Sunday, August 30, 2015

Tag of the Week!

As we post the Tag of the Week, we will archive them here, as well as any pertinent discussion points raised.

Week 1 Repair Renew Replace
(posted 5 February 2017)

This week we would like to highlight our newest tag--#Repair Renew Replace.

This is the tag for loans to repair, renovate, or replace equipment, goods or buildings or for borrowers who provide those services.

This tag applies not only to businesses but to homes as well. This means maintenance or repair to vehicles, motorized or not, as well as repairs to farm buildings, homes and any equipment in a home or business. All remodeling, renovation or additions is included, as is the purchasing of building materials for these endeavors. The RRR tag also pertains to replacing worn out items in a home or business. Included in this is the replacement of fishing nets, which is not included in the BDA tag, since they are too fragile to be considered durable. Also included is the replacement of chairs, tables, ovens, appliances, TVs, carpets, and the like, even when the replacement is new.

This tag is also for loans to borrowers who provide repair or renovation services, like car mechanics or construction workers, if making repairs or renovations. Also included in this are cobblers since they often make repairs to shoes which is too difficult for even poorer people to do.

The RRR tag should NOT be used to buy fuel for vehicles or for registering or insuring a vehicle. It is not for the FIRST TIME buying of any items or for new building construction of homes, businesses or farm buildings. It is NOT for loans to pay rent while a house is being rebuilt. It is NOT for a business merely selling spare parts.

The most missed tagging opportunity for this tag is when a loan is for people actually performing the repair or renovation work like cobblers or mechanics or others. And don’t forget that less durable items and personal items are included. It’s okay for a new item IF it is replacing something old or outdated or broken, for example, replacing an older non-solar system with a new solarium/solar water heater.

As is the case with many other tags, there will be times that other tags overlap with our RRR tag (like BDA) and times when you will have to use your discretion. This is a very versatile tag. Use it wisely. 
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Discussion 
  • Should #RRR be applied to loans for new latrines? The consensus at this point (which may change) is that the tag can be used if the loan description says that the latrine is a home improvement or replacing an existing latrine. It's a "use your best judgement" situation.
  • Should loans to people working in construction get #RRR? Only if the loan description specifically states the the borrower is working in home renovation should the loan get the tag.

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Week 2  Schooling
(posted 12 February 2017)


This is the tag to support educational expenses, but, importantly, also to support educators. Teachers can better serve their students if they have fewer personal worries, so if the borrower is a teacher, use #Schooling even if their loan is not related to education or teaching.

There are many educational expenses that can be included in this tag. Some of them are obvious, such as tuition/fees, school books, computers, school uniforms, or teachers buying educational materials for the classroom. Others are less obvious, such as infrastructure improvements to a school like adding a water filtration system.

This tag can also be used for loans in which the borrower is supporting a student, such as a borrower supporting a sibling so that he or she can continue their education.

That brings up "hidden education" loans in which profit generated from the loan will go, at least in part, to immediate education expenses. This has been a controversial area, and will not be revisited here, but the main point is that the loan description must be specific enough to convince you that the borrower is really intending to use some or all of the profits from the loan for educational purposes AND the loan must state that the borrower has school-aged children. We understand that this can be a gray area, so a thorough reading of the loan description may be necessary to make a determination. This tag is not to be used simply because the borrower has school-aged children or because the borrower states that they are saving for future education.

Don’t forget, when the student is stated to be female, you should also use #FemaleEducation. (This is for female students– the gender of the borrower doesn’t matter, unless the borrower is the student.)

The Schooling tag should not be used unless there is specific intent to use the loan or profits from the loan for educational expenses. Just saying that the borrower has school-aged children is not enough to justify the tag. The tag should not be used when the borrower says that they are hoping to send their children to school/college in the future.
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Discussion 


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Week 3  Unique
(posted 19 February 2017)

This week we are highlighting a recently reinstated tag--#Unique.

This tag combines 3 previous tags—#Interesting photo, #Inspiring Story, and #Unique.

This is the tag for a loan that stands out from the rest. If it really catches your interest or your eye because of the type of borrower, a unique item being sold, something rarely seen on Kiva, or an interesting or smile-worthy photo, it merits the #Unique tag.

If you find the profile story emotional, compelling, or particularly interesting, tag it #Unique.

Other than what is stated above, this tag has no rigid guidelines. It is subjective and it is up to the individual tagger to decide when to use #Unique.

This tag is NOT to be used if the loan, borrower, or photo is similar to others seen on Kiva. If you’ve seen or read it often it is not unique and it does NOT get the tag even if the particular loan or story seems interesting.

This tag was retired at one time and the team worked hard to have it reinstated so DO use it and have fun with it. This is the tag that makes you smile.


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Discussion 


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Week 4  Biz Durable Asset
(posted 26 February 2017)



This week we will highlight #Biz Durable Asset (#BDA).



This is the tag for loans that are used to purchase durable items for business use. The asset(s) that are purchased should last for at least several years and should either add to the revenue stream of the business or reduce expenses for the business.



The name of the tag spells it out:

  • Business: items being purchased must be for business use only. Loans for personal purchases should not get #BDA. For example, buying land to farm would get #BDA, but buying land to build a house for the borrower’s use would not. Buying solar panels to reduce business expenses would get #BDA; buying a solarium for home use would not.
  • Durable: items being purchased must last. For example, fishing nets do not usually last for multiple seasons, so loans to purchase nets would not get BDA, but a loan to buy a fishing boat would get #BDA.
  • Asset: items being purchased must help the borrower’s business either make or save money. A loan to buy a taxi or rickshaw would get #BDA. A loan to repair a taxi would not, as the repair is not adding a business asset (but #RRR would be appropriate).



Loans to pay installment payments (like car payments) to obtain a durable asset can be tagged BDA, but loans to pay rent for a business location should not get #BDA.



Some loans to buy animals should be tagged with #BDA. The determining factor is whether the animal being purchased is a durable asset. If the animals are simply being raised for resale or slaughter, the loan should not get #BDA. However, the loan should get #BDA if the animals:

  • are being purchased for breeding
  • continue to produce a saleable product (not from slaughter). Examples include animals that produce eggs (ducks, chickens), milk and cheese (cows, goats, buffalo), and honey (bees)
  • produce an income stream, for example, oxen used for plowing



To further review this tag, there are many examples listed in the definition at Tag Definitions, but here are a few specifics that are worth a reminder:

Loans to buy stock for a retail store or spare parts for a repair shop should not get #BDA. Loans to buy or plant trees should be tagged with BDA, as trees are a durable asset, but loans for seeds to plant should not. Loans to repair or maintain a durable asset should not get #BDA.
 
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Discussion 


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Week 5  Trees
(posted 5 March 2017)

This week we are shining the spotlight on #Trees.

This tag is for loans to borrowers whose business involves planting, growing, or sustaining trees. The borrower may be buying tree seedlings, fertilizing, or irrigating existing trees or orchards. It is also for the purchase of land on which to grow trees.

Trees are listed in the tag definition that we all use and you may refer to your copy of that for a more extensive listing of trees, so a few examples will suffice here: All types of apples, citrus, olive, mulberry, guava, mango, peach, quince, coffee, cork, eucalyptus, pomegranate, fig, mahogany, grevillea, resin, rubber. Nut trees like almond, Brazil, cashew, hazelnut, chestnut, and pistachio and many others are included.

Banana, while technically not a tree, is included in the #Trees tag since the Tree Lovers Team has requested it specifically.

This list is nowhere near complete but just gives a few examples. Even the tag definitions cannot nearly list every type of tree that might be planted so some judgment will occasionally be called for.

The #Trees tag should NOT be used if the business involves the cutting down of trees for their wood or for the selling of equipment for cutting down trees, such as chainsaws or axes. It is also NOT to be used for a business that buys or gathers wood to sell as fire wood or charcoal, or for the making of furniture or wood carvings. Do NOT give the tag to borrowers who trade in nuts or tree fruits but do not grow the trees. Fruit bearing vines like passion fruit and grapes are not trees and neither is corn or tea. Bamboo and sugarcane, while often tall, are grasses and should NOT be tagged #Trees.

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Discussion 


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Week 6  Repeat Borrower
(posted 12 March 2017)



This week we will highlight #Repeat Borrower.

