New Smart Note: Supporting Members to Adopt Client Protection at Azerbaijan Microfinance Association

> Posted by Maggie Long
The unique role of microfinance networks and associations in the industry’s adoption of client protection practices, while often overlooked, is quite extensive.  For example, as the new Smart Note describes, the Azerbaijan Microfinance Association (AMFA), as part of their larger social performance management strategy, actively supports its 28 member organizations in the adoption of the Client Protect Principles through a variety of services.
In order to generate interest and convince its members to commit to client protection, AMFA offers trainings on client protection, provides and creates client protection materials, and recently sponsored a study that included 2,000 client interviews. In addition to all of these initiatives, and thanks to funding from USAID, several AMFA staff members have been trained in the client protection assessment methodology and have since been able to perform assessments on MFIs within their network.
Despite this large effort, AMFA has admitted that due to competing priorities some MFIs have been slow to adapt the principles. However, since their social performance strategy was launched, 90% of their member organizations have endorsed the Smart Campaign and increased focus on client protection.
AMFA’s commitment and ongoing client protection initiatives can serve as a good practice example to other networks and associations.
To learn more about how AMFA supports its members, be sure to check out the new Smart Note.
Have you read?
Improving Sector Transparency: A Case Study on the Azerbaijan Microfinance Association
Smart Note: Hiring Staff with Disabilities at AccessBank, Azerbaijan
Smart Note: Responding to a Crisis at FUNDESER