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How we plan to get there! - The 2013 Partnerships against Poverty Summit Declaration

From October 9 to 11 we held the Microcredit Summit in Manila on the theme “Partnerships against Poverty.” Delegates of the Summit drafted and approved the 2013 Partnerships against Poverty Summit Declaration, listing the principles that we will follow to insure that microfinance works as a worthy partner in the movement to end extreme poverty. This is the text of that powerful and inspiring Declaration.  

Following is the Declaration Preamble written by John Hatch, founder of FINCA and Co-Founder of the Microcredit Summit Campaign along with an abbreviated version of the Declaration.  Read the full text on our blog or download it from our resource libraray.  Watch the Declaration delivered at the 2013 Partnerships against Poverty Summit!


Preamble to the Declaration

Written by John Hatch and Chris Temple
Presented by John Hatch at the 2013 Progress against Poverty Summit

John Hatch, FINCA

Manila, Philippines, 11 October 2013

Since the launch of the Microcredit Summit Campaign in 1997, incredible strides have been made in extending financial services to low income families around the world.

In those 16 years, microfinance outreach has grown from 8 million clients, to over 195 million clients. Assuming a family size of 5, our outreach has benefited 1/7th of the planet. Arguably, that is the largest movement in the history of human beings in terms of outreach and participants. It’s an extraordinary achievement. And no movement in history has targeted and included more women than microfinance.

It is remarkable that in a space of just 40 years, since the early experiments that led to the establishment of the Grameen Bank, microfinance is now operating in every country around the world. In addition to outreach, we have made incredible progress in accurately measuring poverty and evaluating the impact of our programs on our client’s lives. We have taken the critical first steps in creating the regulatory and legal environment needed for Microfinance Institutions to thrive. And we’ve recognized that credit is necessary but not sufficient. We have begun offering a much broader array of services and products in areas such as savings, insurance, and asset creation.

Microfinance is an idea that was not even mentioned in the Millennium Development Goals thirteen years ago. Today, it is broadly considered to be an integral component of global development strategy, delivery, and services for the extreme poor. 

Watch the Summit Declaration delivered at the 2013 Partnerships against Poverty Summit!

The video acknowledgement by the President of the World Bank, Jim Kim, at the beginning of the Partnerships against Poverty Summit, is testament to our newfound power, but also to the tremendous responsibility we bear. 

Despite the great progress that has been made, the majority of the families we have served are not the poorest. The extreme poor can be and must be reached, because severe poverty kills. Seven million children are dying each year around the world from chronic malnutrition and hunger related diseases - the victims of extreme poverty. This is a global humanitarian disaster, and it must be stopped. And while the development community has made great progress in reducing infant and maternal mortality, malnutrition, preventable diseases, and iliteracy, we are far from done. 

Ending extreme poverty is not just about intensifying our current efforts. Rather, it is the specific, focused challenge of making sure that "nobody is being left behind". This responsibility will not fall only on the shoulders of our field staff. It will mostly fall on the clients we have already reached. To each and every one of our 200 million clients, we need to ask: "Who among your neighbors has been left behind?" On your street? In your neighborhood? In your village? Let us turn our tens of millions of current clients into a vast army for finding "those left behind". This will be the ultimate partnership of all--our current clients mobilizing their own neighbors.


2013 Partnerships against Poverty Summit Declaration

Manila, 11 October 2013: We, the participants in the Partnerships against Poverty Summit, state collectively and enthusiastically, that:


To reach this goal, we declare the following four commitments:

First, we commit to putting the poor first! The voices of the poor and extreme poor must be heard in our movement, and they must be full participants in the process of improving their lives and our services. They are not only our clients, but also our biggest resource.

Second, we commit to strengthening our services to the poor through strategic partnerships that offer new services and products. Poverty will not be ended by a single organization offering a new service or product. Rather, poverty will be ended by thousands of organizations working in partnerships that offer multiple new services and products needed by the poor.

Third, to better provide services and products for the poor, we commit to strengthening the openness of our organizations and institutions. We commit to actively implementing practices that ensure openness, accountability, transparency, inclusiveness, and fairness. We commit to openly sharing ideas and methods between partners and colleagues, to enhance and accelerate our movement’s capacity to serve the poor.


Fourth, we commit to developing an environment where the movement to end poverty will thrive and become widely recognized so that the vision of a world free of poverty will be achieved by 2030! We will lobby our governments for regulatory reform to permit financial and social support services for the poor. We will organize mass media campaigns, world summits, special forums, and mass citizen events to accelerate the movement to end poverty.

This is our vision: a world of partnerships we created together; a world with no child mortality; a world where all school-aged children can read and write; a world where every family has access to healthcare, housing, and working capital; a world in 2030 that is free of extreme poverty!


The original version of this Declaration was adopted by the Delegates at the 2013 Microcredit Summit: Partnerships against Poverty, held October 9-11, 2013 in Manila, Philippines.

You may download a copy of the declaration from our Resource Library here.