1 FORMAT FOR APPRAISAL OF NETWORK SUPPORT ORGANIZATIONS September 2004
2 Cntents Acknwledgments...iv Intrductin...1 Methdlgy Summary Analysis Reprt Overview f the Netwrk NSO Services and Impact n Partners NSO Operatinal Perfrmance Summary Cnclusins and Recmmendatins Institutinal Factrs Missin and Develpment Strategy Funding and Evlutin Gvernance Cntext Structure f Operatins Management Team Human Resurces Financial Management Infrmatin and Reprting Systems Industry Rle and Perceptins Partners and NSO Impact NSO Partners and Relatinships Partner Perceptins f NSO NSO Inputs and Impact n Partners NSO Services and Perfrmance Overview f NSO Services Gvernance f Partners Institutinal Start-up and Transfrmatin Technical Services Financial Services Knwledge Management Research and Develpment Plicy Advcacy Strategic Plan Objectives fr the Near t Medium Term Prjectins...31 ii
3 TABLE OF CONTENTS iii Bxes Bx 1. The Variety f NSOs in Micrfinance Tday...2 Bx 2. Useful References...6 Tables Table 2.1 Surces f Funds fr NSO Operatins...15 Table 2.2 Uses f NSO Funds...15 Table 3.1 Summary f NSO inputs and impact by partner...21 Table 3.2 Partner perfrmance vs. MicrBanking Bulletin (MBB) Benchmarks...22 Table 4.1 External Funds (grants/lans/equity) Mbilized by NSO fr its Partners...26 Table 4.2 Grants, Lans, and Equity Funding Prvided by NSO t its Partners...27 Annexes Annex 1 NSO Screcard...32 Annex 2 Netwrk Supprt Organizatin Prfile...34 Annex 3 Interview Guide fr NSO Partners...42 Annex 4 Interview Guide fr Industry Stakehlders...47
4 Acknwledgments The principal authrs f this appraisal frmat are Matthew Brwn and Jennifer Isern f CGAP. An early draft was develped by Diana Meyers in crdinatin with Tamara Ck and Jennifer Isern. Elisabeth Rhyne f ACCIÓN Internatinal and Richard Rsenberg f CGAP prvided significant cmments and advice n the verall apprach. Isabelle Barrès and Didier Thys f the Micrfinance Infrmatin exchange (the MIX), Renée Cha-Bérff f the Centre Internatinal de Dévelppement et de Recherche, Marc de Susa-Shields f Enterprising Slutins Glbal Cnsulting, David Gibbns f CASHPOR Inc., Thmas Kennedy and Katharine McKee f USAID, and Rland Siller f KfW, als reviewed and cmmented n the dcument. Special thanks are als due t Tamara Ck, Brigit Helms, Alexia Latrtue, and Elizabeth Littlefield f CGAP, wh prvided valuable cmments. iv
5 Intrductin This appraisal frmat has been develped by the Cnsultative Grup t Assist the Pr (CGAP) as a guide t evaluating netwrk supprt rganizatins (NSOs) in micrfinance. Bradly speaking, an NSO is an rganizatin whse primary functin is t develp its institutinal partners. 1 NSO partners are typically micrfinance institutins, banks, r ther rganizatins that ffer financial services t the pr. The NSO and its partners frm what is cmmnly called a micrfinance netwrk. 2 This frmat is an utline fr gathering infrmatin and assessing NSOs. It has a number f pssible applicatins, ranging frm appraisals fr funding decisins t internal NSO selfassessments. It is designed fr bth cmprehensive appraisals as well as mini evaluatins that use a particular sectin f the frmat t analyze a specific aspect f an NSO. Fr funders interested in a full appraisal, this frmat will help an analyst assess: (1) hw well an NSO s missin fits a funder s strategic pririties, (2) the degree t which an NSO is an efficient and well-run rganizatin, (3) the quality f NSO services and their relevance t partners, and (4) an NSO s cntributin t the brader micrfinance industry. The appraisal frmat is divided int five sectins: Sectin Descriptin 1. Summary Analysis Reprt Prvides a framewrk fr the final reprt f an analyst, which shuld (a) draw cnclusins abut whether the NSO adds value t its partners in a cst-effective way and (b) prvide recmmendatins fr funding. 2. Institutinal Factrs Explres an NSO s missin and develpment strategy and analyzes its rganizatinal capacity. 3. NSO Partners Examines the prfile f NSO partners, relatinships between an NSO and its partners, and the impact f an NSO n its partners. 4. NSO Services Evaluates each service f an NSO, their impact n partner perfrmance and their cntributin t the brader micrfinance industry. 5. Strategic Plan Analyzes an NSO s strategic plan and summarizes NSO prjectins fr future peratins. Each sectin begins with an verview t guide an analyst thrugh the different mdules cntained in the sectin. At the utset f each mdule, an analyst is instructed t describe a particular aspect f the NSO, fllwed by a series f evaluative questins. 1 Althugh different terms, such as partner, member, and/r affiliate, are used t describe the relatinship f an NSO t the rganizatins it supprts, the term partner is used here t characterize all f these relatinships. 2 The diversity f NSOs perating in micrfinance is discussed in Jennifer Isern and Tamara Ck, What Is a Netwrk? The Diversity f Netwrks in Micrfinance Tday, CGAP Fcus Nte, n. 26 (Washingtn, DC: CGAP, July 2004). 1
