Guide d'audit et de mise en œuvre des Normes Universelles de Gestion de la Performance Sociale et Environnementale

Dimension 1 - Social Strategy

Starting with strategy is important because the first step to achieving good performance is defining what “good” performance is, and then developing a strategy to achieve it. Integrating a social element into the strategy is also important, given the increasing recognition that better customer outcomes strengthen the overall sustainability of the business, and therefore “good” performance must include creating some type of benefits for customers.

Note that each financial service provider (the “provider”) may set its own performance goals. Many different types of benefits for clients are possible. The essential step is for the provider to define its own “social goals,” meaning the specific benefits that its products and services will create for clients. Then the provider must collect data on its progress toward those goals and use those data to guide decisions.

Dimension 1 has two standards:

Resources for Dimension 1

Standard 1A. The provider has a strategy to achieve its social goals

Your strategy should specify your target clients, social goals, and a description of how your institution will use products and services to achieve its social goals. The strategy must also define indicators and targets to measure your progress toward your social goals. The reason for defining specifically in your strategy whom you are trying to reach and what you are trying to achieve is that all other decisions that you make, including what expenses to approve in the budget, how to define job responsibilities, whom to hire or promote, and what products and services to offer, all build from the strategy. This guide discusses each element of the strategy below.

Resources for Standard 1A:

This standard has 2 essential practices:

1.A.1 The strategy specifies the provider's target clients, social goals, and how the provider will achieve those goals.

1.A.1.1 The strategy defines the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of target clients.

Different segments of clients face different obstacles and have different needs. For example, income levels, gender, location (rural/urban), and literacy, all affect the types of products, services, and delivery channels that are best suited to a client.

Scoring guidance
  • Score “yes” if the provider’s strategy mentions specific demographic and/or socioeconomic characteristics of the clients it wants to serve.
  • Score “partially” if the strategy mentions at least one characteristic of the clients the provider wishes to serve (e.g., “economically-active,”) but does not detail fully its target client group(s).  Also score partially if the provider has a mission statement that mentions target clients but the strategy itself does NOT mention them.
    • If the provider mentions some terms without being specific in its strategy, it should score “partially” on this indicator.
  • Score “no” if the strategy contains no mentions of which types of clients the provider seeks to serve.
  • To verify consistency among answers to this social audit, compare the scoring here to the score for indicator 2B1 (“The provider includes social goals in its operational plan and the CEO/Managing Director holds senior managers accountable for achieving social targets.”)
Sources of information

Strategic plan / Business plan

Evidence to provide

Read the strategic plan and/or the business plan. If the company has a mission statement, read that. Note any mention of target clients. Check globally in the strategy how target clients are described and identified.

If the provider does not wish to limit which type of clients it serves, meaning it would like to serve both men and women, of all income levels, located in all regions, of all ages, etc., this is acceptable, but nonetheless the strategy must define clearly whom the provider wishes to serve (e.g., all residents of this country).

If the definition of target clients includes terms such as “marginalized,” “excluded,” or “poor,” use the strategy to clarify what is meant by these labels. For example, “exclusion” can be political, social, geographic, or economic. The definition of “poverty” may refer to lack of assets, healthcare, education, sanitation, or other basic needs.

Field examples / Guidance for implementation

Your strategy should define the characteristics of the people you want to reach. Defining your target market will make it easier for your institution to tailor products and services to client needs and preferences and to set realistic targets for client-level change. Define for example these characteristics:

  • Demographics (e.g., male/female, urban/rural, age)
  • Socio-economic status (e.g., income level, level of education)
  • Access to financial services (e.g., banked/unbanked)
  • Business activity (e.g., agriculture/trade, new businesses/existing businesses)
Resources for indicator 1.A.1.1

1.A.1.2 The strategy identifies the benefits that the provider seeks to create for clients, such as:

  • providing access to the previously excluded
  • reducing vulnerability to shocks
  • building assets / Investing in economic opportunities
  • creating jobs

The Universal Standards are relevant to every financial service provider that is interested not only in profitability but also in creating benefits for clients. However, not every provider will focus on the same type of benefit. This indicator simply requires the provider to be clear about the type of benefit it seeks to create as each type of benefit will require its specific strategy and set of activities.

