Hi Jessica, I'm happy to share some of my experience in MF. Essentially HK should develop a list of (1) social impact parameters for qualification, and (2) social impact metrics to be measured and reported post intervention. My recommendation is to keep the scope tight in terms of expected impact or theory of change, since MF is just a tool and not a panacea. Some common metrics include the % increase in sales and/or income, hrs of financial literacy received, any improvement in housing infrastructure -- for example, have they gone from a dirt floor in the home to tile, or access to clean water/electricity, school attendance for kids in the household, asset acquisition -- tools, livestock, land, etc. You also should define how frequently the indicators will be measured, in a way that it makes sense for the given use of the loan. For example, if the loan is for buying a cow and sell milk, then you need to take into account the milk production cycle -- both for repayment schedule and impact metrics. Alisa knows that I am happy to chat further about this. Let me know if you have any questions.
I didn't know you guys were running a pilot microfinance initiative! This is an excellent complement to the other programs in order to empower women well beyond after they have received direct services from HK. I was a microfnance investor for a few years, and also financed low income/disadvantaged women and their enterprises in LatAm. I would be interested to know if the small loans given to the women are actually loans (to be repaid plus small interest) and what is the selection criteria for disbursement. Similarly, it would be portant to track metrics such as PAR 30. If the funds are not loans but grants, are they refundable grants (repaid but w/o interest), and what is the term for repayment. This is so exciting, best of luck!!