Working Groups

Outcomes Working Group

Facilitator: Frances Sinha, Director EDA Rural Systems (India).
PurposeDevelop practical guidelines for credible measurement of and reporting on outcomes, drawing on experience with different approaches and tools.
Members: Open to all. 

1. Read the "What Matters Gets Measured" statement from the SPTF Board of Directors, August 2015.
2. Read the Brief on Outcomes Presentation given at the SPTF 2014 Annual Meeting in Dakar. This brief presents the top ten lessons that emerged on outcomes measurement and reporting from SPTF's interviews with practitioners and review of research  in advance of the 2014 SPTF annual meeting.
3. SEEP Sampling Methodology for Social Indicators
4. SEEP Microfinance Social Indicators in Practice
5. SEEP Why Use Social Indicators

14 October 2014 Meeting - Introductory Session:
PowerPoint Presentation
Brief summarizing the essential information from session 1
Presentación PowerPoint

21 October 2014 Meeting - Introductory Session (Repeat):
PowerPoint Presentation

18 December 2014 Meeting - "Theory of change – how it helps us think about what to measure and when."
PowerPoint Presentation
Brief summarizing the essential information from session 2

Bamboo Finance reports that it has been using impact maps/theory of change for a while, and is happy to share its Impact Report 2014 with you.  On page 15 of this report, there is a full map for a deposit taking MFI. Download the report at
Presentación PowerPoint

4 February 2015 Meeting - "Selection of Outcomes Indicators"
PowerPoint Presentation
Brief summarizing the essential information from session 3
Presentación PowerPoint
Click here for Freedom From Hunger's paper on Health Outcome Performance Indicators (HOPI) Project Report (2015)

3 March 2015 Meeting - Webinar 2 on "Theory of Change" (Repeat)
PowerPoint Presentation

4 March 2015 Meeting - SEEP and Microcredit Summit co-hosted the webinar, "Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise: How MFIs Can Track the Health of Clients."
Blog: Health Outcome Performance Indicators will help us "understand clients”

9 April 2015 Meeting - "Selection of Outcomes Indicators" (Repeat)

16 September 2015 Meeting - "CGAP/Ford Foundation Social Indicators Project"
PowerPoint Presentation
Brief summarizing the essential information from session 4

15 October 2015 Meeting - "Sharing Experience of IDEPRO"
Due to technical difficulties, our recording for this session here has about 9 minutes of space after minute 21:47. Please forward to minute 30:56 to continue listening. Thank you for your understanding.
PowerPoint presentation
IDEPRO case study
Brief summarizing the essential information from session 5

6 November 2015 - MIX Market's webinar on their "Voice of the Client" project
Read the paper: An Analysis of Client Satisfaction and Consumer Protection Across Four Microfinance Institutions in India

24 November 2015 Meeting - "Sharing the experience of Cashpor"
PowerPoint presentation

Green Performance Working Group

Facilitator: Geert Jan Schuite, Global Group Lead, Outcome Management and Strategy, Enclude
Purpose: This group will promote triple bottom line microfinance and share good practice regarding responsibility to the environment.
Members: Open to all. 

Additional reading:
1. Read the 
NpM announcement on the Dutch inclusive finance sector going green, here
2. Green Inclusive Finance Conference materials can be found on the NpM website, here.


Past Working Groups
SPTF is running five working groups in 2013-14 and providing administrative and content support to four others.  Summary descriptions of working group activities are below.  For further information or to join a group, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


1. Outreach to Regulators Working Group
Facilitator: Emmanuelle Javoy, independent consultant and former Managing Director of Planet Rating.
Purpose: To gather information on current practice related to outreach to regulators regarding social performance management, and to develop a guidance note on tips for outreach to regulators.