Scoring guidance
  • Score “yes” if the provider’s strategy mentions specific types of benefits that it wishes to create for clients.
    • Note: “Providing products and services” is not sufficient. The strategy must answer “for what?” For example: to invest in economic opportunities, to provide a safe place to save, etc.
  • Score “partially” if the strategy mentions a vague benefit, such as “improve the quality of life,” without being precise about specifically what will improve.
    • If the social goals exist but they are unrelated to mission/social strategy or are too vague, then the answer should be ‘partially.’
  • Score “no” if the strategy contains no mention of the types of benefits the provider wishes to create.
Sources of information 

Strategic plan/ Business plan

Evidence to provide 

Read the strategic plan and/or the business plan. Note any mention of social goals, outcomes, impact, or benefits for clients described in the strategy.

Field examples / Guidance for implementation

The benefits you wish to provide for clients, also called your “social goals,” describe what positive changes you expect to happen with your chosen target group thanks to the use of your particular products and services. Broadly, there are two types of social goals to consider—outputs and outcomes. Your institution’s output goals describe the actions you will take to improve client well-being (e.g., trainings provided, loans made, savings products proposed). Your institution’s outcome goals describe how your clients, community, or environment will benefit from your products and services (e.g., improvement in business skills, increase in household assets).  

It is important to be clear on whether your goals are output goals or outcome goals. Output goals are typically much easier to measure, but they provide little or no information about changes in clients’ lives. Mostly, they describe access or outreach—the number of clients who are being served with financial and non-financial services. And it is possible for clients to have increased access and also be worse off, for example, if greater access to loans leads to over-indebtedness. Measuring outcomes is more complex, because it requires the use of harder-to-measure indicators related to change, such as empowerment or increased income. However, if your social goals include creating positive change for clients or at least not harming them, then your organization should measure client outcomes too.

Resources for indicator 1.A.1.2

1.A.1.3 The strategy describes how the provider's products and services create positive change for clients.

Whereas indicator 1.A.1.2. focuses on what specific benefits the provider seeks to create, this indicator focuses on how the provider plans to achieve them. The idea is to define what specific products and services will lead to what specific activities by clients which will in turn result in what types of outcomes for clients. This can also refer to the provider’s “theory of change.” The ultimate purpose is to encourage financial inclusion, improve capacity to cope with risks and vulnerability, and contribute to an improved economic situation.

Scoring guidance
  • Score “yes” if the provider’s strategy or annual report states how clients will use its products and services, and how in turn that will result in positive changes in clients’ lives.  
  • Score “partially” if the strategy or annual report mentions either only step of the chain of activities that ultimately results in benefits for clients (e.g., the provider offers savings products with no minimum fee and therefore poor people open a savings account) but does not mention all the steps in the process (e.g., omits that after clients open savings accounts, then they spend less impulsively because the money is not immediately available in their home, and then they are more able to cope with shocks because they have savings when a shock occurs).
    • Note: If the strategy is not fully formalized in strategy documents but is clear for the board and management, then the answer can be a “partially.”
  • Score “no” if no document mentions the how the provider’s products and services create change, or if Board/management cannot share their view on this.
Sources of information
  • Strategic plan
  • Annual report
  • Interviews with Board/ senior management
Evidence to provide 

Read the strategic plan and/or the annual report. Note any mention of the provider’s theory of change, meaning any causal links it defines between its products/services/activities and outcomes for clients. For example, the plan might specify how the product and service mix (financial and non-financial) and the delivery channels have been designed to reduce financial exclusion, vulnerability, and/or promote investment in economic opportunities.

