Haiti

Fonkoze 2010 Social Performance Report: Keeping Our Clients on the Staircase Out of Poverty

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Fonkoze’s 2010 Social Performance Report Shows Client Progress and Significant Innovation Despite a Year of Challenges

For more information, please contact:

In US, Canada & Europe
Natalie Domond Deputy Director, Fonkoze USA +1 202-628-9033 ndomond@fonkoze.org

In Haiti
Carine Roenen Director, Fonkoze +509 3726-5405 croenen@fonkoze.org

Port-au-Prince, Haiti, September 22, 2011 - Fonkoze released today its 2010 Social Performance Report, Keeping Our Clients on the Staircase Out of Poverty, an annual self-assessment of Haiti’s leading microfinance institution’s progress toward its social mission. The report highlights how Fonkoze’s ongoing commitment to client monitoring, program evaluation, and self-improvement made it uniquely prepared to support its clients through the challenges of 2010, including a devastating earthquake, a cholera outbreak, and a tropical storm.

Through its social performance monitoring department, Fonkoze uses Grameen’s Progress out of Poverty Index® (PPI®), a food security survey, exit interviews, and focus groups to evaluate program effectiveness and monitor client progress and satisfaction.

“This year we used the data collected by our social performance department to inform and evaluate our earthquake recovery program, which piloted important new products and services such as catastrophe micro-insurance and disaster preparedness education sessions,” shared Fonkoze Director, Carine Roenen. “These innovations are designed to equip clients and their families with permanent access to the tools and knowledge they need to better protect themselves from disasters.”

The report highlights the results and lessons from Fonkoze’s evaluation of its earthquake recovery program. The program ended with a 97% repayment rate on new loans, surpassing even pre-earthquake levels. 86% of participants declared they were completely satisfied with the program and 100% declared they were ready for a permanent natural catastrophe micro-insurance product. Fonkoze also received an award from the Smart Campaign, a global initiative to encourage strong client protection practices in microfinance, for developing model tools to avoid client over-indebtedness in the post-disaster context.

Clients who were interviewed in 2010 demonstrated progress out of poverty and steady improvements in the key socio-economic indicators that Fonkoze tracks. For 198 clients who entered Fonkoze in 2009 and were re-interviewed in 2010, food security increased from 22% to 36% in just one year, and 16% more were sending all of their children to school.

“We do believe people can make their way out of poverty, but it’s an incredibly difficult journey. This social performance report is a report card on how well we are doing in helping people move from one step to the next on the staircase out of poverty,” said Anne Hastings, CEO of Fonkoze Financial Services. “I was so excited when I learned that in our Ti Kredi (Little Credit) program, which is just a six-month program, we succeeded in reducing the percentage of these clients who were food insecure with hunger from 86% to 46%.”

Anne-Marie Joseph, a Fonkoze client for over five years who lost everything in the earthquake and then again to theft said, “If I hadn’t run into all these difficulties this past year, I would have undoubtedly made more progress. But, in fact, it’s with Fonkoze’s support that I have been able to bounce back each time.”

Lessons learned from 2010 have already informed numerous Fonkoze initiatives in 2011. On the one-year anniversary of the quake, Fonkoze launched its permanent catastrophe insurance product, and has already paid out more than US $1 million in claims in response to heavy rains in early June. On Tuesday, September 20, 2011 at the Clinton Global Initiative, Fonkoze, alongside partners Swiss RE and Mercy Corps announced a commitment to build on the catastrophe micro-insurance model to provide short-term financial support to victims of cholera.

The Grameen Foundation also just released a study profiling Fonkoze for its innovative use of the Progress out of Poverty Index® to aid in the design and monitoring of its disaster recovery programs. The press release and study are available on the Grameen website. Fonkoze began publishing social performance reports in 2007 following the establishment of its Social Performance Monitoring and Market Research department. Committed to transparency and accountability to clients, donors, and other stakeholders, Fonkoze completes this thorough self-assessment of its social performance, or second bottom line, each year to identify its strengths as an institution and areas for improvement. The full-length report is available on the Fonkoze website at: http://www.fonkoze.org/docs/Fonkoze_Social_Performance_Report_2010.pdf

About Fonkoze

Fonkoze is Haiti’s largest microfinance institution (MFI), with 46 branches serving more than 55,000 borrowers and 255,000 savers in every region of Haiti. It is one of the best known MFIs worldwide for its innovative approaches to reaching the poorest and accompanying them on their journey out of poverty. Fonkoze is also an industry leader in social performance management. Its Social Performance Monitoring and Market Research department is a 17-member team dedicated to the routine and systematic monitoring of Fonkoze’s clients and programs. Fonkoze is a fully certified user of the Grameen Progress out of Poverty Index® and is a two-time recipient of a Gold Certificate from the Social Performance Task Force and the Microfinance Information eXchange (MIX) for achieving the highest standards in social performance reporting. For more information, visit www.fonkoze.org.