2. Responsible Inclusive Finance (RIF) Working Group

  • Facilitator:  Katie Hoffmann, SPTF
  • Members:  The group includes representatives from SPTF, Smart Campaign, MFTransparency, MIX, CERISE, TrueLift, the Rating Initiative, Principles for Investors in Inclusive Finance (PIIF), the Microfinance CEO Working Group, the SP Fund for Networks, Grameen Foundation and the four specialized microfinance rating agencies.
  • Mission:  The RIF Working Group seeks to do the following:
    • To define a common vision of responsible inclusive finance,
    • To deepen practice in responsible finance, particularly though client protection and social performance management,
    • To clarify each initiative’s role, and
    • To identify ways the initiatives can collaborate to achieve greater impact.
  • Outcomes: The RIF Working Group has met bimonthly since its formation in 2013, and it has continually integrated other industry actors into the group. To date, the group has focused on various activities to streamline efforts in responsible inclusive finance, including:
  1. Creating Industry mappings. The group created industry mappings of global networks, funders, client outcomes and technical assistance, which have helped identify duplicative efforts and gaps in existing RIF infrastructure.
  2. Coordinating on tools. RIF initiatives have continually coordinated on the development of tools. For example, several RIF initiatives were involved in the Expert Panel of the SPI4 and provided feedback on the tool during RIF calls. With that coordination, the tool now includes the Universal Standards, the Client Protection Principles, Truelift and PPI. Additionally, users will be able to generate reports directly from SPI4 to MIX, which will reducing the reporting burden on MFIs
  3. Coordinating on standards. Many of our standards and tools have become very intertwined, which makes it easier MFIs to comply with them. For example, the Client Protection Principles are entirely integrated into the Universal Standards for Social Performance Management, and both are included in the SPI4.This has made it increasingly important to make sure initiatives coordinate when they update standards. Initiatives have committed to eventually aligning timelines for updating standards, and are discussing a timeline for when that would happen.
  4. Coordinating on messaging. The RIF Working Group has aimed to reduce confusion among MFIs about the role of each of the initiatives and how MFIs can improve practice. This has included:  
      • Defining Responsible Inclusive Finance. The group agreed that Responsible Inclusive Finance “is the provision of financial services in a way that targets excluded people, protects the interests of clients, and protects the mission and sustainability of the institution.”
      • Creating a joint framework to improve practice. To help clarify how the initiatives complement each other, the group developed a joint framework for MFIs to improve practice in responsible inclusive finance. The framework outlines the path to improve practice in five steps – Learn, Assess, Plan, Implement and Demonstrate – and details the resources and tools available to MFIs at each stage. 
      • Using joint presentations. The group has presented the joint framework at six conferences since October. Jointly presenting helps educate MFIs and other microfinance stakeholders about the resources and tools available to improve practice in responsible inclusive finance, as well as gage the current level of knowledge about each of the initiatives. Jointly presenting also represent areas an important step for coordination, as not all initiatives have to be present for their messaging to be delivered.
  5. Coordinating on capacity building. Our initiatives have fine-tuned our standards, resources and tools to help MFIs improve practice, as well as created a framework to explain how these tools fit together on the path to responsible inclusive finance. Now, we want to help as many MFIs onto and along the pathway to responsible inclusive finance. To do that, we are coordinating to jointly build the capacity of local consultants on the full spectrum of RIF initiatives. various trainings. We are also developing a one-day joint RIF Introductory Trainings, which we will deliver at upcoming conferences and workshops. 