Field examples / Guidance for implementation

The ultimate purpose of delivering products and services is to achieve your social goals, also known as benefits for clients. Your institutional strategy should make it clear how your products, services, and delivery channels are designed to create benefits for clients. In the financial inclusion sector, the types of benefits often sought are reducing barriers to financial inclusion, reducing client vulnerability, and increasing capacity to invest in economic opportunities, but other social goals are possible. Each provider will choose which specific benefits it seeks to create. See here for examples of how a provider can articulate the relationship between its products/services and its social goals.  

For some providers, the process of articulating this relationship will raise questions about whether products/services/delivery channels should be modified to better support the provider’s social goals. For example, your institution might realize that one or more of its social goals will be difficult to achieve given the current product offerings. If this is the case for your institution, you can either modify your social goals so that they are realistic given what you offer to clients, or you can modify your product offerings.

The definition of what inputs and outputs lead to what short- and long-term changes is sometimes called the “theory of change.”  A theory of change is a useful framework for thinking about the sequence of activities that the provider implements in order to achieve short-term and longer-term outcomes.

Resources for indicator 1.A.1.3

1.A.1.4 The provider defines a “do no harm” strategy that articulates how it will mitigate the social risks connected to the use of its products and services:

1.A.1.4.1 Negative effects on clients and their households
1.A.1.4.2 Human rights violations
1.A.1.4.3 Corruption and bribery

Providing access to financial products and services can harm clients. This is especially true if providers care only about profit, but even providers who sincerely seek to create benefits for clients can create unintentional harm. To mitigate these risks, the provider should define in its strategy the protective measures it can implement to protect clients from negative outcomes related to their income/assets, stress level, well-being of themselves or other household members, human rights violations, corruption, etc.

Scoring guidance 
  • Score “yes” if the strategy mentions clearly protecting the client or household from harm and how the provider will integrate these measures into its operations.
  • Score “partially” if the provider does not define how it will avoid harming clients in its strategy, but does implement activities that specifically either seek information from clients on harm they might have experienced or mitigate the risk of client harm (e.g., training staff on client protection, client protection and rules against corruption in the code of conduct, or seeking client feedback specifically on obstacles, abuse of human right or negative outcomes they have experienced).
  • Score “no” if the strategic document does not mention strategies to avoid harming clients and no activities implemented by the provider directly relate to reducing risk of clients’ experiencing harm.
Sources of information 
  • Strategic plan
  • Board minutes
  • Reports on client complaints
  • Code of conduct and related trainings
  • Outcomes data
  • Client satisfaction surveys
Evidence to provide

Read the strategic plan, board minutes, and reports that management and/or the board read related to client complaints and client satisfaction. Analyze client outcomes data collected by the provider. Note any evidence of steps taken in advance to avoid harm related, for example, over-indebtedness, fraud, violations of data privacy, theft due to insufficient cybersecurity, child labor, domestic violence, and stress. Note also the mechanisms implemented to identify harm when it has occurred and to take corrective action.

Detail 1.A.1.4.2

Describe the strategy to avoid adverse impacts on human rights. If there is no explicit commitment or strategy, check if there are major gaps with regards to the relevant indicators of 2.A.3, 2.B.2, 3.B.3, 4.A.1, 4.B.1, 4.C.1, 4.C.3, 4.D.1 and 4.E.1 and/or non-compliances with client protection laws (if these exist and are robust).

Detail 1.A.1.4.3

Financial Service Providers (regulated and unregulated) are supervised by national authorities according to national AML/FT law. Check if the provider has appropriate anti-money laundering systems and policies (this is also part of the KYC/Know Your Client check) in place to comply with the regulator (e.g. screening of controversial transactions and borrowers in sanctions list or PEP/Political Exposed Person identification or also internal controls to prevent corruption and bribery from employees (e.g. misappropriation of assets, frauds).

Field examples / Guidance for implementation 

The risk is of unintended harm is linked to providing financial services, and even greater when clients are poor or vulnerable, because often they are not as able as others to understand terms and conditions, to advocate for their rights, to recognize and avoid fraud, or even to distinguish among various product offerings to select the one best adapted to their needs.  

