On September 7 – 11, 2015, delegates of different microfinance institutions (MFIs) across the country gathered in a workshop hosted by the Microfinance Council of the Philippines, Inc. (MCPI) in partnership with the People’s Development Trust Fund (PDTF), in Iloilo City.
“Strengthening the Capacities of MFIs: Building Leadership Accountability to the Mission” is a five-day workshop that introduced participants to Social Performance Management (SPM), Client Protection Principles (CPP), and leadership skills. In attendance were representatives of seven MFIs. Practitioners of different designations – a trustee, a vice president for operations, operations officers, area managers, branch managers, branch officers – enriched the diversity of delegates attending the event. The workshop’s knowledge exchange aspect was made more fruitful with the participants’ broad individual experiences.
To make the learning activity more effective, the workshop included a visit to Ahon sa Hirap, Inc. in Antique. As the center meeting began, the participants were given the chance to observe how SPM practices are applied. They learned how important it is to adapt to the needs and capabilities of MFI clients to assure them that they are never defrauded and can make fully-informed decisions. It was observed how the management was able to unify their personnel and clients toward a common goal which revolves around SPM and CPP. The delegates also recognized how helpful it is to create a friendly environment for staff and clients founded on good leadership practices. The delegates had the opportunity to ask questions as to how the principles are applied in various circumstances; and how the roadmap to their social goal is conceptualized.
The facilitators ensured that the lessons imparted amongst the participants are internalized. They encouraged the participants to formulate an action plan that they can integrate in the operation of their respective institutions. The mission of helping the poor walk out of poverty continues as participants are encouraged to apply social performance principles in their practice. The ‘smallest’ achievement of social goals means so much to those the MFIs have pledged to serve.
The workshop was facilitated by Mrs. Mila Mercado-Bunker and Ms. Jesila Ledesma.