Tools & Resources Getting Started Questionnaire: Client Protection Self Assessment for Microfinance Institutions – Version 2.0

Getting Started Questionnaire: Client Protection Self Assessment for Microfinance Institutions – Version 2.0


On October 18th, 2016 the Smart Campaign launched an update of the Getting Started Questionnaire (GSQ 2.0), which incorporates the new Client Protection Standards 2.0 and reflects the latest evolution of standards process completed by the campaign in June 2016.  To learn more about the Standards 2.0, please click here.

The Getting Started Questionnaire was designed to serve as a first step for microfinance institutions that have recently been introduced to the work of the campaign and the Client Protection Principles, who are interested on improving the client practices of their institution and start planning their own path towards seeking the Smart Campaign’s Certification.

The Getting Started Questionnaire helps microfinance institutions begin to investigate the client protection practices within their own organization. Once an institution has received an introduction to the work of the campaign and client protection principles, answering this Questionnaire is the logical next step. The questionnaire is structured around the Client Protection Principles, each of which is subdivided in standards, which in turn are subdivided into indicators and compliance criteria.

The questionnaire provides a framework for evaluating a microfinance institution’s practices principle by principle, focusing on the indicators that are most important for determining how effective the organization’s systems are for embodying the principles. There are four categories of possible responses including: Meets the indicator (2), Partially meets the indicator (1), Does not meet the indicator (0) and Does not apply (N/A). For each statement, the practitioner or assessor needs to evaluate the evidence from the MFI’s policies and staff interviews and determine which category most accurately represents the institution’s implementation of each statement.

To begin, download the tool and go to the “Set-up” sheet of the Getting Started Questionnaire, select the language you want to work in (English, French, Spanish, Arabic or Russian) and insert the institutional details. In the following sheets you will be allowed to self-assess the institution according to the aforementioned criteria and also insert relevant comments or observations that you would like to follow up on.

The worksheets of the Getting Started Questionnaire also contain graphs to help the user more easily identify strong and weak practices as well as see which principles offer the institution its best opportunity to improve its client protection activities.

If you have any comments or questions regarding any part of this tool, please send an email with your complete contact information to the following address, and a member of our team will contact you shortly: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Download Getting Started Questionnaire » – Version 2.0