At Truelift, we are very happy to welcome Ahon Sa Hirap, Inc. (ASHI) to the Pro-poor Community of Practice with the Truelift Aspirant Milestone. ASHI has completed the Truelift Poverty Module with the help of its partner at the MicroFinance Council of the Philippines by completing the SPI4 and the Truelift poverty module. The SPI4 by CERISE allows users to evaluate their level of implementation of different standards of good practice. Please visit the CERISE website to learn more about the SPI4.
ASHI was established in 1991 in Quezon City as an official NGO. It was one of the pioneers of the Grameen Bank Approach in the Philippines and one of the founders of the Micro- Finance Council of the Philippines. ASHI’s vision is to be “(…) in solidarity with the marginalized women and their families, for poverty alleviation and active participation in social development”, with the objective to be a “sustainable enterprise managed by an empowered, effective and efficient workforce with extensive quality outreach offering innovative and diversified Grameen-based programs and products resulting to resilient ASHI communities” by 2020. By getting recognized with a Truelift Aspirant Milestone, ASHI is able to assess the relevance of its work with its pro-poor mission and objective.
ASHI has established a strong Social Performance Management Framework by using the Progress out of Poverty Index (PPI) developed by Grameen Foundation. It has defined a clear population target using the PPI score and is working toward its mission. The PPI is also used to track the progress made by their clients out of poverty between cycles. Its good practices using the PPI have allowed ASHI to obtain a PPI Basic & Advanced PPI certification in 2011.
According to Truelift Principle 2, “Services that Meet the Needs of Poor Clients”, ASHI is ensuring a appropriateness of its services & products. It organizes weekly discussions with its partners that are reported to the management and are used to improve their services, for example widening the loan options choice in term of duration, adding the possibility to contract a loan for 2 weeks and 75 weeks. They also perform exit surveys for partners dropping out of their program in order to better understand the reason for exit. This allows ASHI a very good retention rate of 93% in 2015 among their clients.
Finally ASHI is reinforcing its methodology for “poverty alleviation and active participation in social development” by offering a large selection of trainings. Those trainings range from business and financial literacy to health and social related matters and are made in partnership with local government units and other partner organizations with the same objective to help “marginalized women and their families”.
We are very excited to welcome ASHI as a Truelift Aspirant Milestone Institution and look forward to working with them as they progress on the Pro-Poor Pathway!
A simple question: I have not heard news from Truelift, or even mention of the organisation, for ages. Is it still functioning? Given the closure of MFT and the locking away of all MixMarket data behind a paywall, and the broader decline in the reputation of microfinance as an effective poverty-alleviation tool, I wonder if Truelift is still operating. Such institutions struggle to raise financing. Is all okay with you guys?
Yes, we are alive and kicking, but without resources adequate to hire staff (see last year’s blog posted here and here). So we operate with volunteers as staff as well as Steering Committee and Technical Advisory Committee members. We have been quiet for the past year, attending to unfinished business, but we are working to expand the number of service providers recognized by Truelift for their pro-poor performance. With each new recognition, there will be a new round of communication. Without a major communication and promotion budget, it will be a very slow process to build the Truelift brand to the point of global industry significance. Thanks for your interest and concern.