Promoting Inclusive Markets and Financial Systems
In January 2006, AMFA joined MFC’s Regional SPM Working Group, which brought together those organizations within the region that wanted to position themselves as SPM pioneers. Participation in this working group equipped AMFA with the means to raise awareness among members. As a result, social performance has been built into all of AMFA’s communication channels and activities, including:
- Core part of advocacy efforts
- Permanent theme discussed at AMFA’s annual conferences and gatherings
- Through AMFA’s newsletter and website.
The biggest challenge in raising awareness among members was that they didn’t consider social performance to be a high priority. To address this, AMFA used individual email correspondence to motivate the CEOs of socially-focused member MFIs. Each email message was customized to reflect the unique social features and strengths of the particular institution within the marketplace, while linking their performance with the potential benefits of a deliberate approach to SPM. Ongoing face-to-face conversations also played a crucial role encouraging members to actively participate in AMFA’s activities. Finally, special articles in AMFA’s monthly newsletters highlighting those members starting SPM initiatives played a key role in increasing visibility for SPM, and driving board interest and support.
This regular communication about the importance of social performance, which involved also other stakeholders such as investors, international organizations, and socially-focused members (including board members) made it clear to members that social performance is not a one-off activity. On the contrary — SPM should be part of an MFI’s core activities, rather than something that is used for external reporting.