Evidence shows that the types of harm that clients have experienced due to use of financial products and services include over-indebtedness, loss of productive assets, loss of funds due to corrupt employees or agents, loss of funds due to fraud, abusive land seizure, abusive detention in case of default of payment, bribery, increased child labor, gender-based violence, reduced access (for example, if non-repayment of a loan leads to blacklisting), depression, and stress.

Human rights violations occur when actions of actors violate, ignore or deny basic human rights (including civil, political, cultural, social and economic rights).

Corruption includes practices such as bribery, facilitation payments, fraud, extortion, collusion, and money laundering. It also includes an offer or receipt of any gift, loan, fee, reward, or other advantage to or from any person as an inducement to do something that is dishonest, illegal, or a breach of trust in the conduct of the enterprise’s business.2 This can include cash or in-kind benefits, such as free goods, gifts, and holidays, or special personal services provided for the purpose of an improper advantage, or that can result in moral pressure to receive such an advantage.

OECD MNE Guidance:

Develop and adopt adequate internal controls, ethics and compliance programs or measures for preventing and detecting bribery, developed on the basis of a risk assessment addressing the individual circumstances of an enterprise, in particular the bribery risks facing the enterprise (such as its geographical and industrial sector of operation). These internal controls, ethics and compliance programs or measures should include a system of financial and accounting procedures, including a system of internal controls, reasonably designed to ensure the maintenance of fair and accurate books, records, and accounts, to ensure that they cannot be used for the purpose of bribing or hiding bribery. Such individual circumstances and bribery risks should be regularly monitored and re-assessed as necessary to ensure the enterprise’s internal controls, ethics and compliance program or measures are adapted and continue to be effective, and to mitigate the risk of enterprises becoming complicit in bribery, bribe solicitation and extortion.  

Prohibit or discourage, in internal company controls, ethics and compliance programs or measures, the use of small facilitation payments, which are generally illegal in the countries where they are made, and, when such payments are made, accurately record these in books and financial records. making public commitments against bribery, bribe solicitation and extortion, and disclosing the management systems and the internal controls, ethics and compliance programs or measures adopted by enterprises in order to honor these commitments. Enterprises should also foster openness and dialogue with the public so as to promote its awareness of and cooperation with the fight against bribery, bribe solicitation and extortion.

Resources for indicator 1.A.1.4  

1.A.2 The strategy defines indicators and targets to measure the provider's progress toward social goals.

1.A.2.1 The provider has at least one measurable indicator for each social goal

To hold itself accountable to its social goals, the provider must collect data to monitor its performance relative to those goals..

Scoring guidance
  • Score “yes” if for each of the benefits for clients that the provider seeks to create, as defined in its strategy, the provider has defined at least one indicator to track progress toward that goal.
  • Score “partially” if the provider has defined an indicator for some but not all of the benefits that it seeks to create.
  • Score “no” if the provider has not defined any indicators to use to check its performance relative to its social goals.
    • Note: For consistency, if the provider scores no for Essential Practice 1A1, meaning it does not define its social goals, then it should also score no for EP 1A2.
Sources of information 
  • Business plan/ strategic document/ operational plan
  • MIS
  • Client surveys
  • Annual report
  • Social performance dashboards reviewed by the board of directors
  • Social performance dashboards reviewed by management
Evidence to provide 

Note if the provider has a written set of outcomes indicators in any of the documents that management reviews, or if the provider’s MIS has fields that collect and store data on outcomes. Also see if reports that the board and/or management review include social data. And check whether client feedback mechanisms, such as focus groups or satisfaction surveys also include questions about client outcomes.

Field examples / Guidance for implementation

When selecting indicators, consider how well they meet each of the following criteria: relevance, usability, clarity, feasibility, and comparability.  Click here for examples of indicators that meet the criteria.

Resources for indicator 1.A.2.1

1.A.2.2 The provider has at least one measurable output and/or outcome target for each social goal.

Targets allow the provider to quantify its goals, and measure progress towards them. Without targets, the social goals are unlikely to be taken seriously within the organization.

