Oikocredit Releases 2011 Social Performance Report of 500 Microfinance Institutions

The Full Picture: 500 MFIs Report Social Data for 2011

STOCKHOLM, June 15, 2012 /CNW/ - Close to 500 microfinance institutions around the world have reported social performance data to private microfinance investor Oikocredit. The data, to be released today in Stockholm, Sweden, reflects the organization's dedication to prioritising microfinance clients by advancing the analysis of social goals.

The report draws on 2011 data submitted by 495 of Oikocredit's microfinance partners - a 20% jump in data participation since data collection began in 2008.

"With this many partners reporting social and financial performance data, Oikocredit has one of the most comprehensive social databases among microfinance investors," says Oikocredit director social performance Ging Ledesma.

"The data shows our partners are increasingly committed to client-oriented practices. For example, the number of partners that have developed environmental policies and client satisfaction surveys has dramatically increased in the past two years."

At the close of 2011, Oikocredit's total development portfolio was € 520 million, with € 410 million in microfinance and the remainder in social enterprises like fair trade and agricultural cooperatives. Almost 26 million people were reached through the microfinance partners: a majority of which are small MFIs each serving less than 10,000 clients. The 2011 data showed 53% of MFI clients were living in rural areas, and 83% were female. While Oikocredit's portfolio spans every continent, it holds a steady presence in Africa with 15% of its total portfolio in the region - a figure that is double the industry average.

Oikocredit hosted over 100 workshops and introduced a programme to 'mentor the mentors' throughout 2011 in an effort to increase client-focus among partners. As a direct result of these initiatives, the number of partners endorsing the Client Protection Principles increased, and many more partners underwent social ratings when compared with 2010.

In the coming year, Oikocredit will continue to work directly with partners to integrate their social and financial focus, while fine-tuning its own data collection to monitor changes over time.

"Some partners who have been assisted in the use of the Progress out of Poverty Index, a poverty measurement tool, are beginning to track changes in clients' lives over a period of years, so more in-depth reporting on that is expected in 2013," said Ms Ledesma.

"Measuring impact continues to be a challenge but we firmly believe that by supporting MFI partners in social performance, they can achieve a genuine client-centred approach in their daily practice."

Oikocredit

Oikocredit is a social investor and worldwide cooperative that promotes global justice by empowering disadvantaged people with credit. Since 1975, Oikocredit has offered loans and investment capital to microfinance institutions, cooperatives, fair trade and other businesses. Today, Oikocredit has 896 partners in almost 70 countries. For more information, visit http://www.oikocredit.org.

SOURCE Oikocredit

For further information:

Press contact Oikocredit International: Kawien Ziedses des Plantes, kziedsesdesplantes@oikocredit.org, +31(0)6-272-549-04; Press contact Oikocredit USA: Sharlene Brown, usa@oikocredit.org, +1-202-728-41-40; Press contact Oikocredit UK & Ireland: Patrick Hynes, uk@oikocredit.org, +44(0)1995-602806

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