> Posted by Laura Galindo, Senior Associate, the Smart Campaign, CFI
The following post is also available in Spanish.
Since its launch in 2009, the Smart Campaign has created and disseminated numerous tools to help financial institutions put the Client Protection Principles into practice. Today, the Campaign’s website is the go-to place for tools and resources on client protection for the microfinance industry. With more than 60 different tools and over one-hundred and twenty thousand website hits, we are excited to continue helping financial service providers move from being aware of the importance of Client Protection Principles to implementing them.
Financial service providers in Latin America have benefited from this pool of resources. However, even while this region accounts for a high percentage of the total tool hits, their demand for more resources keeps increasing – demand for more concrete examples of how peer institutions have put the principles into practice, and demand for additional how-to guides for assessing and implementing best practices. In order to meet this, we are excited to announce our second batch of Spanish and Portuguese-language tools, now available online.
This new set of resources includes tools that document experiences of leading institutions, technical tools, and short case studies of best practices.
Here’s a quick synopsis of the newly-translated Spanish-language tools and resources:
- Implementing Client Protection in Microfinance: The State of Practice, 2011. A report from the Smart Campaign that explains how the Campaign and other actors are working to move from initial awareness raising about client protection to capacity building, implementation, and, finally, certification.
- Over-Indebtedness of Microborrowers in Ghana. A research study that provides insights from clients in the urban microfinance market in Ghana on the first Client Protection Principle, Prevention of over-indebtedness.
- Collections Guidelines for Financial Service Providers. A checklist for institutions to assess their collections policies and practices, with the goal of strengthening client protection during the collections process.
- Avoidance of Over-Indebtedness: Guidelines for Financial and Non-Financial Evaluation. A tool to help financial service providers incorporate good client protection practices into their evaluation processes for individual loan clients.
- The Client Welcome Kit is the set of documents that helps new clients understand their full financial obligations, what they can expect from the institution, and what to do if they experience any problems.
- Responsible Treatment of Clients: Practicing Non-Discrimination. Provides financial service providers with insight into the difference between client targeting and harmful discrimination, illuminating examples of common forms of discrimination. It also provides financial service providers with seven action steps to correct and prevent discrimination.
- Transparency in Promotions and Sales: A Checklist for Financial Service Providers. Focuses on the first point of contact with the client—the initial “sales pitch.” Financial service providers can use this tool to improve transparency when promoting and selling credit and savings products.
- Smart Microinsurance: An Overview for Microfinance Institutions on Incorporating Client Protection Practices. Outlines key client protection guidelines for microinsurance products. It offers guidelines for appropriate product design, partnering with other service providers, and social performance ratios for evaluating the effect of microinsurance on clients.
- Fonkoze: Guide for Credit Agents — Evaluating Clients for Fonkoze’s Post-Disaster Recovery Program. A tool provided by Fonkoze that guides credit agents in disbursing credit in a post-disaster environment—a time when microfinance clients are particularly vulnerable to over-indebtedness.
- Client Business Evaluation Toolkit, shared by the Microfund for Women, is a tool that provides credit staff a complete profile of the health of the potential client’s business and capacity to take on debt. This tool helps the institution make quality disbursement decisions and minimize the risk of client over-indebtedness.
- Additionally, three Smart Notes are now available in Spanish (Ethical Staff Behavior at Alalay Sa Kaunlaran, Inc. (ASKI), Hiring Staff with Disabilities at AccessBank, Azerbaijan, and Implementing an Industry Code of Conduct at PMN). Smart Notes are short best-practice case studies that explain how a provider has implemented a specific Client Protection Principle.
Tools and resources newly available in Portuguese (see above for descriptions):
- Revised Client Protection Principles
- Avoidance of Over-Indebtedness: Guidelines for Financial and Non-Financial Evaluation
- Collections Guidelines for Financial Service Providers
Please consult our resource center frequently as we continue to improve and expand our suite of tools in the coming year! By translating and actively disseminating tools we hope to continue helping financial service providers move from endorsement to implementation of the Client Protection Principles.
We’d like to thank the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) for their generous support in the development of these tools.
Image credit: the Smart Campaign
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