Learning Series

Universal Standards Implementation

Cerise+SPTF organize webinars to present practical guidance on how to implement the Universal Standards. Each webinar features interviews with practitioners on how they are managing their social and environmental performance (SEPM), including lessons learned from what has worked and what did not.

In 2021-22, in coordination with the release of the current edition of the Universal Standards, Cerise+SPTF created a webinar series called “SEPM Essentials.” This series interviews practitioners who are implementing elements of the Universal Standards that are new, or were strengthened, compared with the last version of the Universal Standards. See below for recordings, PowerPoints, and other materials from this series.

In addition, in the years after the original release of the Universal Standards, Cerise+SPTF offered an implementation series in English, Spanish, and French that provided case studies, by dimension, of how practitioners were implementing the Universal Standards:

Webinar #1
Use what you have: Discovering client insights in your existing data
March 23, 2021 

This webinar discusses how to use your existing client data to reveal actionable insights. Specifically, in analyzing financial behavior by client segment, you can uncover trends in product uptake and use by your clients and use that information to improve performance.

The speakers are Mariano Frontera, Director Ejecutivo of Fundación Dominicana de Desarrollo, and Jacobo Menjovsky, independent data analyst.


Webinar #2
Practical ways to address gender-related risks at your organization
May 4, 2021
Languages: Spanish with English interpretation

Dimension 2 of the Universal Standards focuses on leadership’s role in creating a culture of commitment to SPM. This webinar shares the experiences of two FSPs who have taken steps to do this by exploring how better to meet the needs of female employees and customers. In collaboration with Grameen Foundation, CREDICAMPO of El Salvador and ODEF Financiera of Honduras participated in a training and a rapid assessment that focused on gender-related risks and opportunities and are now applying lessons learned to their policies and practices.


Webinar #3
Using Client Feedback to Inform Product Design
June 8, 2021
This webinar focuses on dimension 3 of the Universal Standards, Client-centric Products and Services, and in particular on using client feedback to inform product design. Representatives from Entrepreneurs du Monde and its partner Anh Chi Em (ACE), located in Vietnam, discuss a recent client satisfaction survey that ACE implemented and how they are applying survey results to future product decisions. Representatives from the Terwilliger Center of Habitat for Humanity International and from Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation (NWTF), located in the Philippines, share lessons learned from their work to develop a new housing product, focusing in particular on the product design phase.


Webinar #4
Responsible Use of Profits
July 7, 2021

The use of profits can be a touchy subject in financial services, but let’s get into it! Speakers from AMK (Cambodia) and GM Bank (Philippines) will share the specific ways in which they integrate client-centric decisions into their budget and business plans, and how they engage with socially committed investors. A representative from Dia Vikas will share how Dia promotes social performance through its investments. SPTF’s Amelia Greenberg will describe how dimension 6 of the Universal Standards has been revised to strengthen and clarify the management practices connected with a responsible use of profits.

Webinar #5
Listening to Employees as a Business Strategy

September 21, 2021
Employee satisfaction and feedback are an often-overlooked asset for your business. Employees know the most about your customers and can be a wealth of ideas for improving your operations and human resource development. Are you making the most of their feedback? This webinar explores these questions with speakers from Fundación Paraguaya, Crystal (Georgia), and VisionFund Mexico.


Webinar #6
Developing Employee Capacity to Achieve Your Social Mission
October 13, 2021
ILO and SPTF co-hosted this webinar to discuss how financial service providers can improve social performance through the right employee recruitment, incentives, training, and ongoing communication about the organization’s progress toward achieving its social goals. The featured speakers were Alia FARHAT of Al Majmoua (Lebanon), Andrija DRAGANIC of MonteCredit (Montenegro), and Sandhya SURESH of ESAF Small Finance Bank (India).


Webinar #7
Help Your Employees Adapt to Digital Transformation
November 10, 2021

In this webinar jointly organized by SPTF and the ILO, speakers from Wing (Cambodia), and FINCA DRC addressed how to manage human resources responsibly during digital transformation, how to motivate and support employees for success when their job roles and responsibilities are shifting, and how HR structure and management is different in a digitalized FSP versus a traditional financial institution.


Webinar #8
Barriers, Bias and Banking
January 27th, 2022

This webinar is in English with simultaneous Spanish translation. We discussed how some things are simply fundamental for serving women better with financial services. To begin, a financial services provider (FSP) should understand its own biases that affect female staff. Additionally, an FSP should understand the tradeoffs that female clients make when pursuing economic opportunities, and the types of negative shocks they commonly face. With this knowledge, the FSP can improve its practices and achieve better outcomes for women. During the webinar, SPTF shared recent changes to the Universal Standards that have incorporated a stronger gender lens. Grameen Foundation shared a toolkit that helps FSPs implement good practices in promoting women’s economic empowerment while avoiding unintended negative consequences such as child labor or gender-based violence.

  • Listen to the recording.
  • Download the PowerPoint presentation.
  • Other resources: Click here for the Reducing Incidence of Child Labor and Harmful Conditions of Work In Economic Strengthening Initiatives (RICHES) toolkit and research data, from Grameen Foundation.

Barreras, Perjuicios y Bancarios
27 de enero de 2022

Este seminario en línea es en inglés con traducción simultánea al español. Discutimos cómo algunas cosas son simplemente fundamentales para servir mejor a las mujeres con servicios financieros. Para empezar, un proveedor de servicios financieros (PSF) debe comprender sus propios perjuicios que afectan al personal femenino. Además, un proveedor de servicios financieros debe comprender las compensaciones que hacen las clientas cuando buscan oportunidades económicas y los tipos de impactos negativos que comúnmente enfrentan. Con este conocimiento, el PSF puede mejorar sus prácticas y lograr mejores resultados para las mujeres. Durante el seminario en línea, el SPTF compartió los cambios recientes en los Estándares Universales que han incorporado una perspectiva de género más sólida. La Fundación Grameen compartió un conjunto de herramientas que ayuda a los proveedores de servicios financieros a implementar buenas prácticas para promover el empoderamiento económico de las mujeres y, al mismo tiempo, evitar consecuencias negativas no deseadas, como el trabajo infantil o la violencia de género.

  • Escuche la grabación.
  • Descarga la presentación de PowerPoint.
  • Otros recursos: Haga clic aquí el “Reducing Incidence of Child Labor and Harmful Conditions of Work In Economic Strengthening Initiatives (RICHES) toolkit and research data”, de Grameen Foundation.