6 2 FORMAT FOR APPRAISAL OF NETWORK SUPPORT ORGANIZATIONS Bx 1. The variety f NSOs in micrfinance tday The table belw lists many f the NSOs, primarily internatinal, that are wrking in micrfinance tday. The majrity f the rganizatins listed here have prfiles psted n the MIX Market at NSO Abbreviatin Website ACCIÓN Internatinal ACCIÓN African Rural and Agricultural Credit AFRACA Assciatin Africa Micrfinance Netwrk AFMIN Banking with the Pr Netwrk BWTP Cashpr Cashpr Cathlic Relief Service CRS Centre Internatinal de Dévelppement et de Recherche CIDR cntact: CERISE CERISE Dévelppement Internatinal Desjardins DID Ecumenical Church Lan Fund Internatinal ECLOF FINCA Internatinal FINCA Freedm Frm Hunger FFH Friends f Wmen s Wrld Banking FWWB Grameen Fundatin Grameen F Grameen Trust Grupe de recherche et d échange technlgique Internatinal Netwrk f Alternative Financial Institutins Internatinale Micr Investitinen AG/ Internatinale Prjekt Cnsult Mennnite Ecnmic Develpment Assciates Micrfinance Centre fr Eastern Eurpe and the Newly Independent States Grameen T GRET INAFI IMI/IPC MEDA MFC MicrFinance Netwrk MFN Opprtunity Internatinal Opprtunity Prfund Prfund Pr-Mujer Pr-Mujer Sa-Dhan Sa-Dhan Save the Children Save ShreCap Internatinal ShreCap Small Enterprise Educatin and Prmtin Netwrk SEEP Unitus Unitus Wrld Savings Bank Institute WSBI Wmen s Wrld Banking WWB Wrld Cuncil f Credit Unins WOCCU Wrld Visin Wrld Visin
7 Methdlgy There is n simple way t cnduct an appraisal f an NSO. By their very nature, NSOs are cmplex rganizatins that prvide many angles frm which t measure and evaluate perfrmance. Based n CGAP s experience, there are a number f lessns learned that may help streamline the prcess. The fllwing is a list f recmmended steps fr an appraisal prcess. The rder f steps is intentinal, but shuld be changed as circumstance demands. Step 1: Determine the purpse and scpe f the appraisal Befre beginning an appraisal f an NSO, the cmmissining rganizatin shuld identify the key purpse(s) and scpe f the appraisal and establish the terms f reference fr an analyst(s). A full appraisal f an NSO fr the purpse f funding might use the cmplete frmat, with special attentin t the fllwing: 1. Analysis f the NSO s bjectives and institutinal capacity. The analyst shuld determine whether the NSO is a gd channel t meet the funder s wn strategic bjectives and whether the NSO has the institutinal capacity t achieve its stated gals. The analyst shuld draw cnclusins abut the extent t which the NSO is an efficient and well-run rganizatin with gd prspects fr the future Analysis f the NSO s impact r the value it adds t it partners. The analyst shuld draw cnclusins abut the extent t which the NSO adds value t its partners in a cst-effective way. The analyst shuld draw upn interviews with NSO partners and ther stakehlders, as well as data gathered frm different sectins f this appraisal frmat, t analyze the NSO s verall added value t partners. The analyst may als find it useful t lk at trends in a variety f partner perfrmance indicatrs t get a sense f whether the NSO is actually helping partners expand their utreach and imprve their financial perfrmance. Crrelating the quality and perfrmance f NSO partners with NSO inputs is inherently difficult, but remains a critical part f the analyst s wrk. In additin t analyzing NSO inputs, perfrmance trends, and the viewpints f the NSO and its partners, the analyst must als cnsider ther factrs that impact NSO partners, such as: (1) envirnmental factrs, (2) the stage f partner develpment when it became affiliated with the NSO, and (3) supprt received by partners frm ther NSOs r technical service prviders. 3. Analysis f NSO services and cntributin t the brader micrfinance industry. The analyst shuld draw cnclusins abut the extent t which the NSO prvides quality services that further its missin, are relevant t its partners, and cntribute t the brader micrfinance industry. Cnclusins abut the NSO s cntributin t the brader micrfinance industry shuld cme frm analysis f its services, such as knwledge management, plicy advcacy, research and develpment, and interviews with key stakehlders. The Summary Analysis Reprt has been designed specifically t capture this analysis. Items marked with a star ( ) thrughut the frmat are critical t the analysis. Fr appraisals r evaluatins that are smaller in scpe, the frmat itself may be a useful tl fr selecting areas f fcus fr the analyst s terms f reference. 3 T date, there are n perfrmance benchmarks fr NSOs. Until such benchmarks are develped, the analyst will have t use his r her best judgment and ther relevant perfrmance standards fr similar rganizatins. The analyst shuld, hwever, make clear the basis fr his r her cnclusins. 3
