SP Task Force

In March 2005, CGAP, the Argidius Foundation, and the Ford Foundation brought together leaders from various social performance initiatives in the microfinance industry to come to agreement on a common social performance framework and to develop an action plan to move social performance forward. Two working groups were formed as a result of this meeting: the Social Performance Task Force and the CGAP Donor Working Group on Social Performance.

Today, the Social Performance Task Force (SPTF) consists of over 2,600 members from all over the world and every microfinance stakeholder group: practitioners, donors and investors (multilateral, bilateral, and private), global, regional, and national associations and networks, technical assistance providers, rating agencies, academics, regulators, and others.  Day-to-day operations of the Task Force are run by the SPTF Secretariat, while a Board of Directors with representatives from all major stakeholder groups provides strategic leadership and oversight.

The SPTF defines social performance as the effective translation of a microfinance organization's mission into practice: A double bottom line institution seeks both social and financial performance.  In other words, it seeks both financial sustainability and the achievement of one or more social goals. Though each institution will have its own unique social goals, all institutions with a commitment to social performance share the broader purpose of increasing financial inclusion and creating benefits for clients, beginning with reducing client vulnerability.

In shorthand, social performance is often defined as "doing good," while client protection focuses on "doing no harm."  These two are complementary.  Note, however, that whether they care only about financial performance or focus on social performance as well, all institutions have a moral obligation to ensure that they do not harm clients.

Social performance management is standard business practice and considered fundamental to achieving the social promise of microfinance.

To engage with microfinance stakeholders to develop, disseminate and promote standards and good practices for social performance management and reporting.

The SPTF will achieve this by:

  • Providing a platform for dialogue, learning and collaboration
  • Facilitating engagement and advocacy across the industry at all levels – practitioners, networks, support agencies, donors, investors, regulatory authorities
  • Setting industry standards for social performance management, measurement, monitoring, reporting and training
  • Promoting good practices and demonstrated success of MFIs engaged in social performance management

Further information on the Social Performance Task Force: