Responsible Finance Forum

Effective Codes of Conduct: A Guide for Microfinance Associations

Dominique Brouwers
01 December 2015
Source:  The SEEP Network

Seven-step process to develop, implement and maintain a Code of Conduct

The objectives of this guide are to assist microfinance associations in the development and implementation of effective Codes of Conduct (CoCs) and to support monitoring of their members’ compliance with the CoC. This guide outlines a practical and cost-effective seven-step process that an association can follow to put in place and maintain an effective CoC. Links to real examples of tools used by associations in different parts of the world are included.

This guide is not intended to serve as a universal recipe, as associations will differ in terms of their human and financial resources, type and number of members, and political and regulatory environments. Each association will need to adapt the guidelines detailed here to fit its unique circumstances.

This guide is the continuation of work begun by The SEEP Network (SEEP) in 2001 to promote client protection through microfinance associations. In 2012, SEEP published Codes of Conduct and the Role of Microfinance Associations in Client Protection. This publication drew upon three case studies in an exploration of why and how associations choose to adopt and promote self-regulation through a CoC.