Scoring guidance
  • Score “yes” if at least one target is set for each indicator.
  • Score “partially” if only a few targets are set or are not SMART and not actionable.
  • Score “no” if the provider has not set any targets.
Sources of information 
  • Strategic plan
  • Annual report
  • Social performance dashboards reviewed by the board of directors
  • Social performance dashboards reviewed by management
Evidence to provide

Identify the targets in the strategy documents. Targets are quantitative. They should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. There should be at least one target for each social goal. Give examples of precise quantitative targets found in strategy documents.

Standard 1B. The provider collects, analyzes, and reports data that are specific to its social goals.

The simple fact is that a provider does not know whether its products are creating benefits for clients unless it collects data about it. Frequently, providers answer questions about client benefits by showing the portfolio numbers for accounts and loan repayments. These numbers are easy to provide. The numbers also can look satisfactory, as they are likely to tell us that the number of clients is increasing, the portfolio is increasing, repayments of credit are mostly on time and, if there are deposits, that the number of savings accounts and deposits is increasing.

But these data actually tell us only about outreach and access, not outcomes. There are other questions to answer if we want to understand the results of our services. Are clients lives improving? Do results vary among them? Can we do better? If a provider is going to achieve its social mission, it must monitor outcomes for all of its clients and understand how outcomes vary among client groups. Furthermore, when the outcomes are not positive, the provider can use that information to make changes in order to improve outcomes going forward. In summary, regular and solid client data collection gives managers the information needed  to make informed decisions and track progress toward social goals.

Resources for Standard 1B:

This standard has 3 essential practices:

1.B.1 The provider collects data on outcomes for clients and their households.

1.B.1.1 The provider has protocols for social performance data collection that identify who collects the data, how, and when.

Accurate and timely data collection happens only when the roles and responsibilities are very clear for who does what, and when. This requires also regular data checks.

Scoring guidance
  • Score “yes” if the provider collects client outcomes data regularly, they are entered if needed in the MIS, with data quality check, and job descriptions reflect employees’ responsibilities regarding data collection.
  • Score “partially” if the provider has established protocols for outcomes data collection but employees implement them inconsistently, or if the provider has collected outcomes data but as a one-time activity rather than a regular one. The score is also “partially” if some of the data are collected on paper but not captured in MIS or in databases to be used and analyzed.
  • Score “no” if the provider does not collect outcomes data in a way that data can be used and analyzed.
Sources of information
  • MIS
  • Job description
  • Data protocols
  • Interviews with IT department
  • Interviews with field officer/ front office employees
Evidence to provide 

A formal system refers to a system based on written procedures, that staff are trained on, that is explicitly referenced in the strategic or operational plans, that generates reports used by the top management and/or board of directors. Discuss with MIS manager and Operations managers if/how the provider collects social performance data, and the regularity of data collection. Make sure to observe the MIS and identify which social data are available. The MIS must produce regular, reliable information.

Often social data is collected through loan or savings applications, so it is important to talk to front-office employees to see how data is collected, and then stored, and analyzed. It also allows the auditor to verify that the reality on the ground matches the provider’s data protocols. A verification of the job descriptions can reveal if data collection responsibilities are included for relevant staff.

Field examples / Guidance for implementation 

A provider must put in place strong systems in order to ensure efficiency and accuracy in the collection

and capture of data. This involves all of the following:

  • Designing the data collection format
  • Piloting the data collection
  • Choosing the data collection team
  • Training and incentivizing the data collection team
  • Capturing – and retaining – digital data

Data protocols should integrate:

  • Who defines the indicators to be collected
  • Who collects the data
  • How the data are collected  
  • Where the data are stored  
  • Who analyzes the data  
  • Who verifies the accuracy of the data  
  • How the data are reported  
  • To whom the data are reported
Resources for indicator 1.B.1.1 

1.B.1.2 The provider ensures the accuracy of the social performance data that it collects.

