Inclusion [Social Ratings] completes first round of ISR Client Protection Certifications


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Inclusion [Social Ratings] also known as “ISR” announced today that it has completed its first three ISR Certifications in Client Protection of Microfinance Institutions, as part of its commitment to develop independent and global standards for the inclusive finance industry and to offer the market an alternative and sustainable metric in client protection standards to fill the gap left by the SMART CAMPAIGN’s recent withdrawal from the market.

“The completion of this first round of certifications, is a landmark step in our agency’s commitment to ensure an independent, transparent and robust source of information and analysis for the industry” said Santiago Arnaudin, managing director at ISR. “The three organizations certified today, are in their own regions at the forefront among institutions that strive to improve entrepreneurs’ lives in a responsible and sustainable way.”

ISR Client Protection Certification is a leading-edge certification offered to the microfinance sector to recognize financial institutions that meet the highest standards of quality in customer service and care. ISR draws on the ISR team’s extensive experience in the microfinance and development fields and considers previous developments in industry-developed standards such as the SPTF’s Universal Standards of Social Performance Management, the Client Protection Principles embodied by the Smart Campaign and the Social Performance and Impact Rating (SPIR) of Inclusion [Social Ratings].

During the development process, numerous industry stakeholders, including microfinance networks, microfinance institutions, regulators, consumer financial protection experts and investors, were consulted to adapt the certification to current industry challenges.


Palestine for Credit and Development – FATEN was established in 1999 as a private non-profit company registered in the Palestinian Ministry of Economy and licensed by the Palestinian Monetary Authority (PMA) in May 2014.

The Foundation started its operations by issuing group loans to help women in marginalized communities establish their own business. FATEN worked on improving its financial services, and expanded its offer to provide loans for micro, small and medium business, in all economic sectors, playing a major role in reducing unemployment and poverty in the country.

As of today, FATEN is the largest Microfinance institution operating in Palestine, with a network of 37 branches, 27 of those established in the West Bank and 10 in the Gaza Strip. The MFI serves over 32,000 borrowers in more than 500 different communities, covering rural areas, refugee camps and young entrepreneurs. A third of its clientele is female.

About Sathapana Limited

Sathapana Limited was established in January 2015 and started operating with four branches in August of the same year. Permanent license was obtained in July 2016, as a deposit-taking MFI regulated by the Financial Regulatory Department (FRD) of the Myanmar Ministry of Planning and Finance.

Over the past 4 years, SATHAPANA Limited has made a remarkable growth in human capacity and financial capabilities and claimed to be the top 2 microfinance institution in term of loan portfolio and clients throughout FY 2019. The MFI offers agriculture, small business, and consumption loans, as well as voluntary and compulsory savings.

As of Today, Sathapana has an extensive network of 51 branches, covering 11 of the 15 regions and states that make up the country, and it is planning to expand to all of them by 2023. Most of its 350,000 clients live in rural areas, while women make up three quarters of the clientele.


Fundación de Apoyo Comunitario y Social del Ecuador, FACES is a private, non-for-profit organization (NGO), founded in 1991 with the purpose of offering microfinance services to contribute to the improvement of social and economic conditions of communities, with a special focus on women.

The organization based in the town of Loja, began its operations in the south region of the country, and is where it concentrates the largest proportion of its portfolio. However, in recent years, FACES has expanded its presence also in northern Ecuador to continue contributing to social and economic improvement in the Andean state.

FACES provides loans for various activities, including agriculture, commerce, livestock, services, among others, that contribute to reducing poverty and unemployment.

As of today, FACES covers more than 20,000 clients, through its extensive network of 18 branches. Almost 60% of FACES clients live in rural areas, while the clientele is distributed equally between men and women.

About Inclusion [Social Ratings]

Inclusion [Social Ratings] was established in 2015, under an exclusive affiliation agreement between its subsidiary, Inclusion [Africa] and the international rating agency Moody’s to conduct social performance assessments to MFIs across Africa. However, ISR’s objective expanded towards providing social and financial ratings to any organization with a strong social mission anywhere in the world, leading to the establishment of Inclusion as an independent globally focused social rating agency.

As of Today, ISR provides solutions for responsible investment and enables responsible management of organizations by combining universally comparable recognized tools with personalized services to address specific social and business challenges. Inclusion offer includes social and financial ratings, certifications, audits, as well as research, advisory and building capacity services.

Inclusion is a diverse group of professionals with a combined experience of more than 100 years and a shared pursuit: helping organizations with a strong social mission to build a better, more inclusive, and sustainable world.

If you need further information on these certifications or about Inclusion’s other products, please visit our website at or contact us at