8 4 FORMAT FOR APPRAISAL OF NETWORK SUPPORT ORGANIZATIONS Step 2: Chse the analyst N matter the skill r experience f the analyst, the evaluatin f an NSO is a significant undertaking. An evaluatin is necessarily subjective and heavily dependent n the qualificatins and judgment f the persn carrying it ut. The mre experience an analyst has with micrfinance prviders, NSOs, the wider micrfinance industry, and institutinal-level issues, the better the analyst will be able t assess the verall quality f the NSO. Step 3: Select apprpriate sectins and mdules f the frmat The analyst shuld wrk clsely with the cmmissining rganizatin t select sectins and mdules f the frmat specific t the purpse(s) f the appraisal, as determined in step 1. The chice f apprpriate sectins and mdules will be based n the nature f the NSO, infrmatin available frm existing surces, the timeframe, and the budget. Funders wuld likely use the full framewrk nly in the case f a significant funding decisin. Fr smaller funding decisins, the analyst may chse t cmplete the Summary Analysis Reprt, fcusing n the key questins cntained there. Thse questins have been deliberately crss-referenced t ther sectins f the appraisal frmat t enable the analyst t quickly reference specific areas that may require mre extensive analysis. Step 4: Map ut the appraisal Befre the actual appraisal begins, take time t map ut a plan fr cmpleting the appraisal. Schedule time t hld a meeting(s) r cnference call(s) with the NSO and the cmmissining rganizatin, as well as ther majr stakehlders, t clarify expectatins f the prcess. Strategize the best methds fr gathering and cmpiling infrmatin, including the recmmendatins f NSO partners. The analyst, rather than the NSO, shuld make the final selectin f partners t interview and/r visit, ensuring that these rganizatins are representative f NSO clientele. Criteria fr chsing partners t interview and/r visit include: balance, in terms f partner size (utreach and prtfli), prfile (prducts, diversity, current challenges) and maturity, as well as gegraphical lcatin intensity and duratin f the NSO s relatinship with the partner appraisal time frame, budget, and number f team members the judgment f the analyst and the cmmissining rganizatin Step 5: Cllect available data in advance Prir t cnducting interviews and n-site visits, the analyst will want t capture as much data as pssible abut the NSO and its partners.
9 METHODOLOGY 5 Key data surces fr the evaluatin include: cmpleted Netwrk Supprt Organizatin Prfile 4 internal NSO dcumentatin, including financial statements fr the past three years, gvernance dcuments, missin statements, annual and quarterly reprts, reprts t funders and partners, business and wrk plans, rganizatinal charts, infrmatin system utputs, key publicatins, and ther relevant materials external reprts, ratings, r evaluatins f the NSO, including any relevant surveys cnducted amng its partners data reprted thrugh the MIX (e.g., partner prfiles) The analyst shuld als nte infrmatin that is requested but unavailable, particularly infrmatin that is unavailable due t gaps in NSO infrmatin tracking. Step 6: Cnduct telephne interviews and site visits Interviews shuld be cnducted with a significant sample f (1) NSO staff and bard members, plus partner managers, staff, and bard members, wh cllectively represent the diversity f the netwrk, (2) funders wh have supprted the NSO in the past, and (3) ther industry stakehlders. The Interview Guides fr NSO Partners and Industry Stakehlders in annexes 3 and 4 prvide sample questins and shuld be adapted, as apprpriate. All interviewees shuld be reassured that their respnses will be cnfidential and will nt be reprted t the NSO in any frm that wuld assciate a specific cmment with a particular rganizatin. The analyst shuld visit NSO headquarters and main ffices and meet with key management and technical staff. Depending n the scpe f the evaluatin, site visits f selected NSO partners shuld als be cnducted. If a cmplete partner appraisal is required as part f the evaluatin, the CGAP Frmat fr Appraisal f Micrfinance Institutins can be a useful tl. Step 7: Cmpile infrmatin and prepare the reprt Given the brad nature f mst NSO activities, a final appraisal reprt culd easily becme unwieldy. The analyst will need t balance the vlume f infrmatin against analysis f key decisin-making issues. The Summary Analysis Reprt is designed t highlight key findings and shuld be written t stand alne as a synthesis f the appraisal. The analyst may find it helpful t refer t the screcard in annex 1 t rate the NSO as he r she wrks thrugh the different mdules f the frmat. Step 8: Present the initial reprt t the NSO fr feedback Invlving NSO leadership, including directrs and managers, in the evaluatin frm the beginning can help them better understand the peratins f their rganizatin and imprve its perfrmance. Once the draft reprt is available, it is essential t share it with NSO leadership t cnfirm the accuracy f the infrmatin reprted, as well as t draw n their deep 4 A blank Netwrk Supprt Organizatin Prfile is attached as Annex 2 f this appraisal frmat. Cmpleted Netwrk Supprt Organizatin Prfiles fr a number f NSOs are psted n the MIX (www.mixmarket.rg) under the Partner sectin. Prfiles fr rganizatins that primarily prvide funding are available under the Supply sectin. NSOs that participate in the MIX may update their NSO Prfiles nline n a yearly basis. The analyst may want t discuss with the NSO any differences between the NSO s self-reprted respnses and the analyst s wn findings.
