About the Microfinance Index

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Microfinance Index? What is 60 Decibels?
The Microfinance Index is an annual financial inclusion initiative committed to gathering representative, client-level outcomes, and social performance data for the global microfinance market. Since 2021, we have partnered with the world’s leading microfinance investors, networks, and institutions to listen, at scale, to microfinance clients. Our aim to provide a system that allows financial service providers—and their investors and stakeholders—to readily have impact performance data at hand, so they can use these data to better serve their clients. The MFI Index is the standard for measurable, comparable social outcomes in microfinance. To date, we have listened to more than 50,000 unique borrowers across 150 financial service providers. We invite you to join the 2024 Microfinance Index, and listen better to the clients you serve.
60 Decibels is a tech-powered impact measurement company that makes it easy to listen to the people who matter most. Using our Lean Data approach, we speak directly to customers, employees, or beneficiaries, usually over mobile phones. We return high-quality data to you in weeks, with minimal hassle or distraction, to help you maximise your impact and grow your business. 
How does the Microfinance Index work?

The 60dB Microfinance Index provides high-quality, comparable impact data for the microfinance industry, driven entirely by client voices. Our team of Research Assistants conducts 15-minute phone interviews with approximately 275 of your clients, a representative sample of your customer base, in local languages using a standardized survey tool. We’ve worked with hundreds of financial service providers and industry leaders to design the key impact outcomes and indicators covered in the Microfinance Index survey tool.  The questions are based on our work with more than 150 financial service providers (FSPs) speaking to more than 50,000 clients over the past 5 years.

For financial service providers, here's a bit more on how it works:

The online form includes simple questions about your organization (e.g., year founded) and the clients you serve (e.g., avg. loan size).
Takes 5 minutes!
After the form, you will receive an email to upload your customer contacts. If you can’t share the full database, upload 2,000+ active contacts that have completed at least one loan cycle.
Sit back and relax while our local Research Assistants conduct phone interviews with ~275 of your clients. The surveys are conducted in local languages, and last ~15 minutes.
We will clean, code, and synthesize the data into insights for you! You will receive an online, interactive dashboard with your comparable impact performance.
Who will receive access to my results?

First and foremost, you! You are the owner of your results. By participating in the Index, you grant 60 Decibels has permission to add the fully anonymized and aggregated versions of that data to our Database, which enables us to create Benchmarks and the Index! Without this, the Index would seize to exist and wouldn't be able to offer comparable performance.

Members of the Microfinance Index (investors and networks) may request access to your deliverables. By agreeing to the Data Transparency Agreement, you give 60 Decibels permission to share your deliverables to the requesting Member(s). These Members have a limited number of "access credits" that they can use (1-5 typically) to request the FSP results. Member(s) have the right to use your results internally for business purposes; Members are prohibited from sharing results externally without your explicit permission to do so.

What questions will you ask my microfinance clients?

Click here to access the Microfinance Index survey tool.  The questions are based on our work with more than 150 financial service providers (FSPs) speaking to more than 50,000 clients over the past 5 years. We used the same survey tool each year to ensure comparability, and over historical performance data.

The standardized questions enable you to measure and compare your social performance to peer institutions, across six tried and tested impact dimensions: Access, Business Impact, Household Impact, Client Protection, Resilience, Agency.

The Microfinance Index Impact Dimensions:

Can I add questions to the Microfinance Index? Remove questions?

Yes, you can add questions to the Microfinance Index. There will be a fee to include additional questions, which will vary depending on the number and type of questions (e.g., qualitative or quantitative). Either choose from our suite of Survey Modules—Client Protection, Climate Resilience, Gender—or design a unique question or two! We cannot, however, remove questions from the standard survey tool.

Who is eligible to participate in the Microfinance Index?

The Microfinance Index is open to any financial service provider (FSP) that offers microcredit directly to customers (B2C model).  For the interviews, we require that the minimum tenure of the clients be at least one (1) complete loan cycle (disbursement to full repayment), and that their average loan size is less than $5,000 USD. If you have questions about eligibility, reach out through the chatbox.

What do I receive if I participate in the Microfinance Index?

Great question! In addition to being a part of a global financial inclusion initiative, financial service providers (FSPs) will receive the following deliverables at the end of their project:
> Impact Dashboard. All of your data presented in a dynamic, interactive dashboard that allows for additional exploration and insights discovery, as well as impact results compared against peer organizations regionally and globally.
Click here to see a demo.
> Performance Summary. Download a PDF of your performance summary directly from the Impact Dashboard.
> Complete Dataset. Fully anonymized, raw responses provided in an Excel file to enable additional analysis.
> Index Ranking. Composite score of your performance across six impact dimensions, relative to FSPs participating in the 2024 Index.

How do I sign up for the MFI Index?

Accessing microfinance impact data has never been easier. All we need is for you to complete the onboarding form—share information about your organization and agree to our Terms of Service, then upload your custom contact details. In 2024, we can begin listening to your clients and share the insights with you in a matter of weeks.

For financial service providers, here's a bit more on how it works:
We aim to make this as easy for you as possible. There are two key steps to onboarding:
(1) Complete the online onboarding form
(2) Upload your entire client contact database (or, at least 2,000 randomly selected clients)

Data collection will take place in January 2024, and results can be delivered as soon as May 2024. Sign up today :)

How do I upload contact details?

We make it easy! After you complete the onboarding form, you will receive an email with information and a video tutorial for how to upload your customer contact details. or, at least 2,000 randomly selected clients

Data collection will take place in January 2024, and results can be delivered as soon as May 2024. Sign up today :)

Sign up for the 2024 Microfinance Index!