AASFSHNR MFI list
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IntroductionLast update: 2017-Nov-27 Michele
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This list contains ratings for secularity and social initiatives for MFI's on Kiva. The data was compiled based primarily on the MFI's website when available, with additional sources as required (as noted). Each rating has been independently reviewed and verified by at least one person. We have retained the comments since they provide the rationale for the rating and may be useful to others.

This list can be used as-is or with the help of the MFI Checker utility. Note that only the Secular Rating and Social Rating columns are used by the MFI Checker utility. The Kiva Risk Rating is shown for reference, and filtering loans on it can be done on the Kiva lending page (advanced options).
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Navigation
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The list is sorted by MFI name by default. By switching to a List View (Choose the menu-option View and click on List), you can sort it or filter it as you prefer. This will not affect how other users see the list. Also, by choosing File and then "Download as" you can download a copy in different formats. This might help you sort or select or print the MFIs you like or dislike. Of course: a downloaded copy does not get updated!
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Also: Choose Data, Filter Views from the menu. There is a Filter View for Active FP + Secular =4 + Social =3 or 4
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Secular Rating
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Secular RatingMeaning
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4Completely secular
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3Secular but with some religious influence (e.g. a secular MFI that partners with someone like World Vision), or it appears secular but with some uncertainty
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2Nonsecular but loans without regard to borrower’s beliefs*
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1Nonsecular with a religious agenda
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The secular score is based on the following - a score of 4 (completely secular) is based on either a statement by the MFI that they are secular or a total lack of any religious words on their website. Some words such as "holistic" are sometimes used, some times with a religious slant, but if that is the only mention of anything that could be construed as religious the MFI would still get a score of 4. A secular score of 1 is essentially a church that loans money, and often it appears to be done as much to gain converts as to help their members. A rating of 2 typically would say things like "Christian organization" but not be in the business of converting people or discriminating based on those beliefs. A rating of 3 is typically has no mention of religion on their website etc. but may be founded by or partnered with a religious institution. See the comments for individual MFIs for rationale used to arrive at a score.
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* Petra: an MFI that claims to loan independent of religious background (so: does not discriminate), but still is also actively promoting their own religion, has received a 1 by us. Some people might disagree and feel that this score should be a 2; since they do loan to entrepreneurs of other religions (or so they claim).
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Social Rating
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Social RatingMeaning
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4Excellent social initiatives - proactive social programs and efforts outside of lending. Truly outstanding social activities.
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3Good social initiatives in most areas. MFI has some formal and structured social programs
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2Social goals but no/few initiatives (may have savings, business counseling)
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1No attention to social goals or initiatives. Typically the MFI only focuses on their own business issues (profitability etc.). They might mention social goals but it seems to be there just because it’s the right thing to say (politically correct).
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NB: a social score of 1 does not mean that the MFI is doing anything WRONG, it just means that besides providing loans to poor(er) entrepreneurs (which is great!), they have no other social plans or activities.
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DiscussionIn the context of this list, "social" only refers to social programs intended to enhance the standard of living of the local population, whether they are customers of the MFI or not. An MFI with a social score of 4 is essentially an aid organization that also loans money. It has extensive programs such as skills training, health programs, water and sanitation programs, schools, HIV/AIDS and contraception initiatives. An MFI with a score of 3 has some good programs in some, but not all, areas. A score of 2 means the MFI has social goals such as loaning primarily to women, the disadvantaged, and the remotely located. Many have mandatory savings for borrowers, which can either be contributed or taken out of the loan repayments. An MFI with a social score of 1 is essentially a bank. They may have social goals but typically they are along the lines of "help the poor by giving them loans". A score of 1 does not mean they are doing anything wrong at all, they are doing a valuable service by making microloans. See the comments for individual MFIs for rationale used to arrive at a score.

The social score does not reflect whether they are non-profit or what interest rate they charge. This was left out of this list since the information is available on Kiva. Also, we felt that the secular and social score were much better indicators of how "good" an MFI is. Interest rates can vary widely but by nature are high for microloans because the loan size is small. Also, even if the MFI rate seems high by our standards, they are a welcome alternative to local moneylenders who charge rates that are an order of magnitude higher. See Kiva's explanation at http://www.kiva.org/about/microfinance
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How this list is used by the Kiva MFI Checker
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The Kiva MFI Checker (aka KMC, created by Chris Means) contains the following filters:

Secular MFIs - MFI's with a Secular Rating of 4
- As a White-list to focus on strictly secular MFIs
- As a Black-list to avoid strictly secular MFIs
Generally Secular - MFI's with a Secular Rating of 3-4
- As a White-list to focus on generally secular MFIs
- As a Black-list to focus on mostly Religious MFIs
Social Focus - MFI's with a Social Rating of 4
- As a White-list to focus on MFIs who include proactive social programs etc.
Social Efforts - MFI's with a Social Rating of 3-4
- As a White-list to focus on generally social MFIs
Top Secular/Social - MFI's with Secular and Social Ratings of 4
- As a White-list for strictly secular and socially focused MFIs
Generally Secular/Social - MFI's with Secular and Social Ratings of 3-4
- As a White-list for generally secular and socially focused MFIs

You can install KMC from http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/101738
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Updates
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We will continue to update the list on a regular basis as more MFI's are added, change status, or have additional information available.

We use the Google notification feature on this spreadsheet. If any changes are made both Jim and Petra are notified via email. This ensures that comments are quickly reviewed and verified. Similarly, we are notified when comments are made via the link below.
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Comments are welcome here: http://tinyurl.com/AASFSHNR-Comments
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Your comments will appear on the third sheet of this document, called "User Comments".
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