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GLA members attend training on Social Performance Management and the Progress out of Poverty Index (PPI)
Twenty-two current and prospective GLA members from Asia, Eastern and Southern Africa participated in a five-day training on Social Performance Management and the Progress out of Poverty Index held in the Philippines from December 13 to 17, 2014. Organized by the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR), the training had the following objectives: 1) describe the PPI in the context of social performance management; 2) define the PPI in terms of purpose, construction and use; 3) explain key steps and best practices in the implementation of the PPI; 4) explain key uses, challenges and benefits of the PPI; and, 5) identify opportunities for the use of PPI in the participants’ respective organizations and develop corresponding action plans towards this. IIRR tapped Grameen Foundation’s PPI Specialist for Asia, Mr. Cris Lomboy, to be the main trainer and resource person.

The Progress out of Poverty Index (PPI) is a poverty measurement tool for organizations and businesses with a mission to serve the poor. With the PPI, organizations can identify the clients, customers, or employees who are most likely to be poor or vulnerable to poverty and integrate objective poverty data into their assessments and strategic decision-making. The PPI is country-specific and to date, 55 countries have fully developed PPIs courtesy of Grameen Foundation. As a poverty measurement tool, the PPI fits nicely with the GLA’s theme: “Graduating Millions out of Poverty.”

As a key feature of the training, visits to two livelihood-promoting NGOs that have strong social performance management and have embedded the use of PPI in their operations, were organized. This gave the participants the opportunity to observe how the PPI score card is administered with clients, how the data is processed and analysed and how the information is used at different levels of operations. Some of the participants even tried administering the tool themselves during the visits to communities. Participants were also given ample time to interact with officers of both organizations on the benefits and challenges they faced in the used of the tool.

A participant involved in a project that provides micro-credit to poor women recalled that his organization did not carry out any meaningful baseline study to look at the profile of the intended beneficiaries to enable the project to carry out a targeted intervention. He said, they were not able to have a clear picture of the poverty level of prospective beneficiaries which resulted in un-informed strategic decision-making process, un-measured poverty outreach, unstructured assessment of the performance of the intervention among the poor and poorest and weak tracking of poverty levels over time. A number of other participants expressed similar experiences in their respective organizations. They therefore saw the use of the PPI as a good mechanism to address this and have prepared their individual and group actions plans for this purpose.
The organizations represented in the training include the following:

• India – Institute of Livelihood, Research and Training (ILRT), Udyogini and Kabil
• Indonesia: SNV-Indonesia, Mercy Corps- Indonesia and Social Trust Fund – State Islamic University Jakarta

Eastern Africa
• Kenya: K-Rep Development Agency; Juhudi Kilimo; VSO-Jitolee; Egerton University; IIRR; Farm Shop Trust; Cascade Development Organization
• Uganda: FIT Uganda
• Tanzania: Tanzania Gatsby Trust

Southern Africa
• Zimbabwe: International Rescue Committee, Ruzivo Trust, Practical Action
• South Africa: Institute of Agribusiness Research & Development in Southern Africa; Simfresh International

The training forms part of the capacity-building component of the project entitled: Strengthening Learning Alliances and Networks for Scaling up Successful Research and Development Activities to Advance Livelihood Promotion (Phase 2) funded by the Ford Foundation.