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Performances sociales : Une raison d'être des institutions de microfinance et pourtant encore peu mesurées. Quelques pistes


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  • Cécile Lapenu
  • Manfred Zeller
  • Martin Greely
  • Renée Chao-Béroff
  • Koenraad Verhagen


Historically, microfinance has been successful in reaching the population excluded from the classical financial system. In the 90?s, efforts have been concentrated towards financial and institutional sustainability of the microfinance institutions (MFIs). Tools to evaluate financial performances have been developed, but the social performances were taken for granted. However, nowadays, donors and social investors ask the MFIs to justify the fundings? Who are the clients reached ? How to combine social and financial objectives ? How to avoid mission drift ? etc. Some MFIs themselves have the intuition that reinforcing social performances can lead, on the mid run, to strengthen financial sustainability. Some initiatives have flourished, trying to identify few indicators that could be used to assess the social process followed by the MFIs. Stakes of these measures, an overview of some of the recent initiatives, and one of them, the social performance indicators initiative (SPI). This last initiative is aimed at defining a tool for social audit based on a questionnaire divided in four ?social dimensions? : (1) outreach of the poor and excluded ; (2) adaptation of the services and products to the target clients ; ( 3) improvement of social and political capital of the clients ; (4) social responsibility of the MFI.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by De Boeck Université in its journal Mondes en développement.

Volume (Year): 126 (2004)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 51-68

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Handle: RePEc:cai:meddbu:med_126_0057

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Keywords: Microfinance; social performance; social audit; evaluation; indicator; social responsibility; poverty; exclusion; developing countries;


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  1. Sharma, Manohar, 2000. "Microfinance," MP05 briefs 0, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  2. Zeller, Manfred & Meyer, Richard L., 2002. "The triangle of microfinance," Food policy statements 40, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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Cited by:
  1. Yaya Koloma, 2010. "Différence de performance sociale des institutions de microfinance au Mali," Documents de travail 157, Groupe d'Economie du Développement de l'Université Montesquieu Bordeaux IV.
  2. SODOKIN, Koffi, 2006. "Functional and structural complementarities of banks and microbanks in L.D.Cs," LEG - Document de travail - Economie 2006-10, LEG, Laboratoire d'Economie et de Gestion, CNRS, Université de Bourgogne.
  3. Koen Rossel-Cambier, 2010. "Do Multiple Financial Services Enhance the Poverty Outreach of Microfinance Institutions?," Working Papers CEB 10-058, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  4. Koen Rossel-Cambier, 2008. "Combined Micro-Finance: Selected Research Questions from a Stakeholder Point of View," Working Papers CEB 08-004.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.


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