Empower women. Eliminate poverty.

Social Performance

Friendship Bridge has always been committed to making a transformative social impact in the lives of Guatemalan women, their families, and their communities. Over the years, Friendship Bridge has dedicated resources to evaluate whether it is on track to achieving its mission and to continuously learn how to improve program design and delivery. With the mission and vision being the guiding light for the organization, Friendship Bridge has worked to clearly define its Theory of Change, which we convey through the metaphor of a tree. Each tree below represents the two distinct client segments we serve. The roots are the products and services (or interventions.) The leaves are the outcomes we expect to achieve. View our Strategic Plan 2021-25 (English / Spanish)

Our Theory of Change



Friendship Bridge continuously monitors and evaluates our achievement toward these objectives.

Friendship Bridge has a Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) framework and system to provide regular insights into how programs are working and critical information regarding our progress against our social objectives and keeps the organization client-centric and mission-driven. Our approach is to use a combination of industry-standard tools for benchmarking, internal tools for program insights, and third-party evaluations to have robust and reliable information.

Clients consider that Friendship Bridge has significantly contributed to their improved quality of life (97%), their ability to make financial decisions (93%), and their increased income (93%) among other outcomes, earning Friendship Bridge the recognition as a Top Performer in Latin America.*

*According to 2023 60_Decibels Microfinance Index
2023 60_Decibels Report (English / Spanish)
2021 60_Decibels Report (English / Spanish)
2019 60_Decibels Report (English / Spanish)
2022 Poverty Stoplight Report (English / Spanish)
2014-2016 Outcomes Report: Expanding the Bridge (English / Spanish)
2014 Impact Report: Opening Pathways to Empowerment (English / Spanish)
2013 Impact Report: Making a Difference (English)



2017-19 Strategic Plan Outcomes

Friendship Bridge is committed to contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, specifically:


Social Performance Management

To balance social performance with financial performance and to increase the likelihood of achieving our mission, Friendship Bridge utilizes the Universal Standards for Social Performance Management:

Source: https://sptf.info/universal-standards-for-spm/universal-standards

Social Performance Standards & Awards

In a 2022 social audit using the Cerise SPI4 (assisted self-assessment), our compliance score with the Universal Standards and practices was 82 compared to a global average of 61 (out of 100).
Friendship Bridge provides quality employment in rural areas of Guatemala and was certified as #1 Best Place to Work® for Women in Central America and the Caribbean 2022-2023, as well as a Great Place to Work® in 2019, 2021, and 2022.
Friendship Bridge works to ensure a high level of compliance with the Client Protection Principles and we promote the practices in the industry within Guatemala, particularly in relation to preventing over-indebtedness.


Kiva has awarded Friendship Bridge 5 (of 7) Social Performance Badges:

  • Client Voice
  • Anti-Poverty Focus
  • Vulnerable Group Focus
  • Entrepreneurial Support
  • Family and Community Empowerment
Friendship Bridge was recognized at Leader status by Truelift in 2017.
For three consecutive years, Friendship Bridge has had a winning client in Citi Banks’ Microentrepreneurship Awards Program. See our most recent client, Jacinta, in this video.

Education and Social Performance Committee

Friendship Bridge benefits from the knowledge, resources, and expertise of our talented Education and Social Performance (ESP) Committee. Thank you to our ESP Committee members:

Anna de la Cruz – Research and Evaluation Professional

Paula Farrell – Friendship Bridge Board Member   

Leigh Fiske Professor of Social Entrepreneurship at Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado

Cara S. Forster – Independent Consultant and Social Performance Task Force Secretariat Member

Jessica Jones – Assistant Professor at University of Tennessee Knoxville   

Meryle Melnicoff – Board Member and Committee Chair

Carolina Roca – Friendship Bridge Board Member and Partner of IDC

Caroline Rodriguez – Friendship Bridge Board Member

Caitlin Scott Friendship Bridge – Chief Strategy Officer

Sarah Sterling – Operations Manager at Conveners

Carmen Velasco – Co-Founder of Pro Mujer and Co-Chair of Executive Committee for Truelift

Read their full bios here.