Social performance management underpins ASA International’s model. It ensures consistency and enables effective regulation across all the offices in the countries where ASA International operates.
Non-financial information statement
As a socially responsible lender, the Group has a wide range of policies and procedures, as well as surveys in place, to ensure that its staff and management comply with all environmental, social and legal requirements, including respecting human rights, and adhering to the highest professional and ethical standards in dealing with customers, suppliers, and each other.
The Group’s Code of Conduct and ethics is designed in a manner that is ethical, dignified, transparent, equitable and cost-effective, and which expresses the core values of microfinance practice.
This policy is to combat improper payments or inducements and provide basic guidance to all employees, wherever they are located. The Group adopts a zero-tolerance approach to bribery and corruption, ensuring compliance with all applicable anti bribery and anti-corruption laws and regulations, including the UK Bribery Act 2010.
The Company and subsidiaries are strongly committed to preventing money laundering or any activity that facilitates money laundering, or the funding of terrorist or criminal activities in its operations.
The Company encourages its employees to report any activity that may constitute a violation of laws, regulations or internal policy. This policy is designed to help safeguard the integrity of the Company and its business dealings.
This policy ensures a working environment that is safe and without risk to the health and welfare of employees and visitors. The Group monitors and controls health and safety risks, regularly provide safety and awareness training to employees, take preventive measures and corrective action on workplace accidents/incidents and cases of work-related illness with emergency responses and reporting, and maintain safe equipment and infrastructures at the workplaces. Each entity has formed a Health and Safety Committee and an integrated Occupational Health & Safety (‘OHS’) Checklist with Risk Categories to ensure regular supervision and monitoring of OHS throughout the Company.
The Group is committed to protecting children who might be involved/affected directly or indirectly by its operations.
The Company promotes a safe work environment and have a zero-tolerance policy towards harassment of any kind, particularly sexual harassment.
One of the Group’s core values is the promotion of inclusivity and diversity. Discrimination of any kind is unacceptable.
CLIENT PROTECTION PRINCIPLES (‘CPP’)
As the Company is fully transparent in the pricing and terms and conditions of its loans, it adopted the CPP, to consider client protection in all aspects of the business. CPP describes the minimum protection that microfinance clients should expect from their providers, and also the protection that an institution should maintain to serve the best interests of its clients. The CPP were developed by SMART Campaign, a leading industry body in the financial inclusion industry.
CLIENT ECONOMIC YIELD (‘CEY’) SURVEY
The annual CEY Survey shows the percentage of surveyed clients financially benefiting from the Company’s loan programmes. The survey samples approximately 1% of total clients on their third or higher loan cycles. As a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Company decided not to conduct the CEY Survey in 2020.
SOCIAL PERFORMANCE INDICATORS TOOL (‘SPI4’)
All entities use SPI4, one of the most widely used social assessment tools for microfinance institutions. SPI4 helps microfinance institutions evaluate their implementation of the Universal Standards for Social Performance Management, including the Smart Campaign Client Protection Principles. See KPIs on page 31 of the Annual report.
EMPLOYEES AND CLIENT SATISFACTION SURVEYS
Employee and Client Satisfaction Surveys are conducted on an annual basis. However, due to the impact of COVID-19 on the operations in the countries, it was not executed in 2020. See KPIs on page 31 of the Annual report.
GRIEVANCE MITIGATION COMMITTEE (‘GMC’)
The Company has established an effective grievance mechanism for all employees throughout the Company, allowing staff to raise any workrelated concerns or complaints without fear of reprisal. It provides a fair and quick means of dealing with complaints. It also serves as an outlet for staff frustrations and disconnects.
CLIENT COMPLAINT RESOLUTION
Through the Complaints Committee clients can provide feedback on services or lodge complaints about inappropriate behaviour or treatment by any of the Group’s staff. This is facilitated through inter alia client complaint boxes in the branches.
This list defines the types of businesses and projects that the Company does not finance.
DIVERSITY AND GENDER
The Company employs a diverse workforce, with 33% female employees. The Company is also diverse in terms of age, with 56% of its employees under 30-years-old and 1% over 50.