The Smart Campaign Wins IDB 'clearBanking' Award

> Posted by Center Staff
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has granted the clearBanking award to The Smart Campaign in recognition of its work to strengthen corporate governance and risk management.
The Smart Campaign, which has been endorsed by over 1,500 MFIs, networks, donors and investors, support organizations, and individuals worldwide, was honored with this recognition on December 21, when the IDB announced the winners of its beyondBanking awards.
The beyondBanking awards highlight sustainable environmental, social, and corporate governance projects implemented by financial intermediaries (FIs) in Latin America and the Caribbean.
“These awards offered an opportunity to highlight unique, cutting-edge ideas which were put into practice and are now making a difference in the lives of clients and communities,” said Daniela Carrera-Marquis, chief of the IDB’s Financial Markets Division.
“We hope these steps are the first on a path to innovate commercially viable, long-term business models and mainstream principles of sustainability in the financial sector,” Carrera-Marquis added.
The Smart Campaign works to strengthen corporate governance and risk management in MFIs around the globe. Through technical assistance and knowledge sharing, The Smart Campaign helps protect MFI clients and ensure that MFI services are transparent, appropriate, and flexible enough to meet clients’ diverse needs.
“We’re truly honored to receive the Inter-American Development Bank’s clearBanking award, and we look forward to keeping client protection in the spotlight in 2011,” said Isabelle Barrès, the director of The Smart Campaign.
The Smart Campaign’s 2011 action agenda includes:

  • Rolling out new training sessions with microfinance networks from Latin America, Africa, Asia, and beyond
  • Developing new tools for MFIs and investors who want to make client protection a fundamental part of their business model
  • Providing an online space where MFIs can highlight their advances in client protection and directly share their knowledge and best practices

The Smart Campaign’s industry-wide, collaborative effort involves not only MFIs, but also networks, investor groups, regulators, and other stakeholders who recognize that sustainable microfinance has to keep clients’ interests front and center. The Smart Campaign’s 26-member Steering Committee hails from 17 countries and 5 continents.
The awards are part of the IDB’s beyondBanking program, which encourages FIs in Latin America and the Caribbean to adopt sustainable social, environmental, and governance practices. Through financing, technical assistance, and knowledge sharing, beyondBanking recognizes the catalytic role of FIs in promoting economic growth and corporate change. It seeks to contribute to the Bank of the Future – a bank business model which balances financial with social returns in order to foster an inclusive, environmentally friendly and transparent financial sector.
The beyondBanking awards were launched in March 2010. There were over 120 proposals submitted for the 8 award categories. An independent committee of experts reviewed all submissions and selected the three best in each category. The winners were decided through public voting that tallied almost 16,000 online votes.
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