Social Performance Monitoring
This morning, I fly to Phnom Penh, Cambodia to begin three months as a Kiva Fellow at CREDIT, one of Kiva’s longest standing field partners. Along with Bryan Goldfinger in Nicaragua and Nishita Roy in Lebanon, I will be one of three Kiva Fellows pilot testing Social Performance Monitoring at several field partners (in addition to conducting the more traditional duties of a Kiva Fellow). Measuring a microfinance institution’s “social” performance, in addition to financial performance, is an increasingly important facet of microfinance assessment and will be a focal point on Kiva’s agenda this year. Social performance is essentially a microfinance institution’s commitment to and success at carrying out their social mission. As such, social performance monitoring seeks to measure the extent to which microfinance institutions reach the poor and excluded, the quality and adaptability of the services they provide, and their level of social responsibility vis-à-vis their staff, clients, community and environment. Stay tuned for more on social performance monitoring as it is implemented in the field!
Last night, I pushed open the door of a popular bar near Kiva headquarters where I had been saying final goodbyes to Kiva comrades and walked, alone, into a chilly San Francisco evening. Though it wasn’t a particularly uncommon or noteworthy occurrence, the sudden solitude felt strange and acute. After a week and a half of camaraderie, near constant fraternizing, attached at the hip with the members of the 10th Kiva Fellows class (KFX), I realized I hadn’t felt alone in some time. For sure, I spent time alone traveling to and from the office each day and walked home alone after every late night of socializing (an everyday thing, apparently KFX fellows don’t get sick of each other), but it was never long before I was once again enveloped in the warm smiles and enthusiasm of my colleagues. It was disappointing to have said goodbye to them, but as I walked out that door, I smiled as I realized that the cold solitude San Francisco’s streets attempted to impose was no match for the companionship and warmth I am now privileged to carry with me from my new KFX friends and the Kiva staff. I am comforted by the sense that because of them, I will never feel truly alone at any point over the next several months abroad.
Next post from Phnom Penh!
Adam Kogeman, KF10, Cambodia
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