Project objective

Create an enabling environment for MFIs to adopt good social performance practices and client protection principles while allowing them to balance their financial and social performance objectives.

Project manager

Area of intervention



Swiss Cooperation (COSUDE) cofinancement, National Microfinance Commission (CONAMI)

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Promoting the social performance of the microfinance sector in Nicaragua

In December 2016, ADA started a project to support the National Microfinance Commission (CONAMI) in Nicaragua, the supervisory and regulating organ of the sector. The main objective of the project is to create a beneficial environment for microfinance institutions (MFIs) in order to adopt good practices in social performance and client protection principles, while allowing them to find a balance between the objectives of financial and social performance.

CONAMI was created by Law 769: Microfinance Promotion and Regulation Law, with the mission of "Regulation, promotion and projection of the microfinance industry in order to strengthen solvency, development and social performance".

From the very beginning of the Commission's operations in 2011, MFIs could be registered in the national register. This helps them to freely negotiate interest rates, channel funds for loans, access the risk center and receive training in microfinance.

The purpose of Law 769 is to regulate and promote microfinance activities in order to stimulate the economic development of low-income sectors of the country. Until now, the emphasis has been placed on the normative and regulatory aspects of the sector. Last year, a new standard on social performance management was approved by CONAMI. This is voluntary for MFIs, which is why incentives for better adoption by MFIs.

The main activities of the project revolve around the following specific objectives:

  • Develop a better understanding of social performance among target groups in microfinance to improve institutional practices;
  • Develop internal policies and regulations for the functioning of social performance instruments;
  • Develop institutional alliances to obtain funds for the implementation of social performance and the microfinance promotion fund;
  • Strengthen the capacities of CONAMI staff in the use of customer protection tools (SMART CAMPAIGN) and the universal standards of SPTF;
  • Strengthen the supervisory capacities of CONAMI staff in aspects of client protection and information transparency.

266 participants in the first social performance capacity building workshop in Nicaragua!

The Governing Board of the CONAMI (Consejo Directivo de la Comisión Nacional de Microfinanza - Nicaraguan National Microfinance Commission) approved the Social Performance Management Standard for Microfinance Intermediaries. To promote its implementation, the CONAMI in alliance with ADA, have entered into cooperation agreements in order to encourage a better understanding of social performance by strengthening the skills and knowledge of interest groups, on the tools that concern Client Protection (SMART CAMPAIGN) and universal SPTF standards.

The framework of these agreements includes a training component, which started in May. The first training workshop for General Managers and Management Teams took place on 3, 4, 5 and 15 May 2017 and received 266 participants. 

The workshop was conducted by Tomás Rodríguez, who spoke about universal standards and the relationship between social performance and financial performance in financial institutions. There were also several dynamic activities during which participants were able to converse with the speaker. The workshop covered the following areas:

  • Principles of Client Protection
  • Universal standards
  • Relationship between existing legislation and universal standards.

Over the coming months, other training workshops for different interest groups will take place, covering the regulatory aspect of Client Protection and Transparency in Operations, as well as SPM universal standards.

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The first training workshop for General Managers and Management Teams

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