Reports including SPM reports

Social Performance Management-Staying focused on Client Centricity

ESAF’s journey has been the one that embedded the mantra ‘creating opportunities’ for all to grow, participate and contribute towards the growth of one’s family and economy as a whole. ESAF has clear policies that call for a balance between financial, social and environment objectives and has laid foundation for a sustainable and long term goals that embed social performance management in the very DNA of the organisation. SPM department supports the management by bringing client insights through research and feedback and monitor and review its social targets. Below are social goals of the organisation:

  • To reach the most backward regions with priority to unbanked and underserved population who are excluded from the financial inclusion space.
  • To reach the backward communities (scheduled castes, scheduled tribes) through enabling access to financial and allied services.
  • To enable access to better housing, water and sanitation, clean energy, livelihood support and products that improve the standard of living of the poor clients.
  • To reach to Persons with Disabilities for financial inclusion.
  • To improve the health status of women clients and their families through improved knowledge on health matters.
  • To improve the economic conditions of the clients through improved livelihood support services.
1. Observing Financial Inclusion Week

ESAF Microfinance partnered with Center for Financial Inclusion ACCION to observe FINANCIAL INCLUSION WEEK from October 17th to 21st October 2016 by organizing different events. Financial Inclusion Week is observed with the purpose of achieving full financial inclusion a state in which everyone who can use them has access to a full suite of quality financial services, provided at affordable prices, in a convenient manner, with respect and dignity.

A seminar was organized on financial inclusion where a panel discussion on the topic FINANCIAL INCLUSION:HOW FAR HAVE WE REACHED? A KERALAPERSPECTIVE at Hotel Ashoka, Thrissur.Major stakeholders involved with financial inclusion in our state were invited for the panel discussion which was attended by 150 participants from universities, banks, MFIs and ESAF clients.ESAF client testimonials were also organized where the clients spoke about the changes they have undergone after the microfinance support through ESAF.

CMD K Paul Thomas emphasized on the need for reaching the underserved areas through the right use of technology which is user friendly and is more than just opening up of accounts that remain non-active
Client-Staff InterfaceWith the purpose of better understanding the needs and preferences of the customers,SPM department organized an interface where the clients as well as the staff representing various at the head-office participated.20 client representing around 100 clients were called for the discussion where their satisfaction levels,concerns and expectation with ESAF’s products as well as services were put forth before the staff who later came up with their department’s plan of how to improve their services in a way that the clients benefit optimally. It included staff treatment and behavior to clients, client’s knowledge about different products, whether grievances are addressed on priority etc.

2. Client centric market research:

SPM department regularly carries out client feedback and market research to not only know the satisfaction levels of the clients but also to understand their preferences,family dynamics and their expectations of growth and development for themselves and their families,challenges in meeting their needs etc.The studies help the product management team to pilot and roll-out new products which is affordable as well as accessible within their doorsteps.Some of the products are sewing machine,home appliances,mini cook stove to jumbo energy efficient cook stove,mobile phones etc.Similarly new loan products were Agri Business Loan (Vegetable Farming),Umbrella Loan (for Umbrella making for livelihood),House Improvement Loan, Enterprise Development Loan (for graduate clients to build their business) (for repair of house to make it safe) etc.These loans are customer centered and are adapted to their requirements where repaying capacity is also taken into consideration.

2.1 Assessment Reports:

2.1.1.House Improvement Loan :Nearly 45% of the ESAF clients have houses with inadequate facilities such as lack of functional toilet,no concrete roof,mud floor and mud walls,household crowding and lack of privacy.Having understood that investments in house improvements were linked to socio-economic outcomes such as safety,increased livelihood and income opportunities,increased social status and value for house,ESAF introduced House Improvement Loan up to INR 75,000.As of June 2016 a total of 26278 clients were reached and INR 138 crores were disbursed.
SPM team interviewed 115 clients across 15 branches in 4 states to know their opinion about the utilization of House Improvement Loan.Below table’s shows gives a snap shot of the findings.
Roof work19.0%
Tile work16.2%
Separate room / Kitchen22.8%
Grocery store6.8%
Toilet and bathroom12.1%
Kitchen6.0%
Well and staircase3.5%
Plumbing work4.1%
Electricity3.5%
Foundation work for new house1.7%

