First African Organization Certified in Poverty Measurement Using the PPI

The BOMA Project of Kenya Receives Advanced Certification

May 10, 2012 – Grameen Foundation today announced that The BOMA Project, a nonprofit organization working in Northern Kenya, has been certified on the Progress out of Poverty Index® (PPI®) Standards of Use. The BOMA Project is the first African organization to receive this certification.

The PPI is a simple, inexpensive and accurate tool for organizations to estimate and track the poverty rates of their clients. Certification provides assurance to the organization and its stakeholders that PPI data is dependable because the collection method was appropriate. 

The BOMA Project works to improve the lives of the marginalized residents of Northern Kenya through economic empowerment, education, advocacy and the training of a new generation of entrepreneurial, ethical leaders. As of October 2011, 99 percent of BOMA clients live on less than $2.50 per day, and 87.6 percent live on less than $1.25 per day.  

“The BOMA Project is committed to developing sustainable local economies in the arid lands of the Horn of Africa – remote areas written off by most NGOs. We’ve always known that we were working in an area of extreme poverty, but we needed a well-recognized tool to help us tell that story. This is an important evaluation tool for our funders and for our organization as we work to assess the poverty level of participants in our micro-finance program,” says Kathleen Colson, Founder and CEO of The BOMA Project. 

BOMA’s PPI certification review was conducted in January 2012 by a volunteer from Bankers without Borders®, Grameen Foundation’s global volunteer reserve corps, which enables skilled professionals to lend their expertise to social enterprises. BOMA’s review covered intent, data collection, training, processing and reporting; it did not include an audit of all of BOMA’s PPI surveys. Based on this review, Grameen Foundation found The BOMA Project worthy of an Advanced Certification. According to the assessment, The BOMA Project demonstrates the right intent in its use of the PPI. 

Colson and Sarah Ellis, BOMA’s Director of New Program Development and Evaluation, are enthusiastic about incorporating the PPI into the grant process; they believe the PPI is the best tool they can use to establish whether they are reaching their target population of individuals living below the $2.50/day poverty line and the $1.25 per day extreme poverty line. The PPI is currently used by 150 organizations worldwide. The majority of these organizations are microfinance institutions, but many are other types of social businesses, nonprofit organizations, or intermediary networks. 


About Grameen Foundation
Grameen Foundation, a global nonprofit organization, helps the world’s poorest people – especially women – lift themselves out of poverty by providing appropriate financial services, life-changing information and unique business opportunities. Founded in 1997, Grameen Foundation has offices in Washington, DC; Seattle, WA; Colombia; Ghana; Hong Kong; Indonesia; the Philippines; and Uganda. Microfinance pioneer Prof. Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank and winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, is a founding member of its Board of Directors, and now serves as director emeritus. For more information, please visit

About the Progress out of Poverty Index® (PPI) ®
The Progress out of Poverty Index is a country-specific assessment tool that helps institutions measure outreach to the poor, monitor changes in the economic well-being of clients and provide data that helps managers improve the effectiveness of programs and services. The PPI is managed by Grameen Foundation through the Progress out of Poverty Initiative and designed by Mark Schreiner of Microfinance Risk Management LLC. It was commissioned in 2005 in partnership with CGAP and Ford Foundation. For more information, please visit For more information on PPI certification, please