Microfinance Focus, November 05,2013: The Indian Microfinance Sector is currently in a critical phase of consolidation and strengthening of institutional practices. Sectoral stakeholders have recognized the need for a robust client protection framework to ensure fair and sustainable outreach of financial services to low income households. To take this agenda forward in a systematic manner and steer the sector towards sustainable growth, a core group of stakeholders came together to form the Responsible Finance Forum (RFF) in 2011.
The objective of the Forum is “to steer the sector towards institutionalizing the adoption and adherence of responsible finance principles into the practice of microfinance at all levels across all institutional types and business models”. The founding members of the forum consist of representatives from International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank, Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), Department for International Development (DFID), Microfinance Industry associations- Sa-Dhan and Microfinance Institutions Network (MFIN), Michael and Susan Dell Foundation (MSDF), ACCESS Development Services, and senior sector practitioners Mr. Brij Mohan and Mr. N. Srinivasan.
The scope of the Forum covers all microfinance clients and act as a neutral platform to integrate the various activities of the sectoral stakeholders, promote responsible finance practices in the sector and to communicate the responsible finance initiatives in a regular, timely and appropriate manner. The forum members have implemented various initiatives to promote responsible finance. Harmonized Code of Conduct, Code of Conduct Assessments, Client Protection Assessments etc. are to name a few.
As part of its initiative to raise awareness and communicate on Responsible Finance initiatives within and outside the sector, the Forum has agreed to come up with a newsletter every quarter. The Forum has published its first quarterly newsletter. highlighting the member’s initiatives on Responsible Finance. The second newsletter expected to be released next month will focus on the status of Client Grievance Redressal Mechanisms in MFIs. The newsletter provides a comprehensive picture on the various aspects of Responsible finance initiatives in the sector.
Download: Responsible Finance Forum: Quarterly Newsletter