As seen in the above table shows the different type of repair and renovation work that was undertaken using the Home Improvement Loan from ESAF. Most of them could take up the incomplete house construction work which was they could not finish due to lack of finances. Also old houses in a poor condition was repaired and readied for a safe stay.
Better livelihood38.1%
Better value for house25.1%
Improved privacy for the members18.1%
Safety and security from natural calamity30.5%
Increased comfort78.1%
Any Other1.9%
2.1.2 Vidya Jyoti Loan (Education Loan)
It has been a long standing need of our clients to offer them credit that especially takes care of the educational expenses of their children. In household where the number of children are two or more, women were finding it difficult to bear the expenses especially during school reopening when the term fees in most private schools needs to be paid in advance apart from other expenses of buying uniform, books, school bags etc.
Understanding the long standing demand from our clients, ESAF developed VidyaJyoti loan to support the educational needs of the children of our clients.

  • 57% of the beneficiaries surveyed had completed 4 years with ESAF and 6 % were single parent (widows).These women were the sole breadwinner who could barely save after meeting their expenses for any higher education of their children.
  • 58% of the spouses of the clients were casual labours who had meagre income to support higher education of the children.
  • 36% of the clients had used the loan to support the education of at least 2 children.
  • 53% of the clients and 48% of the spouse of the clients had not studied beyond secondary class.Inability to get a good education for themselves was one of the factors that persuaded them to give the best education to their children.
  • 58% clients had utilised the educational loan for their daughter’s education while 42% used for their son’s education.They believed they utilised the loan without any gender discrimination as which ever child showed interest in their studies and wanted to pursue higher education,the loan was prioritised accordingly for them.
  • 82% clients said that the Vidya Jyoti Loan was highly useful to meet the educational expenses of their children as unlike the previous years they did not had to borrow money from their relatives or friends to meet the huge expense at the time of school re-opening.They never had to compromise on their other important needs for the sake of meeting the educational expenses of their children.
  • Clients felt that Vidya Jyoti Loan will enable many girls to pursue their higher studies who otherwise dropped out of college as their families stressed hard to meet their two ends.

2.13. Client Satisfaction Study was conducted taking a sample of 640 clients across 16 branches covering representation from all states where ESAF is operational.
Clients were asked about their satisfaction levels on the below parameters:

  • Joint Liability Method
  • Criteria for member enrolment
  • Repayment Schedule
  • Branch visit and location
  • Education prior to sale of the product
  • Purchase and utility of the products

Though the satisfaction levels varied across the parameters but overall 95% of the clients were found to be satisfied at all levels. Concerns raised by some of the unsatisfied clients were considered for further discussion and required change. For e.g. the age limit of the clients at the entry was raised from 60 years to 65 years.

3.Measuring social targets-Balancing social and financial performance

Key indicators that demonstrate change and depict the socio-economic conditions are measured every quarter which helps the management and board to take appropriate steps to balance social priorities along financial sustainability.
Below is a quick snap shot of the same:
Poor clients (4.00 USD/Per day)52.4%
Rural clients85.4%
Backward communities (SC/ST/OBC)79.3%
Clients engaged in economic activity73.5%
Clients having own house96.5%
Clients who are persons with disabilities1538
Clients who could start a business exclusively with ESAF loans11.67%

ESAF undertook a SPI4 audit in June 2016 to self-assess its performance in terms of client protection and the Universal Standards for Social Performance Management.
This benchmarking report shows how ESAF’s audit results compare to peers in the CERISE SPI4 database (Source: Opportunity International Australia)

Notes on Peer groups: India institutions in India, all legal status combined; includes ESAF Super Giant +NBFI WORLD: NBFIs withborrowers, ≥ 250.000, all regions. No reedit means that when there are multiple SPI4 for one institution, only the most recent scores are taken into account.