10 6 FORMAT FOR APPRAISAL OF NETWORK SUPPORT ORGANIZATIONS understanding f the NSO and its partners. The analyst shuld discuss the initial findings with the NSO and, ideally, request written feedback frm the NSO n the draft reprt. Step 9: Distribute the final reprt with recmmendatins and cnclusins The final reprt will prvide the cmmissining rganizatin useful insights fr making a funding decisin. If dne well, an appraisal will als prvide valuable insights that allw the NSO t understand its capacity and imprve its perfrmance. With this in mind, the Summary Analysis Reprt shuld be tailred as needed t incrprate additinal details frm the main sectins f the frmat. Once the Summary Analysis Reprt is cmpleted, the cmmissining rganizatin, in cnsultatin with the NSO, shuld decide n its distributin within the netwrk and amng stakehlders. Bx 2. Useful References Useful guidance fr NSO appraisals: Isern, Jennifer, and Tamara Ck What Is a Netwrk? The Diversity f Netwrks in Micrfinance Tday, CGAP Fcus Nte, n. 26 (August 2004). Washingtn, DC: CGAP. Netwrk Supprt Organizatin Prfiles cmpleted and maintained by a number f NSOs at under the Partners sectin, r under the Supply sectin fr rganizatins that primarily prvide funding. Other useful references: Christen, Rbert Peck, Brigit Helms, and Richard Rsenberg Frmat fr Appraisal f Micrfinance Institutins. Washingtn, DC: CGAP, _04.pdf. SEEP (Small Enterprise Educatin and Prmtin) Netwrk Netwrk Capacity Assessment Tl: Assessing the Organizatinal Capacities f Micrenterprise Develpment Netwrks. Ver Washingtn, DC: SEEP Micrfinance Cnsensus Guidelines: Definitins f Selected Financial Terms, Ratis, and Adjustments fr Micrfinance. Washingtn, DC: CGAP. Fr lan and equity fund evaluatins: ADA (Appui au Dévelppement Autnme) Internatinal Investment Funds: Mbilizing Investrs twards Micrfinance. Luxemburg: ADA, cmas/media/fndsinv_endef1].pdf. Enterprising Slutins Intermediating Capital t MFIs: A Survey f Financial Intermediatin t Micrfinance Institutins. Enterprising Slutins Brief, n. 2 (May). Cuernavaca, Mexic: Enterprising Slutins, esglbal.cm/pdf/intermediatingcapitalt MicrfinanceInstitutins.pdf. Frthcming references include an analysis f micrfinance investment funds by Enterprising Slutins Glbal Cnsulting; MicrRate s manual n micrfinance investment funds; and an upcming MicrBanking Bulletin editin n financing micrfinance (scheduled fr the end f 2004).
