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GBF’s iPAL framework uses different tools to determine businesses’ financial, social, and environmental progress over the engagement period with GBF. Specifically, iPAL helps build and support high impact businesses by monitoring the basic metrics that businesses submit to GBF on a quarterly basis, including improving the processes, procedures and tools they use to collect the data.
Management Information System (MIS): GBF utilizes Salesforce, a management information system (MIS) that enables GBF to manage its portfolio and track important metrics. GBF has created a management dashboard, portfolio and pipeline reports, business advisory services dashboard, and impact dashboard.
Management Dashboards: One of the primary focuses of GBF’s business advisory services is to build the portfolio company’s capacity to create, maintain, and manage through the use of management dashboards. Dashboards are regularly-updated spreadsheets that collect and organize information. Management teams leverage this data to better run their High impact business. These dashboards represent a wide spectrum of sophistication and include simple, manually-updated spreadsheets with annual revenue and cost data, complex Excel files incorporating real-time social and financial data, and still more advanced SAP, Salesforce or CRM/accounting systems.
Client Feedback surveys: GBF supports its portfolio companies in creating client feedback surveys in order to measure supplier or customer satisfaction, thereby improving retention rates and business outcomes. Anonymous by nature, client feedback surveys provide suppliers and customers with an avenue to communicate honestly and articulate their needs.
GBF administers an annual client feedback survey to determine how well it is meeting the needs of its portfolio companies and what it can do to improve its operations. For example, through the 2010 survey GBF learned that clients were unsure what was done with the reports they sent to GBF throughout the year, and that they would appreciate feedback on those reports. In order to improve GBF’s client communication, GBF instituted monthly calls with each client where reports are reviewed and GBF provides analysis and feedback. Learn more...
Social Impact Verification: While financial metrics reported to GBF and other impact investors are validated when a portfolio company undergoes an audit, there is no similar process for several social and operational metrics. In order to ensure that those metrics are also checked for quality and accuracy, GBF developed the Social Impact Verification Framework in partnership with Dalberg Global Advisors. The metrics verified include the number of people supported by a small and growing business (i.e. farmers, artisans), the income and income growth to suppliers and the number of people employed by the business.
A social audit similar in nature to financial audits would be resource-intensive and may not add sufficient value to justify the costs. The Social Impact Verification Framework is a means of applying the rigor of an audit, but implemented with the flexibility that is needed to be practical in the operating environments of GBF’s portfolio companies.
The social impact verification methodology assesses social impact data across five criteria: compliance, capability, reliability, integrity and accuracy. Using this methodology, GBF is able to determine whether or not reported figures are accurate, what the underlying operational factors are that determine data quality, immediate corrections that can be made to improve accuracy of reported figures, and opportunities to provide technical assistance to support the development of improved data management systems and processes. Learn more...
Progress Out of Poverty Surveys: The objective of the Progress Out of Poverty (PoP) Surveys is to demonstrate the degree to which our portfolio company’s operations improve the lives of their clients (either suppliers to the high-impact business or consumer of the high-impact business). For several countries where GBF operates, the Grameen Foundation has created a tool called the Progress Out of Poverty Index (PPI). The PPI uses a country’s household survey data to determine how the answer to a survey question correlates with the likelihood of being at a certain level of poverty. For the countries that the Grameen Foundation has developed a PPI for, GBF uses the index. Otherwise, GBF develops a similar index adapted to the local area to conduct benchmark-setting measurements.