Truelift is excited to welcome Chamroeun Microfinance to the Pro-Poor Pathway with their achievement of the Aspirant Milestone.
Chamroeun has shown their commitment to alleviating poverty through their completion of the Indicators Tool. The Truelift Indicators Tool allows an institution to identify its strengths and weaknesses in reaching poor clients, meeting their needs, and tracking progress over time. If you want to learn more about the assessment process and the Truelift Indicators Tool, please click here.
Chamroeun, “progress” in Khmer, was created in 2005 in an agreement between Entrepreneurs du Monde, Phnom Penh Municipality and the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a social microfinance project. In 2009, Chamroeun became a private company with Entrepreneurs du Monde as the main shareholder. Chamroeun Microfinance is currently providing financial and non-financial services to 48,442 households. In 2011, they decided to extend their action beyond microfinance by creating the Chamroeun Foundation Association. This Foundation uses part of Chamroeun’s net profit to fund local development programs and provide scholarships to children of very poor clients.
Chamroeun Microfinance – Completion of the Truelift Indicators Tool
Purposeful Outreach to People Living in Conditions of Poverty
Chamroeun’s mission is to, “improve the livelihoods, skills, and self-confidence of poor families in Cambodia by providing responsible microfinance and complementary socio-economic services”. Though Chamroeun was originally started in Phnom Penh, it extended its outreach through 40 service points and is now covering 15 of 25 provinces in Cambodia, 8 of which are located in the poorest provinces of Cambodia. Its products and services are designed to be easily accessible to poor households including an orientation on the loan application process prior to getting a loan. The poverty level of all clients is determined with the Poverty Assessment Tool in order to track Chamroeun’s poverty outreach. Staff are trained on how to collect PAT data, and to ensure high quality and accuracy of the loan profile, home visits are conducted by the loan committee for a certain sample of clients according to the product used. This allows Chamroeun to monitor if they are effectively reaching their target market but also to ensure that their clients’ needs match the product chosen.
Services that Meet the Needs of People Living in Conditions of Poverty
Chamroeun offers a wide variety of loans, each one created to cover a poor households’ particular needs. Clients are also able to receive a social emergency loan in case of external shocks such as sickness, disaster, death, etc. that otherwise could not be handled by their household. To help poor households face those external shocks, a partnership with a French NGO has been created to offer micro-insurance. After paying a small fee, $0.50/month , members have free access to district referral health centers and private clinics in all Chamroeun’s operational areas. Finally, Chamroeun also offers Business and Social Trainings. The Business Training helps clients to develop their business skills through five main modules such as spending, saving, avoiding over-indebtedness, budgeting and marketing. The Social Training includes raising awareness of issues such as health, nutrition, domestic violence, waste management, drug addiction, and other social matters.
In order to continue on this track, Chamroeun conducts satisfaction and exit surveys to determine how they can improve their services and meet the needs of their clients living in conditions of poverty.
Tracking Progress of People Living in Conditions of Poverty
Chamroeun is tracking its clients’ progress out of poverty through an analysis of their Poverty Assessment Tool score at every odd cycle. The result, published in their Poverty Assessment Tool Analysis shows a real improvement in their clients’ lives: in 2013, on average, between cycle one and cycle seven, clients have seen an improvement of 22.82% of their PAT scores. Indicators of Social Performance are gathered monthly into reports and transmitted to the Board and Senior Management. It helps them to identify the strengths and weakness of Chamroeun’s strategy toward its theory of change.
Next steps on the Pro-Poor Pathway
After completing the Truelift Indicators Tool, Chamroeun decided that they want to work towards better data collection. First, with the adoption of the Progress out of Poverty Index, Chamroeun will be able to match its poverty outreach with national data and have a better idea of their impact. Chamroeun also decided to improve its data collection by segmenting its clients’ data according to their different characteristics and thus, Chamroeun will have a better idea of how it can adapt its services to the most vulnerable.
Truelift is happy to welcome Chamroeun Microfinance as a Truelift Aspirant and assist them in their journey on the Pro-Poor Pathway.
To find Chamroeun Microfinance on the MIX Market, please follow this link.
Information about the Truelift Milestones can be found here. In addition, you can start to deepen your organization’s knowledge and intent to reach those living in conditions of poverty by downloading the Truelift Indicators Tool here.