November 18, 2009
When you read about organizations that help the poor, do you wonder how they know they are making a difference? We’re seeing positive results in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Fonkoze, the largest microfinance institution (MFI) in Haiti, is demonstrating that their programs help clients move out of poverty.
For Fonkoze, the mission is clear: target the poor and ultra-poor, mainly women in rural areas, and provide services to meet their special needs. In 2006, Fonkoze—working with Grameen Foundation--introduced the Progress out of Poverty Index™ (PPI™) assessment tool to measure the poverty level of its clients and to track their progress.
“When Grameen Foundation approached me about forming a partnership, the prospect of developing a PPI for Haiti was one of the most exciting elements,” says Fonkoze Director Anne Hastings. “We want numbers behind the promises we make to the poor.”
Two years later, the results are positive: data collected in 2008 showed that Fonkoze was meeting its goal to target the poorest, and that its programs were showing results. Clients who had been with Fonkoze for at least two years saw movement out of poverty; seven percent moved above the $1 a day poverty line from 2006 to 2008, and nine percent moved above the $2 a day line in the same period. This movement occurred despite Haiti’s extreme poverty and the further devastation of three hurricanes and a tropical storm that threatened or destroyed the livelihoods of approximately 14,000 Fonkoze clients.
Grameen Foundation and Fonkoze today released a case study, The PPI at Fonkoze: Applying Client Research to Programs and Services, describing the MFI’s use of the PPI to serve its clients.