Below is our recent interview with Sasha Dichter, CEO & Co-Founder at 60 Decibels:
Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to your company?
A: 60 Decibels is a global, tech-enabled impact measurement company that brings speed and repeatability to social impact measurement and customer insights. We provide genuine benchmarks of impact performance, enabling organisations to understand impact relative to peers and set performance targets. We have a network of 850+ researchers in 70+ countries and have worked with more than 800 of the world’s leading impact investors, companies, foundations, corporations, NGOs, and public sector organisations. 60 Decibels makes it easy to listen to the people who matter most.
Q: Any highlights on your recent announcement?
A: We just published the 60 Decibels Microfinance Index, the world’s first microfinance social performance report based entirely on customer voice. By conducting interviews with almost 18,000 microfinance clients across 41 countries, the 60 Decibels Microfinance Index provides a ground-up perspective on the lives of 25 million microfinance clients, representing 15% of the global market. Microfinance has repeatedly faced scrutiny around the risk that vulnerable populations will be hurt, not helped, through loans.
However, this report provides evidence that supports the core premise of microfinance: that clients can put loans to productive use in their businesses, and that business improvements will translate to improved household well-being.
The report also confirms that microfinance institutions are promoting women’s economic empowerment, that clients are experiencing improved quality of life and that access to microfinance loans help borrowers withstand economic shocks. The 60 Decibels Microfinance Index provides unambiguous evidence that microfinance institutions can change lives for the better.
More importantly, it shows the power of social performance benchmarking. With comparable results, built by talking directly to clients, we can provide MFIs and their investors with clear, actionable insight for getting from good to great.
Q: Can you give us more insights into your offering?
A: We provide the world’s most credible, comparable social performance data for organizations at the forefront of social impact and sustainability.
We do this by helping our clients listen directly to any customer, employee, farmer or beneficiary on the planet, using our network of 850+ researchers in 70+ countries, along with our proprietary tech and analytics backbone.
We deploy standardised, phone-based, social measurement tools built around the areas of impact that customers and beneficiaries say are most important to their lives, and deliver actionable impact performance data that highlights what is working well and what isn’t.
This data enables our clients to prove and improve social impact, as well as understand and respond to social risk.
Q: What can we expect from your company in the next 6 months? What are your plans?
A: With the 60 Decibels Microfinance Index, we aim to demonstrate both the value and the feasibility of regularly listening to clients to understand social performance. We plan to collect this data on an annual basis and in so doing, we hope that we can make the gathering of comparable client-level outcomes data the norm in microfinance.
We will also be replicating this work in other industries, including off-grid energy and corporate food supply chains (cocoa, coffee, etc.).
Q: What is a fun fact about your company that people might not know?
A: 60 decibels is the average volume of human conversation. Our company is committed to bringing human voices at scale to social impact measurement and we wanted our name to reflect it!