Learning from Clients: Assessment Tools for Microfinance Practitioners
This extensive manual aims to help practitioners assess their clients. Its core is a set of five assessment tools that practitioners can use to gather information about their programs – information that is useful for impact assessment, market research, and improving program products and services. Accompanying the tools are step-by-step instructions for using them, starting with initial preparations and ending with data analysis. The manual was developed by the SEEP Network as part of the PVO (private voluntary organisation) and NGO (non-governmental organisation) component of the larger AIMS (Assessing the Impact of Microenterprise Services) project funded by USAID. It was developed by and for practitioners and aims to respond to the particular needs and challenges they face in determining how their programs and services are affecting their clients.
The manual starts with a discussion on the AIMS-SEEP Impact Assessment Process, setting out the conceptual framework and the SEEP hypothesis. The section also introduces the core five assessment tools and the hypotheses they address. The next chapter covers quantitative and qualitative methods, looking at research, guidelines for interviewing translating questionnaires into local languages and sampling.
The bulk of the manual then moves into 5 core tools:
- Impact Survey
- Client Exit Survey
- Use of Loans, Profits and Savings Over Time
- Client Satisfaction
- Client Empowerment
The beginning of each chapter on the different tools provides a useful two-page introduction on its particular use. The introduction sets out whether the tool is qualitative or quantitative, an overview of the tool, which hypotheses it tests, its purpose and also an estimation of the time taken to administer the tool. The main part of each chapter then comprehensively walks through the implementations and administration process. The final chapter covers the key aspects of actually planning and scheduling an impact assessment.