3. Indicators Working Group for the Universal Standards for SPM

  • Facilitator:  Cara Forster, SPTF
  • Activities:  A selected group of active SPTF members with expertise in developing and working with indicators will continue the preliminary work done in 2012-13 to build indicators for the Universal Standards for Social Performance Management.  This group will include representatives of Smart, the MIX, and the Social Investor sub-working group ALINUS (see below for further information on these working groups) to incorporate and align with the work of these groups.
  • Work Products: The Indicators Working Group (IWG) was formed in October 2012 to evaluate existing indicators in the industry related to social performance and match these to the relevant Essential Practices within the USSPM.  Where no indicators were available, the IWG worked together for a year to develop appropriate indicators for those Essential Practices for which no indicators existed. The IWG pursued a very consultative process for the development and refinement of the indicators for the USSPM.  In the months leading up to the 2013 Annual Meeting in Panama, draft indicators produced within the IWG were reviewed by rating agency staff, the MIX, ALINUS, the Board and staff of SPTF, and the SPTF members during a two week public comment period in May 2013.  At the 2013 SPTF Annual Meeting, SPTF released a draft indicators document that represented the synthesis of the IWG's work, for comment and review.  During the summer of 2013 three more public comment periods were held in English, French, and Spanish.
  • Transfer of indicators to CERISE for the SPI tool: In October 2013, the complete set of indicators was transferred to CERISE to assist with the creation of a social audit tool that will contain all the indicators necessary to evaluate an MFI’s adherence to the USSPM.  Selected members of the IWG formed an expert panel to advise CERISE during their effort to mold the complete set of indicators into a formal assessment tool.  This expert panel had its first meeting in Paris, France in October 2013.  Thereafter, the expert panel met monthly with CERISE to provide assistance and guidance on the creation of the SPI4 tool.  A beta version of the SPI4 was released in February 2014 and is currently being pilot tested by financial institutions around the world.  The goals of the SPI 4 are 1) to serve as a tool that MFIs can use for self-assessment of their implementation of the USSPM, 2) to help MFIs monitor and report on their social performance and level of adherence to the USSPM, and 3) to reduce MFIs’ reporting burden by facilitating the creation of a standard set of indicators for social performance that will be used by all relevant stakeholders.

    Click here to download the SPI 4.

4. Social investors 

  • Overview: The SPTF social investor working group is led by co-chairs Jurgen Hammer (Grameen Credit Agricole Foundation) and Dina Pons (Incofin IM). The Group works to promote responsible investment in microfinance. It is open to all investors seeking financial and social returns. The group meets twice a year in person, once in February/March and once in June (in conjunction with the SPTF annual meeting). For further details on the social investor working group meeting please click here (make the here a link and link to this
  • Members: All social investors are invited to the working group.
  • Mission: This group will explore good practices related to investment for social as well as financial outcomes and also promote social investment.  The Social Investor Working Group holds two meetings a year – one in February and one in June in connection with the SPTF annual meeting. The purpose is to build momentum around the activities of the working group, increase the numbers of investors engaged in social investing, and share learning.

  • Materials from SPTF Social Investor meeting - June 2014, Dakar

5. Balance Financial and Social Performance 

  • Facilitator: Tony Sheldon (SPTF).
  • Members: All members of the SPTF are invited to join.  We will also extend personal invites to people with expertise in the subject matter.
  • Mission: This SPTF multi-stakeholder working group began working in 2011 and was instrumental in the development of Section 6 of the Universal Standards.  In 2013-14, this group will analyze feedback on implementation of the practices in Section 6, as well as discuss emerging lessons from the field on balancing financial and social returns. The group will also host targeted conversations and dialogue on timely issues to help advance the discourse on balanced returns.

Balanced returns discussions that were posted on blogs:


The SPTF Secretariat will participate in the remaining four working groups and support them as requested, meaning that SPTF will make its online meeting platform available to the groups and will offer administrative support such as managing group membership lists, emailing out meeting invitations, etc. However management of these groups is entirely autonomous from the SPTF, meaning groups set their own priorities and meeting agendas, and have external leadership:

1. Gender

  • Facilitator: Jaclyn Berfond, Women’s World Banking
  • Designated SPTF Working Group Participant: Cara Forster
  • Mission: This group will bring a gender lens to debates about various initiatives, ways to address challenges, and good practice within microfinance.  The group is debating whether to shift its focus in the upcoming two years to identifying practices that seem to lead to certain gender outcomes.

2. Green Performance Working Group