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NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Peer Learning Event in Manila >

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MFIs and networks gathered together in Manila on July 28th for a Peer Learning Event on the use of the Progress out of Poverty Index (PPI). It was an opportunity for 14 PPI users and supporters in the country, with a guest from the Vietnam Microfinance Working group, to share their experiences and learn from each other.

Cris Lomboy, Grameen Foundation’s Asia PPI Specialist, led the first discussion on a collaborative initiative to produce a report on Philippine Microfinance Poverty Outreach. Grameen Foundation, together with the Microfinance Council of the Philippines, Oikocredit, and the Mindanao Microfinance Council, plan to consolidate information across eight MFIs and present the concentration and scale of their poverty outreach. The participants expressed both their eagerness and concerns on the project, which will help shape the output of the report. Meldy Pelejo of Oikocredit shared that this project is, “A good way of highlighting what we have been doing the past 3 years with our partners.” There was also interest in replicating the effort and expanding the project in the next iteration.

For the second half of the event, Cris and Mharra de Mesa from CARD Bank’s Research Department shared CARD Bank's experience of operationalizing the PPI. Operationalizing the PPI involved setting strategic goals and translating them to an action plan (MIS, training, audit, data analysis and reporting). It also highlighted the use of both financial and social information for balanced decision-making on performance evaluation and product development, as demonstrated by the analysis done on CARD Bank’s Matapat Savings Product, a result of Grameen Foundation’s Microsavings Initiative.

Jonar Dorado of CEVI, a Philippines based MFI, shared that the event helped them become more confident in implementing the PPI by hearing and learning from the experiences of other MFIs. Jeff Ordoñez of the Mindanao Microfinance Council found the event insightful and emphasized the need for MFIs to use the PPI to improve social performance.