleagues as well as external support from Truelift for clarification of some of the indicators and more technical questions. The Wiki Guidelines proved to be extremely useful in the process.
On their Pro-Poor Practices: MicroLoan Foundation Malawi reported that the Truelift Indicators Tool helped them with understanding their organizational weaknesses as well as highlighting areas for improvement that they may have never thought of. They found the indicators relating to data measurement, quality and analysis especially useful, as they are currently undergoing strategic review as well as the implementation of a new management system.
Congratulations to MicroLoan Foundation Malawi! We encourage other-poverty focused institutions to take the first step on the Pro-Poor Pathway. To learn more about the assessment process and the Truelift Indicators Tool, please click here.