We’ve learned through our work with MFIs that nothing is more effective at helping them better understand the benefits, uses, and challenges of the PPI than meeting with their peers in region/country. We’ve seen peer learning groups gather in Chiapas, Manila, and now in Bangalore.
The first India PPI Peer Learning workshop gathered 18 participants from three major microfinance networks and nine Indian MFIs. They came to Bangalore to discuss best PPI practices and to identify future opportunities to meet and collaborate on social performance efforts. The networks were:
- The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, which supports the PPI and encourages its partners to use the PPI among other SPM tools,
- Unitus, which—with support from the Dell Foundation—has launched the Social Performance Management Implementation Project to increase adoption of SPM among MFIs, and
- Plan International, which supports the PPI internationally and seeks to use it in India for other community development initiatives in addition to microfinance.
Guarav Singh, India Portfolio Manager for Grameen Foundation, along with Grameen Foundation trainers Mary Jo Kochendorfer and Cris Lomboy, facilitated the workshop. Among the challenges and creative solutions discussed were 1) creating buy-in for the PPI at all levels of an MFI, 2) integrating the PPI into current MIS, 3) managing costs and 4) interpreting and using data.
As in the Philippines, where peer learning has grown, sharing progress and plans among organizations has gained increased popularity. Participant Laura Maciunaite from BASIX said, “It was not only useful to hear what other organizations have achieved in the field of PPI but also to reflect on ourselves and to see in which direction we should be moving.”
“Thank you for a great learning and sharing experience! Yes, indeed it was a giant leap in leading SPM efforts in all organizations concerned,” said Benita Sarah Mathews from ESAF, another participant.
Rahul Badki, Bangalore-based Advisory Services Manager for Unitus, said, “Listening to practitioners’ experiences with PPI pilot implementation was very insightful, and these learnings will be useful as Unitus plans for extensive use of the PPI through our Social Performance Management Implementation Project.”
“The event was an important milestone given the stature and importance of the participants in the microfinance sector,” said Guarav Singh. “The enthusiasm and interest among all the participants was infectious and it was a great learning experience for everyone.”
Learn more about Grameen Foundation's work with in the peer learning space: