Microfinance Focus November 30, 2012:
The Smart Campaign released a Compulsory Group Training (CGT) tool at the Microfinance India Summit on 27th November, 2012. The tool is designed to address client protection at the client induction stage, specifically for Grameen style JLG lending.
The “Client Protection in Compulsory Group Training” is the first Smart Campaign tool in a series of eight tools that would be developed under an International Finance Corporation (IFC, part of the World Bank Group) Grant. Present at the launch, Girish Nair of the IFC said “This attempt to bring to the fore best practices in the sector and share with a larger audience is a laudable initiative. We see this addition to the existing body of knowledge within the sector as a valuable one, bridging the gap between theory and practice. This effort by SMART Campaign is the first of many to come. Practitioners will find it useful in improving their engagement with microfinance customers.” Also present at the launch were representatives from industry networks - Alok Prasad of MFIN and Achala Savyasachi of Sa-Dhan, and leading microfinance practitioners- Samit Ghosh of Ujjivan. Five microfinance institutions - Equitas, Grameen Koota, SKS Microfinance, Swadhaar and Ujjivan – collaborated with the Smart Campaign for the development of the CGT tool.
The CGT tool consists of two sections. The first section contains a guiding CGT framework which contains a detail outline for conducting a 3-day CGT. These subjects are mapped to the seven client protection principles espoused by the Smart Campaign, further highlighting the role of CGT in client protection.
The second section of the tool contains illustrative examples of good client protection practices being followed by the participating MFIs. These practices were selected by the Smart Campaign, based on the observations of the Campaign during the Client Protection Assessments of these institutions.
Dr. Hema Bansal, India Manager of the Smart Campaign added “The Campaign primarily focuses on helping microfinance institutions improve their practices, and development of tools under our IFC project is a collaborative effort aimed at enabling microfinance institutions to raise the bar on Client Protection Practices”.
The Campaign hopes that institutions take advantage of this tool to jointly develop improved industry benchmarks on client protection The tool would be publicly available for the benefit of microfinance institutions and be obtained free of cost online at http://www.smartcampaign.org/tools-a-resources/740