Tag Rationales


Rationales for Tag Usage

A resource page for taggers or lenders who are interested in the reasons for which tags are applied as they are. Basically, this is a place where discussions on tag use (discussions that might stretch out for a year or more on the forum) can be easily viewed.

Latest rationales update: August 15, 2016 

#Animals
A tag used for loans for the purchase or tending of all kinds of animals.  It includes work animals, dairy animals, pets, or animals to be eventually slaughtered for food. It is not to be used for butchers or fishers, as they are not tending to the welfare of the animals, even temporarily.

#Biz Durable Asset
A tag used for loans to purchase anything for a business that is durable, will last for at least several years, and will continue to bring in revenue or reduce expenses. Examples include solar panels, a refrigerator for a grocery store, biodigesters, new tables and chairs for a restaurant, or water pumps/irrigation equipment. This includes animals (that will not be slaughtered) that will produce dairy, eggs, or honey. Also included are loans for the purchase of land for farming or the purchase or furnishing of rental property. Loans used for installment payments for a durable business asset are okay. This tag is not to be used for any assets that will be consumed or sold, are not re-usable, or will not bring in revenue by themselves, like spare parts or maintenance for existing assets. This tag is not to be used for loans for personal assets of any kind as they do not provide any revenue.

#Eco-friendly
A tag used for loans that will be helpful to the environment, like loans for recycling, reusing, or repurposing, or for loans for clean energy that will prevent harm to the environment, such as solar energy, biodigesters, bicycles, or sanitary latrines/toilets. A loan for a home improvement that will improve energy efficiency, such as adding insulation or new windows to reduced fuel consumption. This tag is not to be used for loans for home improvements that do not specifically improve energy efficiency, or for loans to repair/replace existing latrines/toilets.

There has been some discussion as to whether sanitary latrines/toilets are actually eco-friendly, and this topic may be revisited.

Following discussion (in May 2017), criteria were revised to explicitly exclude loans to buy or resell used vehicles (unless they are electric).

#Elderly
A tag used for loans to older borrowers. Although Kiva does not define elderly, the Loan Taggers team has agreed to use this tag for borrowers 50 years or older. Although 50 years old may not be considered elderly in the developed world, life expectancy in many of the countries where Kiva is active is much lower (for example, overall life expectancy is in the low 50s in many sub-Saharan countries of Africa).

The tag can be applied based either on the loan narrative or on the photograph. This tag is not to be used when there are elderly people living with the borrower, only when the recipient of the loan is elderly.

#Fabrics
A tag used for loans that involve sewing, weaving, embroidery, or similar arts/crafts involving fabric. The tag was requested by the Fabulous Fabrics Fans team and they helped define it. In addition to loans for the above, the tag may also be given to loans that have a picture featuring beautiful or interesting fabrics, even though the loan itself may not be for fabrics.

#Female Education
A tag used for loans for the education of women or girls or for generating income for their education. Educational expenses can include tuition or purchase of textbooks, school uniforms, supplies, etc. The tag is to be used only when the gender of the student is female; the gender of the borrower is not to be considered. This tag is not to be used for a loan in which a female borrower is paying for the education of a male student or where the education of a female is stated as a future goal or hope of the borrower.

Because of the difficulties for female students in many parts of the world, coeducational schools with at least 25% female students can receive this tag.

This tag can also be used for loans for schools that are educating females, for example, buying a water filtration system for a school that meets the 25% female students criteria. The tag should not be applied if the gender of the students is not known or if the school is described as mixed, only when it is clear that at least 25% of the students are female.

#First Loan
A tag used when the loan description specifically states that the loan is the first loan for the borrower with the Field Partner, although the borrower may have had a loan with a different institution or Field Partner.

#Health and Sanitation
A tag used for loans for direct health care services (medical or dental), for loans that have a direct impact on health, or for loans to/for students studying in a health care field (medicine, nursing, dentistry, etc.). The loan can be used by the borrower or for a person supported by the borrower. The tag can be applied to loans for home improvements which have an impact on health, for example, loans for toilets/latrines, water filtration systems, roof repair to eliminate mold, etc. This tag is not to be used when the borrower merely states that he hopes his family's health will improve in the future.

#Job Creator 
A tag used for loans to hire new paid workers, either permanent or temporary workers. The loan will provide economic opportunity to someone other than the borrower. The borrower may already have employees, but will be adding one or more additional employees. The tag may be used for seasonal help, such as farm work or construction, or to purchase a durable asset that will provide a job for someone else (for example, buying a second taxi). This tag is not to be used for a loan to hire a medium or large contracting firm, as such a firm will have permanent employees and will probably not have to hire new workers.