This is the tag to use when the borrower has had a previous sucessful loan with either Kiva or the current field partner. In many cases the loan will like to the borrower's previous loan or loans on Kiva. These loans will usually be autotagged with Repeat Borrower. In all cases, the tagger must read the loan description carefully to look for a reference to a previous loan. For example, the loan description may refer to previous loan activity as a "loan cycle" or just a "cycle" or some other wording.

Being a member of a financial institution or business association, even for many years, does not necessarily mean that the borrower has taken out previous loans, as the borrower may have been accessing other services such as financial counseling, savings accounts, or business advice.

However, there are exceptions. There are filed partners for which being a member of their program means that they are always borrowers. The field partners that fall into this category are:
  • One Acre Fund: All people in the program are borrowers, so if the loan description says that they have been in the program, for example, for 3 years or since 2012, then the loan can be tagged Repeat Borrower. (Information from Trudy)
  • CAURIE: The loan description will say that the group has been borrowing as a "banc villageois" since a certain year, or it will say that that the group has been a "banc villageois" since a certain year, but not mention that they have been borrowing since then. These loans can be tagged Repeat Borrower. (Information from Diane)


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Discussion 
  • From Diane: The other field partner exception is with RMCR in Mali, and this repeat borrower status, when applicable, is being auto-tagged for. RMCR lists groups under two loan programs, identified in the field partner section of the loan description. The second program, to groups of 2-9 borrowers, is only accessible to repeat borrowers with the FP who have 'graduated' into it. = auto-tag. The first loan program is to groups of 10-35 borrowers, most of which are not repeat borrowers. Very occasionally, the loan description for such a group will mention a repeat borrower. = manual tag. So in the case of RMCR, please double-check the loan program before removing a repeat borrower auto-tag. 
  • From Kiril: KSPPS Benteng Mikro Indonesia (BMI) is also an exception - their water and sanitation loans are targeted towards their current members who have already repaid back a loan.

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Week 7  Sustainable Ag
(posted 19 March 2017)

This week’s feature tag is #Sustainable Ag.

This tag is given to farms or agricultural businesses that operate in such a way that they can be sustained indefinitely, not only economically, but also socially and ecologically. It may involve a Fair Trade FP or have Fair Trade certification. It should be used for farming endeavors that are purchasing compost or manure or who are paying for manual weeding or practicing crop rotation. The growing of a variety of crops or growing perennial crops is generally more sustainable than annual crops alone. Anything that grows on trees is usually sustainable unless chemical inputs are being used.

Animal husbandry may qualify for this tag if it is practiced sustainably by keeping stock levels low, rotating animals among different paddocks or using a biodigestor.

This tag should NOT be used for farms that are using chemical pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers. Generally, if the loan profile is vague about the inputs used then the assumption should be that chemicals are being used as that is the default option in global agriculture. The profile should be very specific regarding the farming practices used before applying the #Sustainable Ag tag.

Do NOT give this tag to any endeavor using zero-grazing units.

If a loan has a mixture of sustainable and unsustainable aspects, then use your judgment as to where the overall balance is.

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Discussion 

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Week 8  Female Education
(posted 26 March 2017)


This week we will highlight #Female Education.



This is the tag to support educational expenses for women and girls. It follows the same parameters as #Schooling, but the expenses must be for female students. As with #Schooling, all manner of educational expenses can be included in this tag, such as tuition/fees, school books, computers, and school uniforms.  Additionally, loans to schools that serve female students can get this tag. If the school is coeducational, at least 25% of the students must be female to use the Female Education tag.



The gender of the borrower is not relevant for #Female Education. For example, a loan to a woman borrowing to pay her son’s tuition would not get this tag, but a loan to a man to pay tuition for his daughter would get it.



As with #Schooling, #Female Education should not be used unless there is specific intent to use the loan or profits from the loan for educational expenses for a girl or woman. Just saying that the borrower has school-aged daughters is not enough to justify the tag. The tag should not be used when the borrower says that they are hoping to send their daughter to school/college in the future.

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Discussion 

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Week 9  Job Creator
(posted 2 April 2017)

This week's highlighted tag is #Job Creator.


This tag is used when the borrower plans to give economic opportunity to someone other than themselves or their immediate family.

This tag is used when a borrower plans to hire additional employees for their business or to hire laborers for even a short or intermittent time. For example, it can be used when the borrower needs someone to plow their field or to do manual weeding or to help them bring in the harvest, or to help to construct or repair a building on their property.