11 1 Summary Analysis Reprt Overview: The Summary Analysis Reprt is designed as a framewrk fr the final reprt f a full appraisal. It shuld be adapted r amended as apprpriate fr smaller appraisals r evaluatins. 1.1 Overview f the Netwrk This mdule shuld prvide backgrund details n the NSO that fcus n its missin and develpment strategy, as well as general infrmatin n NSO partners and their clients. Overall, the mdule shuld answer the questin: T what extent des the NSO share a cmmn visin with the funder and reach partners the funder wants t supprt? Histry, purpse, and missin Organizatinal fcus Gegraphic fcus Budget fr mst recent FY Number f full-time staff Descriptin f partners Number f partners Percentage f partners with psitive return n assets Ttal number f active clients f partners See annex 2, items 1 3, 5, and Key Questins: (Hw, when, and by whm the NSO was established; hw it has evlved ver time; develpment strategy; target clients; scial fcus) (Multi-sectr, micrfinance nly, micrfinance with related services) (Glbal, reginal, natinal) (and number f full-time staff dedicated t micrfinance, if different) Evaluate the NSO s missin and develpment strategy. What are the main strengths and drawbacks f the develpment strategy? (Sectin 2.1) Hw effectively des the NSO bard f directrs guide the NSO in the fulfillment f its strategic visin, prvide versight t NSO management, and represent the NSO externally? (Sectin 2.3) Cnsidering the plitical, ecnmic, and scial cntext f the cuntries (r gegraphic regin) in which the NSO wrks, evaluate the NSO s mandate and/r appetite fr wrking in difficult envirnments and hw it addresses the risks invlved. (Sectin 2.4) Evaluate the NSO s chice f partners, including their target clients, lcatins, legal status, and stage f develpment (e.g. start-up, yung, mature). T what extent is the NSO wrking with challenging partners and partners thrugh which it can have the greatest impact? (Sectin 3.1) Evaluate the relatinship f the NSO t its partners. Hw deeply and bradly engaged is the NSO with its partners and hw des this cmpare t the NSO s visin and capacity? (Sectin 3.1) T what extent has the NSO set clear perfrmance standards fr partners? Evaluate its plicies fr and experience f sanctining r disaffiliating partners. (Sectin 3.1) 7
12 8 FORMAT FOR APPRAISAL OF NETWORK SUPPORT ORGANIZATIONS 1.2 NSO Services and Impact n Partners By evaluating NSO services and inputs t partners, this mdule shuld answer the questin: Des the NSO have a gd track recrd f making substantial cntributins t the quality and perfrmance f partners in a cst-effective way? The analyst shuld refer t the instructins in sectin 3.3 when cmpleting the table belw and cnsidering the key questins that fllw. The table allws the analyst t review NSO inputs n a partner-by-partner basis. The questins that fllw tend t cnsider NSO inputs and utcmes n a netwrk-wide basis. In bth instances, the analyst shuld determine the extent t which NSO services impact the quality and perfrmance f partners and cmpare this against the dnr, gvernment, and private funding given t the NSO and its partners. Summary f NSO inputs and impact by partner* Partner (name) (stage f develpment) Input(s) Cst(s) Impact (services) (activities) (intensity f relatinship) (time perid) (financial csts) (staff time) (NSO pint f view) (Partner pint f view) Trend in Perfrmance (Outreach and/r financial perfrmance indicatrs)... *Table 3.1 in sectin 3.3. Key Questins: Evaluate the trends in partner utreach and financial perfrmance. What are the principal drivers f these perfrmance trends? Hw d NSO partners cmpare t their respective peer grups? Hw strngly des the NSO rle crrelate t trends in partner perfrmance? (Sectin 3.3) Are NSO reprts and mnitring adequate t assess NSO and partner perfrmance? Hw has the NSO used this infrmatin t transfrm NSO and/r partner peratins? Hw transparent is the NSO with this infrmatin? What is the availability and quality f infrmatin n NSO and partner perfrmance, peratins, and finances? (Sectin 2.9) What services des the NSO ffer, and hw d these services relate t the NSO s missin and develpment strategy? In what ways d these services add value t NSO partners and t the micrfinance industry as a whle? Hw effective are each f the services ffered in terms f delivery, cst effectiveness, and impact n partners? (Sectin 4.1) Hw d partners view NSO services? What d partners cnsider the cre cmpetencies f the NSO? Hw d they perceive their access t and the respnsiveness f the NSO? What ther advantages d they find in their netwrk affiliatin? (Sectin 3.2) Hw d ther industry stakehlders assess NSO services and cntributins t partners and t the micrfinance industry as a whle? (Sectin 2.10)
13 SUMMARY ANALYSIS REPORT NSO Operatinal Perfrmance This mdule fcuses n institutinal factrs f the NSO, ranging frm the structure f peratins and human resurces t the strategic plan. It als evaluates the cst structure and financial management f the NSO. Overall, the mdule shuld answer the questin: T what extent is the NSO an efficient and well-run rganizatin with gd prspects fr the future? Key Questins: Hw effective is the NSO s structure f peratins? Hw des the structure impact the NSO s ability t wrk effectively in its chice f regins and cuntries? Hw cst-effective is this structure? (Sectin 2.5) Evaluate the cmpsitin and cmpetence f the NSO management team. Hw effective is the management team in ptimizing the perfrmance and impact f the NSO? (Sectin 2.6) Evaluate the cmpsitin and cmpetence f NSO staff. T what extent is NSO staff held accuntable fr results? (Sectin 2.7) Based n the NSO s capacity and past perfrmance, evaluate the fcus f its business and/r strategic plan. Des the strategic plan reflect a clear understanding f the state f the industry? Is it realistic? (Sectins 5.1 and 5.2) Trends in Surces f NSO Funds 5 Based n the NSO s financial statements fr the past three years, the analyst shuld evaluate trends in the surces f NSO funds and depict them graphically as shwn belw, if helpful. This analysis will give the analyst sme sense f hw reliant the NSO is n dnr funding, as well as knwledge f cst-recvery mechanisms that the NSO may have in place (thrugh membership fees and ther frms f incme). REVENUE Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Surces f funds fr mst recent fiscal year (as % f ttal incme) Public Grants Private dnatins Lans Investment incme Membership fees Earned incme Other Ttal (Graph is fr illustrative purpses nly.) 5 The categries fr surces and uses f NSO funds may be different frm thse shwn here.
