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Up for Review: the Client Protection Principles at Fundación Paraguaya

Consider this the sequel to my last story about the Client Protection Principles. Planet Rating is visiting this week to conduct an organization-wide evaluation in order to decide if Fundación Paraguaya will be eligible for SmartCampaign certification.

(Tip: If some of these names do not sound familiar, probably better to read the prequel first).

Planet Rating has been so nice to let me join them on one of the days, which at the time of writing was yesterday. We visited the branch of Villa Elisa, a city in the Central Department of Paraguay that borders with the capital Asunción. At the branch, Anali from Planet Rating conducted interviews with three focus groups:

  1. Asesoras & Oficiales de Crédito
  2. A group of 8 male clients
  3. A group of 5 female clients (we hoped it would be more)

Some of the more interesting observations were:

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Can’t buy me love?

Love, to most of us, is one of those things that just has no easy measure, similar to art or to happiness. Nevertheless, we insist on sizing and benchmarking it and we spend our lives trying to measure what we all really feel for one another. We might even use material things or actions – like diamonds and presents – to measure how much we love or are loved by some individual or group of people.

The standard measure for love?

Well when I first met with the Planet Rating team last week, my impression was that they were trying to achieve something as difficult as measuring love: Planet Rating was assessing Financiera El Comercio’s Social Performance.

Allow me to take a step back: Planet Rating is a French Social Impact rating agency, specialized in assessing Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) and currently evaluating Financiera El Comercio. MFI rating agencies work similarly to ordinary rating agencies (the notorious Standard&Poors, Moodys, etc) and typically come up with a final grade based upon both quantitative (financial statements) and qualitative analysis (position in industry, management expertise, etc). No need to get into technicalities and scare away profane readers, precious and loyal so far!

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