This tag can also be used when the borrower will be using the loan to purchase a durable asset that will provide employment for another person, like an additional taxi that will be driven by a brother-in-law.

This tag should NOT be used when the borrower merely wants to pay his existing employees or if a medium- or large-sized construction firm is to be used since these workers would be employed whether or not their firm was given the contract for any specific job, unless it is specifically stated that the firm will be adding new employees.



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Discussion 

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Week 10  Animals
(posted 10 April 2017)

This week's highlighted tag is #Animals.
This tag is for loans to borrowers who will use the funds to buy, raise, or shelter animals. Expenses may include buying feed or medicines for animals, building stables or beehives, constructing ponds for aquaculture, or purchasing the animals themselves.

If the borrower is buying animals for immediate slaughter (think meat!), the loan should not get this tag, but if the borrower is buying animals for fattening, which will involve feeding and caring for them for some time, then it should get #Animals.

Buying fish or fish supplies for aquaculture should get #Animals, but loans for fishing or fishing supplies should not get #Animals.

If the borrower simply has animals (either mentioned in the description or pictured), but the loan is not supporting the animals, then the loan should not get #Animals.

This tag may be used in combination with #Biz Durable Asset if the animals being purchased are producing or will produce an income stream. Examples are: poultry producing eggs, cows and other ruminants producing milk and cheese, and bees producing honey. Breeding pairs of animals (that will be kept long term, with the offspring either slaughtered or sold) can be considered #BDA. 

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Discussion 

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Week 11  Eco-friendly
(posted 16 April 2017)

This week we'd like to highlight #Eco-friendly.

This popular tag is used when the loan will reduce the borrower's carbon footprint or improve the environment in some way. Such endeavors include recycling or re-purposing products or materials, clean energy, or repairing things instead of throwing them away. Examples are the reselling of used clothing (sometimes called bales of clothes) or shoes and gathering or selling recyclable materials including scrap metal or electronics/appliances.

It is also used for the purchase of items that are environmentally friendly such as bicycles and biodigestors, beehives, energy-efficient stoves or electrical vehicles. Prominently included in this tag is the purchase of solar panels or solar-powered products like solar water heaters.

This tag is also used for home improvements that will improve energy efficiency in the home such as adding insulation to reduce coal or wood burning.

The building of a sanitary latrine where none previously existed is also included.

This tag should NOT be used for home improvements that do not specifically provide improvements in energy efficiency or for replacement toilets or latrines.


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Discussion 

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Week 12  Elderly
(posted 23 April 2017)

This week's highlighted tag is #Elderly.

This tag is for loans to older borrowers. Although the brief Kiva definition does not state an age for #Elderly, the LT team uses this tag for borrowers 50 years of age or older. In some areas where Kiva is active, average life expectancy is as low as the 40s.

In many cases, the borrower’s age is stated at the beginning of the loan description. If age is not stated, taggers can apply this tag based on the picture. For repeat borrowers, the borrower’s age is frequently mentioned only in the first loan description, so be sure to check past loan descriptions as well.

This tag is to be used only when the borrower is elderly. It should not be applied when a loan beneficiary (e.g., daughter borrowing for medical expenses for an elderly parent) or household members are elderly.


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Discussion 

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Week 13  Woman Owned Business
(posted 30 April 2017)

This week 's feature tag is #Woman Owned Business
This is the tag for loans to women for a profit-making endeavor owned solely by a woman or women. This includes franchises and catalog sales. For group loans the feature borrower and a majority of the group members must be female business owners. You may, at times, need to refer to the posted picture and actually count the group members to be sure that the tag will apply.

You must read the loan profile carefully to be sure that the business is owned by the woman and not jointly with her husband or other male relative (someone who is “helping out”) since he may actually be a co-owner or even the principal owner of the business and the woman is merely procuring the loan for the family enterprise.

This tag is also NOT for a loan for a woman who owns a business but the loan is for a purpose other than her business, for example, home improvements, schooling or the like. The tag should also NOT be used on a group loan where the featured member is female but the gender of the remaining borrowers is not stated.

Use this tag carefully. If you are not sure that the business is truly owned by the woman/women do not add the tag.


