Grameen Foundation, a US-based nonprofit, recently announced the issuance of standards of use for its Progress out of Poverty Index (PPI), a tool developed by Grameen for tracking and reporting poverty data as reported by MicroCapital on February 26, 2009. The standards are intended to ensure that PPI users are using the tool correctly, and serve as a pre-cursor to a formal PPI certification program that Grameen is planning to implement. The certification program will attest to the accuracy of PPI data provided by microfinance institutions and used by donors, investors and rating agencies.
One of the certification program supporters is the Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX), a source for published financial and social performance data on microfinance institutions. “Poverty measurement is one of the standard social performance indicators that [the] MIX collects and analyzes,” says Mr Micol Pistelli, Manager of the MIX Social Performance Program. “Establishing a set of easily verifiable standards for PPI implementation would significantly enhance the quality of PPI data reported to MIX and improve poverty analysis overall” .
The PPI standards cover the poverty data collection process, data analysis and reporting. The PPIs are intended to allow microfinance institutions to better determine their clients’ needs, and assess which microfinance programs are most effective, how quickly clients leave poverty and what helps people move out of poverty faster.
Jennifer Shevock, Research Associate
About Grameen Foundation:
The Grameen Foundation, a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., aims to help microfinance institutions throughout the world replicate the microfinance model of the Grameen Bank http://www.grameen-info.org/ . It provides financial, technological and managerial support for local organizations and intends to provide new business opportunities and telecommunication services to the rural poor. Though the Grameen Foundation is independent of the Grameen Bank, Muhammad Yunus, the founder of the Grameen Bank, serves on the foundation’s Board of Directors. Grameen Foundation reported total assets of USD 25 million as of March 31, 2009.
Sources and Additional Resources:
 “Grameen Foundation Develops Standards to Strengthen Use of the Progress out of Poverty Index™ (PPI™)” http://www.grameenfoundation.org/press-releases/grameen-foundation-develops-standards-strengthen-use-progress-out-poverty-index%E2%84%A2-ppi%E2%84%A2
“Grameen Foundation Wins $200,000 in Funding from American Express” http://www.grameenfoundation.org/press-releases/grameen-foundation-wins-200000-funding-american-express
MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: “Grameen Foundation Announces Official Launch of Mifos.com to Promote Microfinance Institution Management Software” August 20, 2010. http://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-grameen-foundation-announces-official-launch-of-mifos-com-to-promote-microfinance-institution-management-software/
MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: “Bankers Without Borders (BwB) Receives $150,000 in Seed Capital for Alliance Program from JP Morgan’s Social Finance Unit” August 17, 2010. http://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-bankers-without-borders-bwb-receives-150000-in-seed-capital-for-alliance-program-from-jp-morgan%E2%80%99s-social-finance-unit/
MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: “Grameen Foundation Receives $125,000 from Citi Foundation to Help Improve Human Capital Management Practices at Microfinance Institutions (MFIs)” August 9, 2010. http://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-grameen-foundation-receives-125000-from-citi-foundation-to-help-improve-human-capital-management-practices-at-microfinance-institutions-mfis/
MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: “Grameen Foundation Releases Paper, “Measuring the Impact of Microfinance: Taking Another Look” by Professor Kathleen Odell” July 6, 2010. http://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-grameen-foundation-releases-paper-%E2%80%9Cmeasuring-the-impact-of-microfinance-taking-another-look%E2%80%9D-by-professor-kathleen-odell/
MICROCAPITAL STORY: “Grameen Foundation and Oikocredit Offer Progress out of Poverty Index as Cornerstone of Socially Motivated Microfinance Investment Guidelines” February 26, 2009. http://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-story-grameen-foundation-and-oikocredit-offer-progress-out-of-poverty-index-as-cornerstone-of-socially-motivated-microfinance-investment-guidelines/
Progress out of Poverty Index: http://progressoutofpoverty.org/understanding-the-progress-out-poverty-index
Microfinance Information Exchange: http://www.mixmarket.org
MicroCapital Universe: Grameen Foundation: http://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=Grameen+Foundation
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