The CERISE SPI tool, available for free, was designed using an open, collaborative and transparent approach. Used by more than 500 MFIs worldwide, the CERISE SPI tool is the premier social performance audit tool for institutions committed to improving the lives of their clients.
The volume of users henceforth impedes the promoters of the tool to maintain in-depth case-by-case quality control. Moreover, the microfinance sector has changed. Scandals and increasing criticism have put it under the scrutiny of media, governments, regulators and the wider public. MFIs both need and want to be more transparent and improve their practices. The CERISE SPI is useful toward this end, but it also creates a potential market for free riders. Quality of assessments must be ensured.
SPI now includes Standards of Use , and a Certification process for trainers and auditors.
The Standards of Use formalize the CERISE SPI application process to ensure quality control and define optimum conditions in which the SPI tool can be used.
Certification is required to be considered as an external auditor and to train other organizations on the SPI tool.
Certification aims to
avoid inefficient use of the SPI tool by MFIs and their partners (bad quality, unreliable information);
ensure quality control and potential benchmarking among SPI users by guaranteeing with reasonable confidence the process used for the audit;
avoid inappropriate use of the SPI tool by third parties (free riders using SPI for commercial purposes, duplication of efforts, creating unnecessary reporting burdens for the MFIs);
ensure reliable reporting to MIX.
Added value of the certification
For the audit user (MFI stakeholders): ensures rigorous quality control and reliability of the audit, increases external credibility of results, and facilitates trustworthy information sharing.
For the auditor: grants international recognition, access to updated knowledge and training in the efficient use of SPI.
For the MFI: ensures high quality data for decision making, boosts credibility of results, demonstrates strong commitment towards social performance.
Since 2011, several CERISE partner organizations have successfully completed or have started undergoing the CERISE-SPI certification process, producing a significant network of external auditors for MFIs to validate their SPI results.
Click here to access the CERISE official list of SPI certified organizations.
For more information about the CERISE SPI, visit http://spi4wiki.pbworks.com, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.