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Discussion 
  • Diane asked about using WOB on agricultural loans to women: "I see a lot of variability regarding the WOB tag on agriculture loans to women borrowers - with it often missing on the loan, even though no mention of the husband is made or occasionally there is a mention that it's a family farm.
    Why would we not tag WOB on the agriculture loans made to women, especially those for aspects of the work that is usually the responsibility of women? Often, agricultural work IS split along gender lines, for example: the planting and selling watermelons, market gardening, raising ducks or guinea pigs, fattening calves, etc.). From the POV of the farm women in my family, I can tell you that what is their area of responsibility is very much *their* business...

    What guidelines can we use, so that we don't automatically exclude the #Woman Owned Business tag from loans rightfully made to women engaged in agriculture?"

  • Carmel's response: "The way the tag was set up ( and worded) it is for loans to women who actually own and are responsible for the business. This puts them in a position of economic (and psychological) power both in the family and in the community. They have a say how the business is run and where the proceeds go. This is very important anywhere, but especially in places where males have so much power. Without ownership, the business can be taken from them at any time, even if they are responsible for half, or even most, of the work. That is why it is very important to be reasonably sure that the business is actually owned by a woman or women before adding the tag."

  • Kristi's response: "Diane, I tend to use the same rules I use for any store owned by a woman on agricultural loans. If there is any mention of the husband also rice farming, for example, then I don't give #WOB. If the description describes the business as belonging to the woman borrower, then I assume that it is indeed her business.

    There is nothing spelled out in our definition that excludes agricultural loans from being tagged WOB. It is true that in many countries ownership defaults to the husband, but that would be as true for stores as it is for an agricultural business, so I don't know that it's relevant. We'd have to exclude all loans to married women to avoid that issue, and we clearly don't want to do that."
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Week 14  Parent
(posted 7 May 2017)

 
This week we will highlight #Parent.

This is the tag to use when the borrower is supporting children at home or in school.

To be tagged Parent, the children are the borrower’s or the borrower’s partner’s dependent children. Other children in the household (for example, nieces or nephews) would be tagged with Supporting Family.

To qualify for #Parent:
• the dependent child is 18 or younger and living at home or at school
• the dependent child is 18 or over, attending school, and being supported by the borrower
• the dependent child is 18 or over, permanently disabled, and being supported by the borrower

A divorced borrower paying child support or an overseas worker sending money home to support children would also qualify for #Parent.

The Parent tag should not be used for borrowers with independent children or for borrowers who are living with adult children, even if those children are dependent on the borrower’s income.

There is a gray area for this tag, as loan descriptions often say that the borrower has x number of children, without specifying their ages or if they are in school. The tagger should use their best judgement in these cases. For example, if the borrower is a woman of 35 with two children, it is reasonable to assume that the children are dependent. If the female borrower is 55 with two children, then it is probable that the children are independent. Many taggers use age 50 as the cutoff point (when the borrower qualifies for #Elderly). Of course, when the borrower is a 60 year old man with 10 children, the assumptions can be tossed out.


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Discussion 

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Week 15  Single Parent & Single
(posted 14 May 2017)


This week we will compare #Single Parent and #Single


#Single Parent
This tag should be applied to loans in which the borrower is a parent without a spouse or partner living in the home and who is responsible for raising the children.
All criteria for #Parent must apply and both tags should be used. The loan description must specifically state that the borrower is a single parent. He/she may be widowed, never married, separated, divorced, or living alone with the child/children. The borrower may be living with other family members like parents, aunts, or siblings who may or may not be helping out with the child/children.


A parent who is responsible for raising children and whose spouse/ partner is living abroad, permanently or on a long- term basis, even if he/she is financially supporting the family, is included.


If the borrower is living with a new life partner, who is not the parent of the children, their loan should NOT be tagged #Single Parent. It is also NOT for a borrower who is supporting children but is separated from the other parent and not living with the children. See below.


#Single
This tag is really quite different than the above tag. It is to be used when the loan description specifically states that the borrower is single or unmarried and there is no mention of dependent children living with him/her. The borrower may be living alone, with parents and/or siblings, or others.


The borrower may have children that they are supporting but the child/children do not live with the borrower. In this case, the #Single tag as well as the #Parent tag should be used.
#Single should NOT be used if there is no mention of the borrower’s marital status. It should NOT be used if the borrower is cohabiting in a domestic partnership (common-law relationship) but is not legally married. Do NOT use this tag if the borrower is a single parent living with their children.