4.CEEP: Client Empowerment and Education Program

Nearly 298937 clients were reached in the last 6 months through various training and capacity building program that is meant to improve their knowledge levels for a better uptake and utilization of the products and services as well as for general awareness building. Below table shows the CEEP trainings conducted from April to September 2016.

Anemia Prevention and Control Program:
In another customer oriented initiative, ESAF organized Anaemia Prevention and Control program at Chhindwara branch in Madhya Pradesh. In the first phase of the program, 188 women beneficiaries from three remote villages, Sonpipari, Parasiya and Megheseoni, participated. Nearly 70% women participants were identified with anaemia levels ranging from mild to moderate & severe. Immediate medical action was required for 30 odd clients who were referred to the nearly PHC.The selected members were given health tips, especially on the intake of inexpensive iron rich foods, dangers associated with severe anaemia levels and on the preparation of some simple iron rich recipes that can be prepared regularly. Local level tie-ups have been made with Primary Health Centre and ICDS centres so that iron tablets can be offered to the clients with severe anaemia on an urgent basis.

Clients from Meghaseoni village in Chhindwara MP after the screening test for Anemia detection along with ICDS staff.

Awareness Campaign on Breast Cancer and Cervical Cancer
Modules on creating awareness on preventive aspects related to breast and cervical cancer was prepared in Hindi with the purpose of educating the clients in Central India states where the literacy levels are lower and women do not have required opportunities to know the tests which one can undergo prior to the onset of such cancers.A cancer detection camp was also organised in Hingna-Maharashtra. Suspected patients were advised for mammogram and Pap smear.

Case study:

Loan type: Income Generation Loan
Name of the microfinance client: Sindhu Sreeraj
Place: Nilambur.
I was a mere housewife until my husband met with an accident 4 years back and our financial stability was in doldrums. He couldn’t go for work and we were under extreme financial stress as his medical expenses were also rising day by day. Without any source of income, I took up the decision to go for work to support my family. I started working a marketing agent for a company on a commission basis. But it was quite a tedious job where I had to work for nearly 12 hours a day and at the end of the month I would get only INR 8000.I was unable to attend to my child also. It was then that one of my relative introduced me to MAT MAKING using cotton materials left unused in the garment manufacturing units. I was inspired to start a MAT MAKING UNIT of my own where I can stay at home, attend to my family’s needs and also earn income. So I went to some of my relatives and neighbors to borrow money to buy the mat making machine. Somehow I could not get the desired amount and it was then that one of my aunt who is with ESAF asked me to joint ESAF. From then onwards there is no looking back.
I used the first and the second one to buy mat weaving machine.I did not use the first loan until I got the second one so that I can have enough money.As the demand increased I bought 2 more machine and employed 3 more women from our group to work for me. And with the latest loan of INR 60,000 from ESAF and some more savings from my end I bought 3 more machines. Today I have 6 machines and I have given employment to 5 women who are also supporting their families through this small scale unit which I have started in our small village.
There is a huge difference in the income levels of our household from the time when my husband was the only breadwinner to what I am today. When my husband was earning he would get some 600 Rs per day. We could barely meet our two ends without much savings.It wasn’t too easy to meet the hospital expenses also when my husband met with the accident. Now my income is around 2000 INR per day after meeting all the expenses.I have on worries now. We are a happy family, we have a purpose in life.I want to buy more machines and give employment to more women.

Sindhu displaying the mat she has woven.
2. Griha Jyoti Loan

Chitra Prakash Pingle is a 4… year old client of Manavisangam of Wardha Branch and has been using the energy efficient cooking stove for the past 2 years. She exclusively uses it to cook ‘khichdi’ which is a nutritional mix for anganwadi children as part of ICDS project.She says, “ When I got the contract of preparing khichdi for a nearby anganwadi I worried because it would be difficult to arrange for an extra LPG cylinder but it was then that ESAF offered Greenway Stove. I can easily cook 3-4 kg khichdi on a daily basis.” The cooking she says is faster and consumes less wood. She could repay her cook stove loan with the income she earned from cooking khichdi, which she considers as quite a fortunate thing!