1.B.1.2.1 Employees in relevant positions receive specific training on social performance data collection and entry.
1.B.1.2.2 The provider validates client data by periodic internal audit or management review, including some field-level checks.

Data are not useful in any context unless they are accurate. Accuracy requires quality and completeness of data, based also on regular datachecks.

Scoring guidance
  • Score “yes” if the provider trains and motivates staff on accurate data collection and interviews with internal audit and branch managers confirm that the provider checks the accuracy of the data that staff collect.  
  • Score “partially” if some procedures are in place to verify data accuracy but they are not comprehensive enough to ensure accuracy of all data.
  • Score “no” if the provider has not implemented a system to check data accuracy and correct errors as needed or when data from MIS cannot be used due to lack of accuracy.
Sources of information
  • Staff training materials
  • Interview with internal audit and branch managers
  • Interview with IT manager
  • Review of quality and completeness of MIS data based on a sample of client data
Evidence to provide

Analyze the social performance data chain from the source of the information (clients, employees) to the audit of data entry to the reporting. Verify that this chain is coherent, with no missing link to ensure high quality, complete and timely social data. Specify how and when employees such as field officers or data entry clerks are trained on data collection and data entry. Discuss with internal audit team and with the branch managers how the quality of client data is verified. Specify how and when data are validated. If possible add how many clients or what % of clients are included in these checks.

You can ask the IT manager to print out a sample of client data and see if any important fields are empty, with many blank or nonsensical (e.g., number of children is 100 or age is 2 or income is $1,000,000,000, etc.).

Field examples / Guidance for implementation

The provider should regularly and consistently validate social data, just as it validates financial information. This includes evaluating employees on how well they adhere to the institution’s process for collecting quality social data. Validation techniques, that can be used by the internal audit team, may include the following:

  • Field level checks
  • Visiting or calling a random sample of clients to confirm that interviews with branch employees happened
  • Observing the data collector in action and providing feedback on his/her performance.
  • Data verification
  • Verifying a random sample of data entered by the data entry personnel to confirm accuracy.

The MicroLoan Foundation Malawi case study includes information on how MicroLoan verifies the accuracy of the social performance data that its staff collect.

See also the field example from VisionFund International.

Resources for indicator 1.B.1.2

1.B.1.3 The provider collects data on an ongoing basis to measure whether it is achieving its social goals.

1.B.1.3.1 The provider collects quantitative data that measures both positive and negative changes for clients and their households. Minimum frequency: annually
1.B.1.3.2 The provider collects qualitative data that measures both positive and negative changes for clients and their households. Minimum frequency: annually

Quantitative data and qualitative data both have unique value but also limitations. It is relatively easy to verify the accuracy of quantitative data, and it is much easier to aggregate quantitative data for analysis, but quantitative data tell you only what is happening, not why. When it collects both quantitative and qualitative client data as well as positive but also negative changes, the provider gains the most insightful and useful information about clients and is able to know with more confidence whether it is achieving its social goals now, but also what steps it needs to take to address any weaknesses that the data reveal.

Scoring guidance
  • Score “yes” the provider collects both quantitative and qualitative outcomes data, including also negative changes.  
  • Score “partially” if any of the following are true:
    • The provider collects no outcomes data, but does analyze the data it has on its clients’ financial transactions to look for trends that might indicate whether certain clients are having better or worse outcomes.
    • The provider collects either quantitative or qualitative data on outcomes, but not both.
    • The provider collects some data on outcomes but it is insufficient to understand whether the provider is creating the types of benefits for clients that it seeks or to understand any negative changes
    • The provider has collected both quantitative and qualitative outcomes data on clients but did so as an isolated activity. It does not do this on an annual basis.
  • Score “no” if the provider does not collect data on client outcomes.  
    • Note: Collecting data on outputs (e.g., number of loans provided) does NOT constitute outcomes data.
Sources of information
  • MIS information
  • Client surveys and narrative reports
  • Loan application forms that include questions on client outcomes
  • Focus group discussions with clients
  • Annual reports
Evidence to provide

Look in the MIS for outcomes data that are stored electronically. Look at data from all mechanisms the provider has to receive feedback from clients (e.g., call centers, focus groups, satisfaction surveys, outcomes surveys, complaints mechanisms, other client surveys) and check whether the provider is gathering data on client outcomes.

