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Health and Microfinance Alliance

In 2010, the Microcredit Summit Campaign and Freedom from Hunger joined forces to provide technical assistance to partner financial service providers in India to model and demonstrate what can be achieved on a global scale. A year later came the idea for a global alliance that would provide access to an international team of microfinance, health, and development practitioners, researchers, and policy makers working with microfinance organizations around the world to implement and test innovative approaches to address poverty.  

Currently, the Microcredit Summit Campaign and Freedom from Hunger are working with strategic partners to plan the launch the Health and Microfinance AllianceWe work with microfinance institutions (MFIs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs), networks, and government agencies. In India, we also work with self-help promoting institutions (SHPIs), which are NGOs that serve self-help groups (SHGs). Read our State of the Sector Reports to learn all about integrated health and microfinance in India. If you would like to be involved, please contact Sabina Rogers (

Independently and collaboratively, we are working with numerous institutions in India, the Philippines, and in other countries to help these institutions add health protection to the range of services they provide to clients. These services include:

  • Health education on prevention of HIV and AIDS, TB, malaria, and on basic nutrition and treatments for childhood illnesses;
  • Linkages to health care providers and products; and
  • Health financing such as health loans, health savings, and health microinsurance.  

By continuing to innovate, and aggressively replicate successful interventions, over the next 5 years we expect to:

  • Reach 700,000 microfinance clients in India with integrated microfinance and health protection services (MAHP) services that can improve health and financial security for themselves and their families and are sustainably delivered. This outreach is expected to affect 3.7 million client household members.
  • Engage a more diverse community of practitioners that includes many more influential actors from the health, self-help and financial sectors, as well as policymakers, researchers and donors—and expand the work beyond India.

Project Updates

Through this strategic partnership, the Microcredit Summit Campaign and Freedom from Hunger are currently working with 11 financial service providers serving India's poor (i.e., MFIs, SHPIs, networks, and government agencies). In the previous six months, our partners reached 890,240 women and adolescent girls with integrated health and microfinance services. Since we began our activities in 2010, these institutions (plus 7 who are no longer active) have reached a total of 1,128,265 women and adolescent girls and 4.5 million family members. This number continues to grow every month as our partners scale up their operations and new partners join the alliance.

Implementing Partners
(type of organization)

Program Components

Clients Reached
(as of Sept 2014)

Bandhan, West Bengal

(NBFC MFI & Bank)

 - Education related to "Mother and Child Health" (MCH), nutrition, TB, AIDS, NCD, etc. 
 - Linkage with local front-line workers sustained. Volunteers continue to provide the essential primary health products.
 - Health loans, sanitation loans, and water connection loans through Water.Org.


Equitas, Tamil Nadu


 - Health education: "Healthy Habits for Life"


ESAF, Maharashtra, Chattisgarh, & Madhya Pradesh


 - Health education on "healthy habits"
 - Arogyamithra project, training community volunteers to facilitate Healthy Habits education


Gram-Utthan, Odisha


 - Health education on MCH, nutrition, family planning,and WASH
 - Arogyamithra project, training community volunteers to facilitate Healthy Habits education
 - Product sales (water filters)
 - Link with government health system through running of primary health centre.


Nidan, Bihar


 - Education on "Plan for Better Health" and WASH modules
 - Linkage with the health sector for supply of deworming tablets in one block


Pioneer Trad, Tamil Nadu


Health education: Pregnant women's health


People’s Multipurpose Development Society (PMD), Tamil Nadu


 - Health education on "Women's Health" and "Child's Health"
 - Health camps


Reach India, West Bengal

(Network & SHPI)

 - Education through government ICDS workers on MCH module
 - Linkage with the Department of Women and Child Development in Bihar


SABLA, West Bengal

(Government program working with 11 organizations)

 - Education on learning games for adolescent girls, which include nutrition, life skills, diarrhea, HIV, reproductive health, and savings
 - Linkage with ICDS and health sector for primary health care services


SKDRDP, Karnataka


 - Health education delivered by Sahayojakis (community health workers) on "Diseases that Attack Children," "Women’s Health," "Healthy Habits"


West Bengal Volunteer Health Association (WBVHA), West Bengal

(Health NGO with network of 17 partners)

 - Health education on "Plan for Better Health"
 - Health savings





* These are exclusively adolescent girls

New partners

Program Components

Intended outreach

ADS, West Bengal

(Health NGO)

Education on WASH with front-line worker to be strengthened

coming soon

Grama Vidiyal


Information coming soon

coming soon

Grameen Koota, Karnataka


Information coming soon

coming soon

MAVIM, Maharashtra

(Government program)

Information coming soon

coming soon


Inactive partners

Program Status


Access Development, Odisha

Staff training on education and savings


Cashpor, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar

Discontinued health education


Nirantra, Karnataka

Discontinued health education


VWS, West Bengal

Discontinued health education


KAS, Odisha

No longer operating


Aga Khan Rural Support Program, India

Completed health education. No plan in current FY


Friends of Women's World Banking** partners, Bihar

Completed pilot education; no plan to scale or expand





** Friends of Women's World Banking is an MFI network with 52 partners. We were working with 2 partners located in Bihar.

Strategic Partners

Freedom from Hunger

Freedom from Hunger is an international development organization dedicated to bringing innovative and sustainable support to the self-help efforts of very poor families around the world. Freedom from Hunger partners with local organizations to demonstrate the value of these innovations and trains those partners to implement the programs sustainably. To ensure that our programs are beneficial and sustainable, we conduct extensive research, evaluate and monitor for impacts, and distribute successful interventions as widely as possible for others to adopt and adapt in their own anti-hunger and anti-poverty efforts.

As of June 2011, Freedom from Hunger has trained and supported 150 partner organizations in 19 countries that are currently reaching over 3.9 million people (almost all women in poor, rural communities), benefiting a total of over 21.8 million when family members are included. Freedom from Hunger has made a rich and varied imprint on microfinance practice in India that includes early leadership in the development of the Financial Education program offered through Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), integrating an education methodology called "Learning Conversations" with CRS in eastern India, and designing a curriculum for young girls called “Learning Games for Girls” to help girls plan for and make choices on financial and health issues.

Freedom from Hunger India Trust

Freedom from Hunger India Trust, a registered Indian public charitable trust, was established to carry forward the India Programme of Freedom from Hunger and serve as its affiliate. The Trust is under the direction of founding Trustees with deep experience and connection with India’s social service sector, and is aligned with the vision and mission of the parent organization.

Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson is a global company that embraces research and science—bringing innovative ideas, products and services to advance the health and well-being of people. Employees of the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies work with partners in health care to touch the lives of over a billion people every day, throughout the world. The company has committed to meet the UN’s call to action to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)—particularly MDGs 4, 5, and 6, which address maternal and child health. The commitment includes, among other things, a concerted effort to provide access to skilled health workers so that women and children in hard-to-reach places can receive the care they need.