Check out these great resources on health integration in microfinance here and in our Resource Library.
Freedom from Hunger and Microcredit Summit Campaign. (2015). Davis, CA, and Washington, DC.
For microfinance institutions (MFIs) with social missions, understanding changes in client well-being has become more important as MFIs are held to task to demonstrate both outreach to the poor and improvements in their lives.
This paper has three primary goals: 1) to share experiences in selecting and pilot-testing a minimal set of health indicators among four MFIs, 2) to help MFIs choose among a set of tested indicators for monitoring client health outcomes over time, and 3) to summarize key recommendations for developing "standardized" client outcome monitoring indicators.
Update! Freedom from Hunger and the Microcredit Summit Campaign have recently published an MS-Excel-based tool that will assist in collection and analysis of the HOPI survey. The new "Client Outcome Performance (COPE) Indicators Database" allows you to fill in the indicators of your choice, including the HOPI. Learn more below.
Healthy, Wealthy and Wise: How Microfinance Institutions Can Track the Health of Clients was published in 2015 and was produced in partnership by Freedom from Hunger and the Microcredit Summit Campaign; it was made possible with support from an educational grant from Johnson & Johnson.
This database file is aimed at helping microfinance institutions (MFIs) track and monitor their client outcome performance indicators. It is built to 1) compile clients' poverty levels using the Progress out of Poverty Index (PPI) developed by the Grameen Foundation and other user-defined data collected through a survey and 2) provide a general analysis as well as a detailed analysis of the possible correlations between indicators.
The COPE Indicators Database was published in 2016 and was created in partnership by Freedom from Hunger and the Microcredit Summit Campaign. This tool was made possible with support from an educational grant from Johnson & Johnson.
Background on the COPE Indicators Database
Between 2013 and 2015, Freedom from Hunger and the Microcredit Summit Campaign collaborated with four microfinance institutions (MFIs) across India, the Philippines, and Peru to test a set of simple health outcome performance indicators, known as the Health Outcome Performance Indicators (HOPI), to help assess changes in client well-being over time. While one main obstacle to understanding changes in client well-being for MFIs is choosing strategically among many indicators, another obstacle that MFIs face is in timely data-analysis and interpretation. Therefore, with additional support from Johnson & Johnson, a simple Microsoft Excel-based tool was developed to assist with data collection, data analysis, and interpretation. While the use of the HOPI inspired the development of the database, it was ultimately designed to incorporate any chosen client outcome indicator, whether it be health, women’s empowerment, resilience, assets, etc. This new tool has, therefore, been named the Client Outcomes Performance (COPE) Indicators Database.
Integrated Health and Microfinance in India, Volume II: The Way Forward highlights the context of integration of health and microfinance in light of India’s journey towards universal health care by 2020, to document best practices in integration, and to highlight potential interventions that can be adopted by microfinance institutions (MFIs) as well as by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that serve self-help groups (SHGs).
An Agenda for Moving Forward
This latest volume of the report highlights the policy measures in the Indian microfinance sector since 2011, documents best practices towards integrating health and microfinance, and proposes an agenda for moving forward: a) public health systems and institutions should take a proactive role to strengthen community participation leading to the sustainability of health programs, b) financial service providers should establish linkages with India’s National Rural Health Management (NRHM) to improve access to health care, and c) championing a research agenda looking at the impact and large scale effectiveness to better understand the factors that affect the work of MFIs and SHGs on health knowledge and behavior with active support from Indian public health policy planners.
Integrated Health and Microfinance in India, Volume II was published in 2014 and was written in partnership by the Microcredit Summit Campaign, Freedom from Hunger, the India Institute of Public Health–Gandhinagar. This report was made possible with support from Johnson & Johnson, SIDBI, and the ICCO Corporation.
The Microcredit Summit Campaign, Freedom from Hunger, and the Center for Health Market Innovations released a new report in January 2013 titled Integrated Health and Microfinance: Harnessing the Strengths of Two Sectors to Improve Health and Alleviate Poverty in the Andes -- State of the Field of Integrated Health and Microfinance in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru, 2012.
This report synthesizes the primary learnings and conclusions shared within a community of practice for integrated health and microfinance in the Andean region.
Pioneering Efforts in the Andes
The microfinance sector in the Andes provides services to more than 7 million families, who represent 50% of the population in those countries. With data from 24 microfinance institutions in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru, this report presents pioneering efforts to explore the integration of microfinance and health and calls for further studies and funding for integrated programs.
The Microcredit Summit Campaign, Freedom from Hunger, and the Indian Institute of Public Health, Gandhinagar released a new report in June 2012 titled Integrated Health and Microfinance in India: Harnessing the Strengths of Two Sectors to Improve Health and Alleviate Poverty. The report demonstrates how microfinance can be further leveraged to provide a powerful tool to address one of India's persistent barriers to the economic advancement of the poor: ill health caused by lack of access to health services.
This update of an earlier edition again focuses on the power of integrating microfinance services with health education. It highlights efforts by the Microcredit Summit Campaign and UNFPA using a methodology developed by Freedom from Hunger. Included is analysis from innovative work in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Of special note are the results from a pilot project in India that shows how local capacity can effectively be built to accelerate the large-scale global adoption of integration.
The document provides evidence of the impact of microfinance projects. It also serves as a call to action for development agencies, governments, microfinance institutions and donors to invest in this strategy that holds the promise changing social norms and of making many of the MDG targets achievable.The final section offers eight concrete recommendations for action to realize the potential of the “combined services” approach of integrating microfinance services with health education. All eight actions rely on the development agencies, governments, micro-finance institutions and donors to promote integrated health education and microfinance as a means to meeting the MDGs.
Find Freedom from Hungers' research findings into their Microfinance and Health Protection (MAHP) initiative. These materials document the impact of the health interventions on clients and on the MFIs, as well as a set of technical guides that they offer to be of use to others who seek to replicate or build on their efforts to show how microfinance and health protection can be integrated cost-effectively. Visit Freedom from Hunger's resource library today! Here are a few documents:
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Philippines program provided 800,000+ women maternal health education and care (September 24, 2015)
Philippines program to provide 600,000 women with maternal health services (October 17, 2014)
Three Partners, One Goal: Improved maternal health in the Philippines (September 8, 2014)