#Single Parent and #Single should never be used on the same loan.


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Discussion 

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Week 16  Orphan, Widowed, & First Loan
(posted 21 May 2017)

This week we will highlight three simple tags: #Orphan, #Widowed, and #First Loan

#Orphan: This is the tag to use when the borrower is supporting dependent children who have been orphaned. The criteria for determining dependency is the same as for #Parent (child at home or in school, or a permanently disabled dependent). This tag is rarely used—as I write this, there are only two loans tagged #Orphan on Kiva.

#Widowed: This is the tag to use when the borrower’s husband or wife has died. As with all tags, it is important to look at the previous loan descriptions when tagging, as marital status is frequently mentioned only in the first loan description. The tag should not be used if the borrower is living with a new partner.

#First Loan: This is the tag to use when the loan description specifically states that it is the borrower’s first loan with the Field Partner. The loan description may say “For the first time, xx is asking for” or it may state that the borrower is on their first loan.



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Discussion 
  • Diane had several comments about #Orphan & #Widowed: "#Orphan tag: I thought that this tag also applies to a borrower that is clearly stated to be an orphan too. A couple of times it applied to a student's loan that I tagged (like ones for Kepler students).

    #Widowed: this one is usually missing the #Single-Parent and #Parent tags too on applicable loans that I come across, and I add them in. I've even tagged #Widowed + #Single-Parent + #Parent + #Elderly on occasion...
    These tags are not mutually exclusive - especially in the case of widows or widowers left to care for their youngest children (often still in school.)    
          
  
  • Carmel's response: "Looking at the #Orphan definition I think it could certainly be spelled out better that the borrower could be the orphan if they are still dependent, like a student borrowing for their education. It does spell it out in What is not.. but the first line should mention it as well--something like: The borrower is an orphan under the age of 18 or is responsible for children who were orphaned.

    I think the whole definition could be better written.The What is... is way too vague and incomplete."

  •   Diane's response: "When the borrower is orphaned, I wouldn't use a set "age of 18" in the definition - I'd much prefer we use how Kristi described it as a "student-age" borrower, which is better in line with how we generally view dependents. "                                           
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Week 17  Technology
(posted 28 May 2017)

 
This week's highlighted tag is #Technology

This is the tag for loans to buy, sell, maintain, or use modern technology that was not widely commercially available in many countries until near the beginning of the 21st century.


This tag is to be used on any loan where the borrower will be acquiring, selling, maintaining or making use of very modern technology such as computers and internet access, mobile payments, cell phones, and innovative new water purifiers. Web-site design and e-commerce would be included. Also high on the list would be any solar-powered items such as solar lamps, solar chargers and solar- powered irrigators. Buying new or used electric cars would also be covered by this tag.

This tag is also for those who are borrowing for education expenses directly related to a technology diploma/degree.

The #Technology tag should NOT be used for old-school technologies that have been widely available throughout much of the 20th century, such as household appliances, tractors, most vehicles (except electric), TV's and radios, and the like.


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Discussion 

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Week 18  Fabrics
(posted 4 June 2017)

This week we will highlight #Fabrics.

This is the tag to use when the loan features fabrics or sewing and similar crafts involving sewing or weaving. It is one of two tags requested by a specialized team, the Fabulous Fabric Fans. (#Trees is the other one.)

Some of the activities that merit this tag are:
·      sewing
·      purchasing fabrics or pagnes (West African cloth wraps) for sale
·      tailoring or dressmaking
·      weaving or basketry
·      embroidery
·      batik or elei printing (Samoan fabric painting)

Loans to buy equipment for these activities should also be tagged Fabrics, such as loans for sewing machines or looms. (Remember those loans can also be tagged BDA.)

Fabrics is one of those tags that requires the tagger’s judgement because in addition to loans that meet the definition above, #Fabrics can also be used for loans in which the borrower or borrowers are wearing beautiful fabrics, even though the loan may have nothing to do with sewing or fabrics. For example, the borrower may be dressed in one of those colorful African prints.

Leatherwork or crafts involving leather do not get the Fabrics tag.

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Discussion 

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Week 19  xx
(posted xx June 2017)