Changes Ahead for the Microcredit Summit Campaign
An Update from Joanne Carter, executive director of RESULTS and RESULTS Educational Fund, and Larry Reed, director of the Microcredit Summit Campaign
At the 18th Microcredit Summit in March, world leaders gathered to discuss the next frontier in financial and social inclusion. As we work toward the next frontier and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal to end extreme poverty by 2030, the Microcredit Summit Campaign and RESULTS Educational Fund will be changing the way we operate to the meet the needs of a changing world.
Throughout its history, the Microcredit Summit Campaign has been a standalone project of RESULTS Educational Fund, a global advocacy organization focused on health, education, and economic opportunity in the United States and around the world. RESULTS Educational Fund founded the Microcredit Summit Campaign in 1997 and has been its steward since that time. Over the coming weeks and months, the vital work of the Campaign will now be integrating into the larger RESULTS structure, transitioning away from the model of a separate project.
This means that many of the names, strategies, and structures previously affiliated with the Campaign will be changing. The commitment of RESULTS to meaningful financial inclusion and the end of extreme poverty will not.
Over the two decades since its founding, the Microcredit Summit Campaign has helped drive the massive scale-up of access to microfinance for the very poor, while identifying innovative pathways to transformative financial and social inclusion. It is our exceptional staff, partners, supporters, advocates, microfinance institutions, and especially the courage and resilience of the clients of these programs who have made all of this possible.
Starting in 1997, the first phase of the Campaign’s work helped bring the world’s attention to the opportunity of microfinance and drive it to reach 100 million families living in extreme poverty. In 2006, we refocused on shaping the quality, focus, and intent of microfinance stakeholders to make the end of poverty an industry-wide goal.
During this time, the global landscape has changed dramatically — not only in terms of access to financial services, but in the world’s understanding of this issue. While microfinance has grown, it has not yet had the full impact on poverty that we know is possible. As the world has evolved, so too must our response. Now 193 nations have agreed to the Sustainable Development Goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030. This is the time to reassess our model as we look to the next phase of our work and our highest ambition: achieving the end of extreme poverty that the world has called for.
The Campaign’s Leadership Council has identified four priorities to help drive the future of the work on financial and social inclusion. These include transformative social protection and graduation programs, risk management by the poor, community-led finance, and rural development strategies — all sharing the common aim to help people move out and stay out of extreme poverty, addressing their unique vulnerabilities (you can learn more about the focus areas in the document accompanying this letter). We are committed to working alongside all of our longstanding partners to help further define and advance these strategies within the new structure.
This change comes as RESULTS and RESULTS Educational Fund are on the cusp of launching a new strategic plan, helping accelerate toward the end of extreme poverty by 2030. Financial inclusion and pathways out of poverty are a central part of this plan, and a critical part of reaching the 2030 goal. The powerful holistic financial inclusion model that the Campaign has been developing and driving with partners will become a centerpiece of RESULTS’ advocacy agenda on economic opportunity.
We are identifying how to create the greatest impact moving forward, focusing on financial inclusion for the poorest and key pathways out of poverty.
The new Sustainable Development Goals call the world to end poverty in all its forms, everywhere. Working together with our community of partners, we intend to help do exactly that.