#Orphan
A tag used for loans to borrowers who are responsible for dependents who are orphans or for borrowers who are orphans and are either minors or still in school. The tag is not to be used once the orphan(s) are not longer minors under the support of the borrower.

#Parent
A tag used for loans to borrowers who are parents of dependent children, whether they live at home with the borrower or are away at school. Raising children takes a big part of a household budget, so parents are given special recognition no matter the purpose of the loan. A dependent child can be:
  • 18 years old or younger and living with the borrower or otherwise supported by the borrowerfor example, a divorced parent paying support or a parent working overseas and sending support money home
  • In school but still supported by the borrower. In this case, the child may be over 18 years old and may be living either at home or at school.
  • Over 18 years old but permanently dependent on the borrower because of a disability.
This tag is not to be used for loans to borrowers who have adult children who are not disabled living at home. In other words, adult children living at home due to lack of employment do not qualify the borrower for the Parent tag. This tag is not to be used for loans to borrowers who are supporting family members other than dependent children, such as parent, nieces, etc. The #Supporting Family tag is used for those loans.

#Refugee
A tag used for loans to borrowers who are refugees or internally displaced persons. Being displaced by war, conflict, or natural disaster makes life very challenging for these borrowers who are generally living on the edge of society, so we feel that they deserve extra consideration. This tag can also be used for loans to borrowers who are supporting refugees and for loans to borrowers who live in areas that have experienced a large influx of refugees (for example, Gaza), as such an addition to an area increases economic stress to all inhabitants, not just the refugees. This tag is not to be used for loans to borrowers who have experienced conflict or natural disaster but have not relocated, or for loans to borrowers who have relocated due to economic hardship, as those migrants do not meet the definition of refugee.

#Repair Renew Replace
A tag used for loans for repairing, renovating, or replacing equipment, assets, or buildings, or for loans to borrowers who provide those services. The repair, renovation, or replacement (RRR) tag can be for either business or personal use. It is important to the owner of any asset that it be kept in good condition so that it can provide income and a decent quality of life. Since it is preferable to repair or renovate, those are listed first, but at some point assets just wear out and must be replaced. 

This tag is used for loans for borrowers to maintain their business assets, such as vehicles (motorized or non-motorized), refrigerators, freezers, farm implements, structures, or any asset needed to sustain a business. These assets do not need to be durable, so items like fishing nets (with a relatively short life expectancy) are included. This tag can also be used for loans to repair, renovate, or replace personal assets, such as tables, chairs, home appliances, structures, etc. The lists in the tag definition are not definitive, and the loan tagger may use their discretion in applying this tag.

This tag may also be applied to loans for repairing or renovating structures (homes, farms, or businesses), for example, rebuilding after a natural disaster, remodeling, or adding a room, and for the purchase of the building materials and supplies for the repair or renovation.

This tag is not to be used for loans for the first time buying of items for homes or businesses, for new construction, for paying rent, for paying taxes on an asset, or for vehicle expenses other than repairs (for example, fuel, registration, insurance, etc.). This tag is not to be used for loans to borrowers who sell spare or replacement parts as a business.

#Repeat Borrower
A tag used for loans to borrowers who have borrowed previously from the field partner (FP) or from Kiva. Since the June 2016 changes in Kiva, the loan taggers can no longer determine if a previous loan is fully repaid, and it was decided to broaden the definition of Repeat Borrower. This means that in a certain portion of loans tagged #Repeat Borrower, the prior loan will be concurrent and not fully repaid. Kiva's view on this is that they trust the FPs to know when a borrower is a good risk. The field partner may lend to a borrower who has a delinquent or defaulted loan, but the FP cannot put those loans on Kiva.


#Schooling
A tag used for loans to students and teachers, or to borrowers supporting education. The loan can pay for any educational fee, tuition, textbooks, computers, etc. Included are loans for improving school infrastructure (such as adding water filtration systems) or for administrative expenses incurred by the school. This tag is also used for any loans in which the borrower is a teacher because we feel that teachers can better serve their students if they have fewer personal worries. Included in this tag are "hidden education" loans where profit generated from the loan will go, at least in part, to immediate education expenses. For these loans, a firm intent must be stated. 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.

#Single
A tag used for loans to borrowers who are single. The marital status of the borrow must be stated explicitly in the loan narrative, not assumed. The tag is not to be used for single parents or for borrowers in a domestic partnership.

