Volunteers Lend Expertise to Help Certify the Progress out of Poverty Index™ (PPI™)

Preeti Wali is Communications Officer at the Grameen Foundation Social Performance Management Center (SPMC). She is based in Washington, DC.

Grameen Foundation is leveraging the value of volunteers to certify the use of the Progress out of Poverty Index™ (PPI™) by MFIs around the globe. We‘re recruiting and providing specialized training to a reserve corps of Bankers without Borders volunteers preparing them to document and gather the necessary information to apply the PPI Standards of Use through a certification process to PPI users. We’ve just started this process through a pilot certification of two MFIs, ESAF Microfinance (India) and FINCA Peru. The formal certification program will be rolled out this fall.
Volunteers like Mia Feldman and Jamie Dunchick have visited MFIs in Peru and India. Here are some of the insights from their trips:
As a volunteer for the Grameen Foundation Bankers without Borders® program, my goal in
Peru was to conduct a Grameen Foundation certification of the use of the Progress out of Poverty Index™ (PPI™) at FINCA Peru. The PPI is a 10-question poverty assessment tool that helps poverty-focused organizations to understand the poverty distribution of the their clients and target clients, track poverty over time, and to adjust their products and services to best serve their clients in moving out of poverty.
It was encouraging to see that Iris had learned as much from the PPI questionnaires completed by her clients as I did. She was surprised to glean from a PPI sample study that fewer than expected of her clients sampled were below the poverty line. The information reinforced FINCA Peru’s strategy to focus on more rural clients to reach the poorest in Peru.
Continue reading Mia’s blog post.

Over the course of one week, I work closely with ESAF’s PPI Manager, Benita, and am privileged to have access to staff from the managing director to the loan officers, as well as to be introduced to several ESAF India clients. Based on my interactions, it seems to me that ESAF India is committed to meeting their clients’ needs and social goals. As the PPI contributes to both, they are in the process of implementing various processes and training to achieve best-in-class PPI use.

Even more apparent is the confidence that microfinance loans and membership in a sangam has instilled in the clients. These women have gained not only financial benefits, but also greater independence, practice managing money and people, and, according to one loan officer, “social fearlessness.”

Continue reading Jamie’s blog post.