14 10 FORMAT FOR APPRAISAL OF NETWORK SUPPORT ORGANIZATIONS Trends in Uses f NSO Funds Based n the NSO s financial statements fr the past three years, the analyst shuld evaluate the rganizatin s verall cst structure, especially that f headquarters, t determine whether the NSO is making gd use f its funds. The analyst shuld estimate what percentage f NSO funds are being used fr administratin, salaries, fundraising, etc., versus develpment f NSO partners and/r the micrfinance industry as a whle. The analyst shuld cmpare these percentages with industry standards and depict the infrmatin graphically, as shwn belw, if helpful. EXPENSES Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 General and Administrative Expenses fr mst recent fiscal year (as % f ttal expenses) Fundraising Partner prgrams Technical Services Financial Services Start-up / Transfrmatin Industry-wide prgrams Research and Develpment Plicy Advcacy Knwledge Management Ttal (Graph is fr illustrative purpses nly.) Key Questins: Evaluate the cst structure f the NSO. Hw effective is the NSO in maintaining perating and administrative csts at apprpriate levels? Des the NSO have effective cst-recvery mechanisms built int service delivery, where apprpriate? Is the allcatin f resurces cmpatible with the NSO s missin? (Sectin 2.8) Des the NSO have adequate resurces, given budget prjectins and funding requirements? Is the NSO s funding plan adequate fr future gals? In the case f funding shrtfalls, are adequate mechanisms r reserves in place t buffer the lsses? T what degree, if at all, des the NSO emphasize sustainability in its peratins? (Sectin 2.8) What are the ptential risks t the NSO s financial management? Hw restricted r diverse are NSO funding surces? Has the NSO effectively leveraged cmmercial resurces? Hw vulnerable is the NSO t financial shcks? (Sectin 2.8)
15 SUMMARY ANALYSIS REPORT Summary Cnclusins and Recmmendatins The analyst shuld summarize the NSO s strengths, weaknesses, impact n partners, and relevance t the industry, and make recmmendatins fr funder supprt. The analyst shuld als cnsider hw the NSO can imprve its peratins and services, such as expanding r deepening NSO partner utreach. Key questins: What are the NSO s cmparative advantages and majr accmplishments? Is the NSO making a substantial cntributin t the quality and perfrmance f its partners and/r the industry as a whle, given its resurces? Is the NSO wrking with partners thrugh which it can have the greatest impact? Operatinally, what are the NSO s principal strengths and weaknesses? Cnsider in particular NSO management, services, financial psitin, surces and uses f funds. In what ways can the NSO increase its efficiency f peratins? Given the current capacity f the NSO and the nging evlutin f the financial sectr, are the NSO s chice f partners and services apprpriate? What are ptential pprtunities fr and threats t the NSO s missin and peratins? (Sectin 5.2) What are the analyst s recmmendatins fr funder supprt (amunt, type f instrument, purpse)? What are the ptential risks related t this supprt fr the funder, the NSO, and NSO partners?
16 2 Institutinal Factrs Overview: The central fcus f this sectin is the questin: Is the NSO an efficient and wellrun rganizatin? The evaluative questins refer t the NSO s micrfinance prgram. Fr NSOs that als prvide nn-micrfinance services, be sure t characterize the relatinship between thse activities and its micrfinance prgram. Describe hw the micrfinance prgram cmpares in scale and utreach t the activities f the NSO as a whle. 2.1 Missin and Develpment Strategy Describe the NSO s missin and develpment strategy, i.e., the prblems the NSO has identified and hw it seeks t address them. Cnsider frmal charters f the NSO and the visin f its leaders. Discuss the NSO s missin and develpment strategy in terms f (1) its relatinships with its partners and (2) its rle with respect t the brader micrfinance industry. Evaluate: Clarity. Are the missin and develpment strategy f the NSO clearly cnveyed? Are they understd and shared equally by management, staff, and partners? Effectiveness. D the missin and develpment strategy f the NSO effectively mtivate the NSO and its partners? Evaluate the main strengths and weaknesses f the missin and develpment strategy. 2.2 Funding and Evlutin Describe hw, when, and by whm the NSO was established, and hw it has evlved ver time. Discuss the basis fr the initial design f the NSO s rganizatinal structure, develpment strategy, services, and gegraphic fcus, then describe the principal causes f change. If the rganizatin is a multi-sectr NSO, nte the inceptin f the micrfinance prgram and the impetus fr its creatin, as well as its rle within the brader rganizatin. 2.3 Gvernance Describe the legal framewrk by which the NSO is gverned, including its bard f directrs r equivalent bdy (size, cmpsitin, cmmittees, and member qualificatins). Discuss the bard s fficial and de fact rles and any unfficial influence it has n NSO gvernance and peratinal style. Attach a list f the current members f the bard, alng with their utside affiliatins. Evaluate: Legal framewrk. Is the legal framewrk effective fr NSO peratins? Fr multisectr NSOs, t what extent are there separate dcuments that gvern micrfinance activities? Structure. Evaluate the structure f the NSO bard, including size, cmpsitin, and cmmittees. Are there any cnflicts f interest amng bard members that impact NSO peratins? 12