#Single Parent
A tag used for loans to single parents who are raising their children without a spouse or domestic partner. The responsibilities and challenges for single parent borrowers are bigger than those parents who have the support of a spouse to put food on the table and educate their children. The loan description must specifically state that borrower is unmarried: they can be never married, divorced, separated, or widowed. This tag may also be used for loans to a parent whose spouse is working abroad, as the parent staying home is bearing the same responsibilities as a single parent.

All loans tagged with #Single Parent should also receive the #Parent tag, as when lenders search for #Parent, the search will not return the #Single Parent loans unless they also have the #Parent tag. Loans tagged with #Single Parent may also receive the #Widowed tag where appropriate.

#Supporting Family
A tag used for loans to borrowers who are financially supporting, in full or in part, parents, siblings, or other relatives and their families. It may also be used for loans to grandparents who are supporting grandchildren and for loans to borrowers who are described as having other dependents, though those dependents may not be biological relatives. This tag may be used for loans for partial support, for example, a loan to a borrower paying school fees for a niece. This tag is not to be used for loans to borrowers who are supporting their own or their partner's children— the Parent tag would be used for those loans. This tag is not to be used for loans that have the general "supporting family" in the loan narrative, as there is no way to ascertain who these family members are.

#Sustainable Ag
A tag used for loans that have a "green" component of are from a Fair Trade partner. The farm should be economically, socially, and ecologically sustainable. The tag may be used for loans for purchasing organic fertilizer, such as manure or compost, or when crop rotation is practiced.

After research, it was decided that perennial crops are more sustainable than annual crops, that anything that grows on trees is generally sustainable unless chemical inputs are used, and that local varieties of crops are usually sustainable since they are likely to be better adapted to their locale. Animal husbandry may be practiced in a sustainable way if stock levels are kept low and animals are rotated among different paddocks, but there is some controversy around whether meat production can ever be globally sustainable, especially when it involves ruminants like cattle which produce significant amounts of methane.

This tag is not to be used when the loan description is vague about the "inputs" as the default option is usually chemicals. This tag is not to be used for animal loans except when there is something eco-friendly about the loan, such as the use of biodigesters to provide natural fertilizer. This tag is not to be used for loans for zero-grazing units.

#Technology
A tag used for loans to buy, sell or use modern technology, defined as technology that was not widely available worldwide before the 21st century. Examples include cell phones, e-commerce (for example, Zoona), solar lights, and computers. The tag can also be used for students requesting loans to pay for education in technology fields. The tag is not used for loans for technology that was widely available in the 20th century, such as televisions or automobiles.

#Trees
A tag used for loans that involve planting, growing, or sustaining trees, including loans for the purchase of land on which to plant trees. This tag was requested and defined by the Tree Lovers team, and the tree list in the tag definition has additions whenever they find a loan for a tree species that wasn't previously included. The tag is not used for loans to harvest trees, sell firewood, or use wood products.

Bananas are listed as trees in the tag definition, although they are not technically trees.

#Unique
A tag used for loans that are unusual on Kiva. This is a catch-all tag for those loans that strike a cord in the tagger. It may be a loan with a really odd picture, a loan that grabs the emotions, or a loan to make/sell/do something rarely seen on Kiva.

#Vegan
A tag used for loans in which the borrower is growing, processing, or selling fruits, vegetables, or grains, and in which there is no mention of animals or animal products in the loan description or photo. The tag may also be used for the purchase of seeds. This tag is also used for loans for the small scale production and/or sale of alcoholic beverages made with vegan ingredients. 

In group loans, the featured borrower must meet the Vegan criteria, and there must be no mention of animals or animal products relating to the other borrowers in the group. We include group loans for the Vegan tag, but lenders can limit their searches to Individual loans, excluding Group #Vegan loans.

This tag is not to be used for loans in which there is any mention of animals or animal products in the loan description, including bees and fish.

There is some ongoing controversy about the definition of #Vegan, and it may be revisited in the future.

#Widowed
A tag used for loans to borrowers who are widows or widowers. The loan description must explicitly state that the borrower is widowed. The tag is not used when a widowed borrower is living with a new domestic partner.

#Woman Owned Biz
A tag used for loans to women who own their own businesses, including franchises and catalog sales. For group loans, the featured borrower and at least 50% of the group members must be female business owners. This tag is not used for loans in which the business is owned jointly by the woman and her husband, or where the husband or another male is "helping out," as that may well mean that the male is the owner or co-owner of the business. This tag is not used for loans in which the woman is borrowing for a business owned by a male family member. This tag is not used for group loans in which the featured borrower is a woman but the gender of the remaining group members is not known.










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