Social and Environmental Performance Management is an approach that puts clients at the center of all strategic and operational decisions in a microfinance institution. It begins with a clear social strategy which is carried out by the board, management and employees. MFIs with strong SEPM design products that help clients cope with emergencies, invest in economic opportunities, build assets and manage their daily and life cycle financial needs. Such MFIs also treat their employees responsibly and carefully balance the institution’s financial and social goals. As a result, MFIs that actively manage their social and environmental performance hold themselves accountable to their social mission, facilitate greater social impact and can even boost their operational and financial performance in the medium-term.
ECLOF International defines social performance as the effective translation of the ECLOF mission into practice, in line with accepted social values that relate to :
- Reaching our target market.
- Delivering high-quality and appropriate services.
- Responding to the needs of clients, their families and communities.
- Protecting clients from negative effects of accessing financial services.
- Ensuring responsibility towards our employees, clients, the communities we serve and the environment.
ECLOF International seeks to actively manage the social performance that its network delivers. ECLOF therefore has adopted the Universal Standards for Social and Environmental Performance Management (“the Universal Standards”): a set of core management practices that constitute “strong” Social and Environmental Performance Management (SEPM). In applying the standards, ECLOF members hold themselves accountable to their social mission, facilitate greater social impact and can even boost their operational and financial performance over time.