Last year, the number of poorest  clients reported by microfinance providers continued to decline, while the total number of clients (top line) recovered its growth trajectory.
Figure 1. Growth of total and poorest clients
(December 31, 1997, to December 31, 2012)
When the Microcredit Summit Campaign began collecting numbers on total clients and how many of these clients were among the poorest in their countries, few organizations used tools to measure poverty levels that could be benchmarked against the national poverty line. We accepted estimates on the percentage of poorest clients and then asked third-party evaluators to verify those results. Since then, Benchmarking tools for measuring poverty levels, such as the Progress out of Poverty Index® (PPI®) and the USAID Poverty Assessment Tool (PAT), have become more widely adopted and, when applied, often show that MFIs did not reach as many people living in poverty as they thought they did.
Over the last few years, those organizations reporting to the Campaign and those verifying the results have become reluctant to give numbers of poorest clients because of the increasing prevalence of these tools and the evidence that commonly accepted practices of measuring poverty outreach were, in fact, inadequate and overestimating. For those who hesitated to detail their poverty outreach, we asked that they make a very conservative estimate based on what data they had on their clients. In recent years, we have seen dramatic drops in poverty outreach by some MFIs from one year to the next, and often the most common factor was implementing a benchmarking tool for the first time.
 “Poorest” refers to families whose income is in the bottom 50% of the population living below their country’s poverty line or those families living on less than USD 1.25 per day per capita, adjusted for purchasing power parity.
Photo credit: © Fondep Micro-Crédit Morocco
|← Resilience||Using Poverty Measurement Tools to Meet Client Needs →
Table of Contents
- Executive Summary
- Taking Steps to Target the Poorest
- A Global Context for Extreme Poverty
- Microfinance & Health Providers Can Partner for Greater Results
- Commercial & Social Businesses Can Expand Value Chains to Include Those in Poverty
- Mobile Network Operators Can Build Systems that Reach the Poorest and Most Remote
- Regulators & Policymakers Can Build a National Ecosystem for Inclusion
- Social Support Payments Can Become a Bridge to Financial Inclusion
- Being Accountable for Results
- A Commitment to End Extreme Poverty by 2030
- Read the Full Report
- Get Your Copy