By Brad Stave, VisionFund International, Manager of Marketing and Communications
Each year, Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) from around the world are ranked and reviewed by the Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX), a leading business information provider dedicated to strengthening the microfinance sector by providing financial and social performance transparency.
In June of 2010, MIX recognised 13 MFIs located in Eastern Europe and Central Asia for their excellence in reporting social performance through the Social Performance Reporting Award. Social performance refers to the commitment to serve the poor and marginalised with products and services that meet their needs and develop their lives and the lives of their families.
The Social Performance Reporting Award was developed and launched by CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), the Social Performance Task Force (SPTF), the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and with microfinance information provided by MIX in 2009.
With over 200 submissions, VisionFund’s affiliated MFI, AzerCredit of Azerbaijan, was the sole MFI to receive the gold award for social performance reporting. Dedicated to developing innovative social performance programmes, AzerCredit was recognized by MIX for their integrity and transparency in reporting, measuring, and data collection of social performance. Social performance reporting allows AzerCredit to better target the poor and design appropriate products and services.
A gold award for social performance reporting is given by MIX when an MFI completes the social performance reporting report, provides data on poverty measurement, and has a social rating that includes auditing of the poverty tool used by the MFI.
Ljiljana Spasojevic, CEO of AzerCredit, shared, “I am pleased that AzerCredit has been internationally recognised for our commitment to provide succinct, accurate, and transparent social performance reporting. Excellent social performance reporting will allow AzerCredit to improve and develop our impact in the field amongst the borrowers we serve. The gold award for social performance reporting will motivate AzerCredit to continue providing excellent reporting while improving our actual social performance at the MFI level. In the end, it is our clients who will benefit the most.”
In 2009, AzerCredit disbursed over $33 million in loans to more than 33,000 borrowers. AzerCredit’s microfinance efforts impacted over 40,000 children and created or sustained more than 38,000 jobs.
Scott Brown, President & CEO of VisionFund expressed his congratulations to all the management and staff of AzerCredit in the first-ever gold award received, and said, “AzerCredit has now set the standard which all MFIs will now strive to achieve”. In 2009, seven VisionFund affiliated MFIs received MIX’s silver award for social performance reporting.
VisionFund, the microfinance subsidiary of World Vision, serves nearly 650,000 borrowers in 41 countries.