Kiva is all about transparency, so I thought, let me keep up their mission and share with you the 101, the day-to-day, the nuts and bolts (if you will) of what my workplan is here in the Philippines while I’m working at Ahon sa Hirap, Inc. (ASHI). Some of these pieces might change, but it’s pretty set in stone.
I also want to add that this workplan was individualized and given to all Kiva Fellows during training in San Francisco. Training was intense, hence the workplan in intense too. A lot of language everyone might now know – that’s ok, I know it so you don’t have to! One of the best things about Kiva is from the outside, from a Lender’s perspective, it’s EASY. 1-2-3 LEND. The internals of Kiva are a lot of moving pieces, a lot of people, a lot of processes to keep it this way.
Actual: Verify a section of borrowers (usually in batches of 10), on the match of their loan amount (in local currency), loan term and the picture and ID match of the borrower to KIva. If the borrower is unavailable during any visit, it will be critical to return.
Translation: Do these people really exist? Is their fraudulent activity or even negligence going on with the MFI partner? It’s crucial auditing of Borrowers is done and the Kiva Fellow, being the only one in the field, has the best birds-eye-view of the MFI and its practices.
Borrower Profile Template and Training
Actual: Evaluate current Borrower Profiles to identify trouble areas; Refine the template used to gather business profiles, as needed; Pay close attention to the Kiva Policy Center. Post Profiles (approx 40).
Translation: You know on Kiva the Borrower Profiles? The ones that make you go “Oh yes, I want to donate here!” Well those are not all the same. Some MFIs are stronger than others, so what can I do to help streamline the process for the picture used, the language, the explanations. There is an entire back-end system to entering all Profiles, but even with a template, MFIs need training on how to use it.
Journal Template and Training
Actual: Evaluate current Borrower Journals to identify trouble areas; Refine the template used to gather business profiles, as needed; Pay close attention to the Kiva Policy Center. Post Profiles (approx 40).
Translation: Lenders receive a journal on a Borrower during the repayment cycle. This is meant to allow the Lenders to see the progress being made on the business of the Borrower. Some MFIs have hardly posted journals, some are doing it but the language is poor, others just need help with creating a template. Journals are time-consuming but an important part of the Lending Cycle and an engagement tool for Lenders so it’s a crucial task to get streamlined.
Actual: Creation and posting of journal updates, up to goals defined in success metrics.
Translation: MFIs are being asked to provide journals for at least 50% of their Borrowers. The Kiva Fellow can help with the backlog (if there is one) and get the MFI on track.
Operational Cost Analysis
Actual: Evaluate the operational cost of doing Kiva by determining time it takes for profiles, journals, misc. costs.
Translation: Working off of the implementation manual. Does input equal output. I can tell already that with poor internet connections for my MFI, it can be VERY time consuming to post to Kiva’s website. How can I help make this easier/more efficient/streamlined? I really enjoy process so I’m looking forward to helping ASHI with this.
Actual: Personalized by my MPM (Microfinance Partnership Manager).
Translation: This is an exercise to increase capacity and sustainability of the partnership. Exact tasks TBD but are probably going to include cleaning up a database of information and helping with the reporting system and loan tracker.
MFI Special Project
Actual: Project defined by MPM in conjunction with the MFI.
Translation: The Kiva Fellows are split up based on our current skills set and professional background. My special project includes promotion of Kiva, my MFI partner by creating short videos and other awareness pieces. Overall better content.
Actual: Write a journal entry that can be sent to all lenders of your MFI.
Translation: This goes not just to one set of lenders, but anyone who has made a loan through ASHI. One is expected per placement.
Blog Posting to Kiva Fellows Blog
Actual and Translation are the same. Post post post! Engage existing lender base.
Client Waiver Implemented
Actual and Translation are the same. Kiva recently updated their Client Waiver and made it mandatory. So Borrowers have to understand their picture is going on a website that the world can view. Do they understand this.
Kiva Project: Portfolio Team
Actual and Translation are the same. Complete a final report by the end of the Fellowship on both high-level and basic assessments.
Satisfaction Survey, Final Report and Exit Interview
Actual and Translation are the same. Push transparency. How was the experience? This takes into account everything from the placement itself, to the MFi partner, to the Kiva staff and our interaction with them.
Actual and Translation are the same. Push sustainability. Share all of the information gained. Kiva Fellows has a private wiki and so much information is there as a resource. It’s our job to update the pieces that apply to us before we move on.
A window into my world! Any questions? Now back to work I go! Today’s schedule is a Center Meeting, two Borrower check-ins (for Journal updates) and a branch meeting.