Plan International Asia has completed Progress out of Poverty Index™ (PPI™) pilots in two countries—Vietnam and Nepal —providing needed baseline poverty information to three key microfinance institutions seeking to implement the PPI.
Soon to come from Plan Asia are reports on PPI pilots in Cambodia, Pakistan and Bangladesh. By the end of this calendar year, Plan Asia projects 75,000 PPIs will have been collected, with five out of its nine target countries participating. Sri Lanka, India, Philippines and Indonesia PPI pilot reports are scheduled for 2011.
Following are brief reports on the first two countries to have completed PPI pilots.
Vietnam: At the time of its pilot survey, the Village Savings and Loan Program (VSLP) for Plan Vietnam was serving 1,196 poor minority women organized in 76 VSL groups in 41 villages and 7 communities of Dakrong district. Dakrong is one of the 63 poorest districts of Vietnam, with income based mainly on agriculture and livestock. Village agents carried out the surveys in March.
The poverty rate of the VSLP for different poverty lines is much higher in comparison with country-level poverty rates. For example, the poverty rate for the whole of Vietnam against the national poverty line is 13.6 percent, but it is 40.8 percent for VSLP clients. Against the poverty rate of $1.75 per day, the poverty rate for VSLP clients goes up to 74.8 percent.
VSLP management wants to reach a higher percentage of the poor than the PPI data revealed. As a result, the organization will develop an action plan to reach areas with the poorest populations, and it will focus on a second collection of data.
Nepal: Two members of the Microfinance Association of Nepal (MIFAN), the Development Projects Service Center (DEPROSC) and the Nepal Rural Development Organization (NeRuDO), conducted PPI pilot surveys during June. Credit officers and field supervisors surveyed a total of 4,038 clients, all women.
The survey found that the selected branches of DEPROSC and NeRuDO have almost similar poverty rates against six poverty lines measured. And the consolidated distribution of clients by poverty levels is more or less reflective of Nepal’s poverty levels as whole (a PPI result of 21.1 percent below the national poverty line compared to 25.9 percent below the line for Nepal as a whole.
MIFAN seeks to implement the PPI with all of its member institutions, as part of a five-year Country Strategy Plan.
To learn more, the full reports are available on the Microfinance Gateway:
Muhammad Awais is a guest blogger on the Progress Out of Poverty blog. As the Regional Microfinance Advisor for Plan International in Asia, Awais focuses on helping integrate social performance metrics into Plan International’s work. He brings a great perspective from the MFI practitioner as well as from the network level of how to integrate SPM tools like the PPI into operations. He is based in Bangkok.