Field examples / Guidance for implementation 

Quantitative data can tell you that a client withdrew savings, or deposited more this month than last month, or has not taken out a loan in two years, but it will not tell you why. On the other hand, qualitative data are exactly suited to learn how clients are doing. What outcomes have they experienced? What stresses have they encountered? Why did the choose or not choose to use a certain financial service? But qualitative data has its limitations. Foremost among them are that memory is faulty and clients may not be comfortable revealing uncomfortable and very personal information about their financial lives to a stranger.

Many financial service providers collect both quantitative and qualitative data on client outcomes. See field examples for any of the following :

  • AMK
  • Fondo Esperanza
  • Friendship Bridge
  • Genesis Empresarial
  • Juhudi Kilimo
  • MicroFund for Women
  • SEF
Resources for indicator 1.B.1.3

1.B.2 The provider analyzes outcomes data by client segment.

1.B.2.1 The provider stores data on social performance in its management information system (MIS) in a way that allows for combined analysis of a client's financial and social data.

The purpose of collecting outcomes data is both to demonstrate current level of performance and to improve weaker areas. For the improvement work, it is necessary for the provider to analyze both financial and social performance simultaneously, so that the provider can see which people, using which types of products and services, are experiencing which types of outcomes.

Scoring guidance 
  • Score “yes” if the provider collects and stores outcomes data electronically, and if each client has some unique ID that allows the provider to match social performance data records to financial records.
    • Note: Though it is easier for analysis for the MIS to store both social and financial data, it is not required. As long as a unique client ID exists, the provider can merge data from two different databases when doing analysis.
  • Score “partially” if the provider stores social data but does not have a unique identifier that allows for a simultaneous analysis of a client’s social and financial data.
  • Score “no” if the provider does not collect client outcomes data or collects it but stores it only in paper files.
Sources of information
  • MIS  
  • All other databases the provider has
  • Reports on client outcomes analysis  
Evidence to provide

Ask if the provider has a unique client ID. Put in the comments section whether that is a national ID or a telephone number or some ID built by the provider. Read reports on client outcomes produced by the provider to see if the reports jointly discuss financial and social data for clients.

1.B.2.2 The provider analyzes outcomes for different segments of clients according to their profile and financial behavior. Minimum frequency: annually

1.B.2.2.1 By client profile: gender; age; location (urban/rural); poverty/income level
1.B.2.2.2 By financial behavior: types of products or services used; tenure with the provider
1.B.2.2.3 Other segments that are relevant to the provider's social goals (please specify)


Different types of clients are likely to experience different outcomes even when using the same product. Analyzing averages only obscures the fact that some groups of clients are doing better than others. The provider therefore gets the most useful insight from its data when it segments its analysis by demographic and socio-economic characteristics and financial behavior.

Scoring guidance
  • Score “yes” if the provider analyzes client outcomes by segment of clients.
  • Score “partially” if the provider does some segmentation of clients in its analysis but not according to all of the segments listed above. For example, if it segments by economic activity (e.g., agricultural vs retail) but not by gender.
  • Score “no” if the provider analyzes outcomes for its entire client database without segmentation or have no outcomes data.
Sources of information
  • MIS
  • Interview with IT manager
  • All other databases the provider has
  • Reports on client outcomes analysis  
Evidence to provide 

Read reports on client outcomes to establish whether the provider is monitoring outcomes by client segment. Also ask the IT department what demographic and socioeconomic data the provider collects on clients.

