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© 2016 Opportunity Internationala 501(c)3 nonprofit.

The First Step In Continual Improvement: Social Performance Report Released

By Harry Turner

A major objective of Opportunity International’s Social Performance Management (SPM) program is to better report on how we are achieving our mission to reach those living in poverty and to help them transform their lives. Last month, we took a big step towards that objective by publishing the first Opportunity International Social Performance Report, which presents data on how we are performing against our mission and documents progress towards implementation of the SPM strategy itself.

The publication explains our SPM strategy in detail, emphasising that while reporting is important, our primary focus is using data to improve outcomes for clients. The following diagram captures the vision for SPM:

SPM Graphic

The publication then provides an update on how we are progressing with the SPM strategy on a region-by-region basis, including client data where available, and featuring a case study of an Opportunity partner from each region who has made great progress in implementing SPM.

The report shows that:

  • Opportunity is deeply committed to improving outcomes for the families we serve.
  • Opportunity’s approach to SPM is unique, using a consistent core set of indicators in each of the 22 countries where we work.
  • SPM adds value – it is not simply about “proving” that we are having an impact on clients’ lives. It is about using comprehensive client data as a management tool, aiming for a culture of continuous improvement. Our commitment to improving rather than proving is shared by The Gates Foundation and other leading development organizations.
  • We are still early in the journey of implementing our SPM strategy – we have assisted around 20 of our 40 network partners to implement SPM and would assist more partners with further support from funders and technical assistance providers.

I encourage everyone to read the SPM report. I’d also like to thank all involved for their hard work and contributions to the considerable progress made in 2013. At the same time, much work still needs to be done and – with your commitment and support – we look forward to moving the program further forward in 2014, and I look forward to hearing about progress throughout the year from Calum Scott, Program Impact Director for Opportunity International Australia, and the rest of the SPM team.

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