17 INSTITUTIONAL FACTORS 13 Cmpetence. Hw well des the NSO bard understand the brad issues f micrfinance? T what extent d bard members understand key issues affecting NSO perfrmance? Effectiveness. Hw effective is the NSO bard in (1) guiding the NSO in the fulfillment f its strategic visin, (2) prviding versight t the NSO management, and (3) representing the NSO externally? 2.4 Cntext Describe the legal, plitical, ecnmic, and cultural cntext f the cuntries (r gegraphic regin) in which the NSO wrks. Discuss any particular areas targeted by the NSO, such as a particular regin, pst-cnflict areas, r remte rural areas. Describe significant external cnstraints that inhibit the wrk f the NSO, r external elements that give it a cmpetitive edge. Evaluate: Risk appetite. Evaluate the NSO s mandate fr and/r appetite fr wrking in difficult envirnments. Explain using examples. Hw des this appetite impact the NSO s perfrmance? Respnse. Hw effectively des the NSO respnd t envirnmental factrs that pse ptential threats t its peratins and thse f its partners? 2.5 Structure f Operatins Describe hw the NSO is structured (centralized, decentralized, r therwise) and hw respnsibilities are distributed thrughut the structure. Include a descriptin f the headquarters and field r branch ffices, if any, and the mandate fr each. Attach a cpy f the NSO s current rganizatinal chart. Evaluate: Cst. Hw cst-effective is the NSO s structure f peratins? Impact. T what extent des the structure (centralized, reginal hubs, cuntry ffices, etc.) impact the NSO s ability t wrk effectively with partners and/r in a gegraphic area(s)? 2.6 Management Team Describe the management team, including structure and functins, cmpetencies, level f penness, and its imprtance t the missin and peratins f the rganizatin. Evaluate: Cmpsitin. T what degree des the cmpsitin and structure f the management team ptimize NSO perfrmance? T what extent wuld the NSO be impacted shuld ne r mre f its managers decide t leave? Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses f key individuals.
18 14 FORMAT FOR APPRAISAL OF NETWORK SUPPORT ORGANIZATIONS Cmpetence. Hw cmpetent is the management team in terms f their knwledge and skills? Hw aware and frthcming is the management team cncerning internal NSO financial and peratinal issues, as well as financial and peratinal issues f its partners? In the case f multi-sectr NSOs, hw well des the institutin s senir management understand micrfinance issues and peratins? Effectiveness. Hw effective is the management team in terms f (1) cmmunicatin and penness with partners, NSO bard, staff, and ther stakehlders; (2) ptimizing the perfrmance and impact f the NSO; and (3) driving frward the purpse and directin f the NSO? 2.7 Human Resurces Describe the human resurce management practices and strategy f the NSO, including hw it uses and manages nn-staff resurces, such as cnsultants and vlunteers. Cmment n hw specific functins are staffed. Evaluate: Cmpsitin. Is the NSO apprpriately staffed? Des the NSO staff have the knwledge, skills, and experience fr the psitins they hld? T what extent des the NSO depend n staff, as ppsed t nn-staff, expertise and hw des this affect the peratins f the NSO? Accuntability. Hw des the NSO hld staff accuntable fr results? Are there apprpriate standards by which perfrmance is judged and rewarded? Hw des the NSO staff ptimize efficiency? Effectiveness. Evaluate the effectiveness f the NSO s human resurce management practices and strategy in terms f (1) recruiting, (2) training, (3) retentin/turnver, and (4) successin planning. 2.8 Financial Management Based n the NSO s financial statements fr the mst recent perid and the past three years, describe the funding strategy f the NSO micrfinance prgram. Discuss hw successful the strategy has been in reaching NSO gals and the ways in which the funding strategy and pririties have evlved. Cnsider NSO funds fr its wn peratins separately frm funds that it mbilizes fr partners. 6 Prvide details f the surces f NSO funds (as a percentage f ttal funds) fr the current as well as previus three years in table 2.1. Summarize funding trends fr the NSO. (Prvide this infrmatin in sectin 1.3 f the Summary Analysis Reprt.) If applicable, explain hw the wnership f partners by the NSO impacts its financial management and budgeting. 6 This may be difficult fr NSOs that cnslidate their budgets and financial statements with thse f their partners. In this case, the analyst shuld nte the level f cnslidatin and d his r her best t distinguish and evaluate the prtin f resurces allcated t internal NSO peratins. Financial resurce mbilizatin fr partners is cnsidered in detail in sectin 4.