Field examples / Guidance for implementation  

At minimum, the provider should collect the following information about each of its clients: gender, age, location (e.g., rural/urban/peri-urban), and poverty or income level.  It may also have other characteristics that are relevant to track based on its particular goals, for example outreach to disabled persons or outreach to refugees.  Because it has this information, the provider is able to segment all analysis it conducts of client outcomes and monitor whether different groups of clients are doing better or worse. This in turn drives strategic decisions. If the results for a certain group are good, the provider might invest more in expanding its offer of that product or service to that group. If the results are poor, the provider will investigate why the outcomes are not strong and take corrective action.

Resources for indicator 1.B.2.2

1.B.3 The provider reports social performance data internally and externally.

1.B.3.1 The provider conducts a social audit. Minimum frequency: every three years.

A social audit at least every three years allows the provider to track progress on building strong social performance management practices, and to remain aware of its current level of implementation of the Universal Standards.

Scoring guidance
  • Score “yes” the provider has conducted an SPI audit or had a social rating within the last three years.
    • Note: A self- assessment is allowed.
  • Score “partially” if the provider has conducted an SPI audit or received a social rating, but the most recent one occurred more than three years ago. Also score partially if the provider conducts client protection assessments, regardless of their frequency, but not a full social audit.
  • Score “no” if the provider has never conducted an SPI audit or had a social rating or conducted a client protection assessment.
Sources of information 
  • CERISE SPI database
  • Raters websites
  • Cerise+SPTF client protection website section (for certification and CP assessment)
  • Provider’s website
  • check with the provider if they conducted an audit, rating, CP assessment or certification
Evidence to provide
  • SPI audits
  • Social ratings
  • client protection assessments or certification
Resources for indicator 1.B.3.1
  • SPI technical website
  • SPI audit guide
  • SPI online training videos

1.B.3.2 The provider publishes a report that includes social performance data. Minimum frequency: annually

Reporting makes the provider accountable to its social goals, both internally and externally. It also shows the provider willingness to allow its social performance to influence its public reputation.

Scoring guidance
  • Score “yes” if the provider publishes its social performance data on its website, in an annual report, or in any other format.
  • Score “partially” if the provider publishes very brief and incomplete information about its social performance, where “incomplete” means the information reported do not address all of the benefits to clients that the provider is trying to achieve, as stated in its strategy. Or if the report is not published annually but every 18 months/2 years. Or if the reports are not public but can be provided to investors/ other stakeholders if requested.
  • Score “no” if the provider does not publish information about its social performance. Or if the report is about a 3-year-old.
Sources of information
  • Website
  • Social media channels
  • Annual report
  • Social audit report
  • Social rating report
Evidence to provide 

Look at all reports, both public (e.g., on the website and through social media channels) and private (e.g., social audits or social ratings) that the provider can furnish to stakeholders upon request.

1.B.3.3 The provider discusses social performance results with employees. Minimum frequency: annually

There are multiple benefits to the provider of discussing social performance results with employees: it is motivational to employees to know that their work leads to positive outcomes for clients, it creates a culture where employees understand that members of the leadership team value good social performance, and it gives employees an opportunity to provide feedback that might help the provider achieve even better social performance in the future.

Scoring guidance
  • Score “yes” if there is evidence of pro-active communication with employees about outcomes, such as a staff meeting where the team discusses results or an email informing employees of results.
  • Score “partially” if there is passive sharing of results, such as posting them to the website, but without an effort to make sure all employees are aware that the data are available.
  • Score “no” if the provider does not make outcomes data available to employees, or does not have outcomes data.
Sources of information
  • Minutes from annual shareholder meetings
  • Agendas or notes from staff meetings
  • Staff awards
  • Announcements via social media
Evidence to provide

The way in which the provider communicates with employees about outcomes can vary. It could be in person or electronically. It could even be tied to trainings, celebrations or awards or acknowledgement of good job performance. The essential is to see whether management has communicated the information and whether employees have responded in any fashion, proving that they received and understood the information provided.

Field examples / Guidance for implementation  

Juhudi Kilimo in Kenya shares update on its social performance results every year in July for its “SEPM training month”with 2 virtual sessions with all field staff and branch managers, based on content developed by its SEPM committee.