Measuring the Social Performance of Microfinance Institutions (MFIs)

As part of its InSight Series, ACCION International has published a report entitled, “Guidelines to Evaluate Social Performance,” which aims to develop a structured framework for assessing and reporting the social performance of MFIs. According to the report:

Social goals drive the strategies of many microfinance institutions, yet many of these institutions are judged primarily on their financial performance. Measuring and reporting on social performance is a key way for double bottom line institutions to define the social value they create, while holding themselves accountable for the goals articulated in their mission.

The paper reports that currently, there is are no universally adopted standards for “social reporting”, and the tools that do exist to measure “social performance” vary from organization to organization. In fact, it was not until recently, when “an industry-wide task force” took up the responsibility, that “social performance” was defined as “the effective translation of an institution’s social mission into practice in line with accepted social values.”

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