19 INSTITUTIONAL FACTORS 15 Table 2.1. Surces f funds fr NSO peratins Year Public Grants Private Dnatins Lans Investment Incme Membership Fees Earned Incme Other Nte: Categries shuld be adapted as needed. Prvide details f the NSO s uses f funds (as a percentage f ttal funds) fr the mst recent and the previus three years fr each f the categries in table 2.2. Discuss any patterns r trends. Prvide this infrmatin in sectin 1.3 f the Summary Analysis Reprt. Table 2.2. Uses f NSO funds Year Fundraising Administratin Technical Services Financial Services Knwledge Management Plicy Advcacy Other Nte: Categries shuld be adapted as needed. Evaluate: Resurces. Des the NSO have adequate resurces (grants, lans, etc.), given its budget prjectins and funding requirements? Is the NSO funding plan adequate fr future gals? T what degree, if at all, des the NSO emphasize sustainability in its peratins? Allcatin. Are resurces allcated and mnitred thrugh an annual NSO wrk plan and budget? Is the allcatin f resurces cmpatible with the NSO missin? Risks. What are the ptential risks t the NSO s financial management? Is NSO funding sufficiently diverse and adequate fr future gals? Hw restricted are NSO funding surces? Has the NSO leveraged cmmercial resurces? Hw vulnerable is the NSO t financial shcks and funding shrtfalls? Csts. Evaluate the fundraising and administrative csts f the NSO. What is the cst f raising a dllar (eur, etc.) fr the NSO? 7 Hw effective is the NSO in maintaining perating and administrative csts at apprpriate levels? Des the NSO have effective cst-recvery mechanisms built int service delivery, where apprpriate? 7 The analyst shuld cnsider cmparing the administrative and fundraising csts f the NSO with benchmarks fr ther nn-prfit rganizatins, whether thse f the American Institute f Philanthrpy (www.charitywatch.rg) fr U.S.-based NSOs r f ther mnitring grups. While benchmarking fr MFIs is mre develped, the authrs nte the lack f reprting standards and benchmarking fr NSOs an area fr further industry-level wrk.
20 16 FORMAT FOR APPRAISAL OF NETWORK SUPPORT ORGANIZATIONS 2.9 Infrmatin and Reprting Systems Cmment n the reliability f NSO infrmatin systems used t mnitr NSO and partner perfrmance, peratins, finances, and impact. Describe the type and frequency with which partners prvide data t the NSO and the extent t which the NSO is transparent with this and their wn internal infrmatin. Cnsider, fr example, whether the NSO and/r its partners reprt t natinal banking and/r micrfinance supervisin authrities, the MIX Market, the MicrBanking Bulletin, r ther benchmarking services such as American Institute f Philanthrpy (www.charitywatch.rg), and hw significantly NSO reprts must be tailred t meet the requirements f these grups. Nte the frequency and scpe f ratings, evaluatins, and/r audits f partners. Evaluate: Inputs. Are reprting requirements and mnitring by NSO staff sufficient t track essential elements f partner perfrmance, especially prtfli quality, prfitability, and breadth and depth f utreach? Are these requirements in line with glbal industry standards? What percentage f partners send regular and accurate data t the NSO? Outputs. Des the NSO send timely peratinal and financial reprts t all staff, management, bard members, and partners? T what extent d these reprts include regular NSO financial audits? Usefulness. D the reprts enable accurate and timely assessment f NSO and partner perfrmance? T what extent des the NSO prvide feedback t its partners n reprts prvided? T what extent have they been used t make changes t NSO peratins and/r partner peratins? Transparency. Hw transparent is the NSO? What is the availability, quality, and timeliness f reprts n NSO and partner perfrmance, peratins, finances, and impact? 2.10 Industry Rle and Perceptins Describe the rle f the NSO within the cntext f the brader micrfinance industry. Discuss the external relatinships and/r affiliatins that the NSO has with the brader micrfinance cmmunity. Summarize the infrmatin gathered thrugh interviews frm varius industry stakehlders, including funders that have supprted the NSO, as well as ther NSOs and micrfinance rganizatins. 8 The analyst shuld cnsider external perceptins f the NSO in terms f its perceived services t partners, as well as its added value t the micrfinance industry. 8 The analyst may adapt elements f the Interview Guide fr Industry Stakehlders (see annex 5) t help gather infrmatin frm relevant rganizatins, as described in step 5 f the Methdlgy. The analyst shuld als cnsider ratings by watchdg rganizatins, (e.g., Charity Navigatrs, American Institute f Philanthrpy, r ther such rganizatins), if apprpriate.