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A Great Investment of Time: Data Analysis Training in Ecuador >

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Recently, some of my colleagues and I had the opportunity to attend a two-day workshop to learn data analysis techniques for the Progress Out of Poverty Index® (PPI®), developed by the Grameen Foundation. At our MFI, the Banco Solidario – a regulated financial institution that operates nationwide in Ecuador – we started to use the PPI in 2009 to help monitor our social performance. Like many other MFIs, we made a commitment to poverty reduction in our mission statement. Over time, the PPI will help us to better understand the progress out of poverty amongst our clientele.

Given our experience with the PPI, the topic of the workshop piqued our interest. I had my doubts about the two day agenda at first. How could we possibly spend two days talking about data analysis? Since we had already implemented the PPI at my organization, I wasn´t sure how much was left to learn.

I couldn´t have been more mistaken. My colleagues and I all completed the workshop feeling like it was a great investment of our time. The PPI team at the Grameen Foundation has traveled around the world, observing and collecting best practices for PPI implementation. During the workshop our instructors presented a process based on their research on best practices for collecting and analyzing PPI data. We found the detailed, step-by-step explanation of each phase of the process extremely helpful...

During the course of the training we were invited to put key concepts into practice through several exercises based upon real-life scenarios. Themost beneficial exercises were the peer-learning activities at the workshop where we had the opportunity to share and listen to our peers about their organizations’ experiences in implementing the PPI.

Afterwards, we returned to our organization with a bunch of ideas and suggestions for improvement. Thanks to the workshop, I am confident that we will be able to make important improvements to our processes in the next round of data collection and analysis.

Thank you Sergio, Mary Jo and the Grameen Foundation for organizing such a useful training!


andrea_stilesAndrea Stiles is the Manager of Financial Education at the Banco Solidario in Ecuador. She has worked in microfinance throughout the Americas over the past decade, contributing to several projects focused on social impact monitoring. Andrea is based in Quito, Ecuador.