Alliance of Health and Microfinance

The Health and Microfinance  Alliance, established by the Microcredit Summit Campaign and Freedom from Hunger, provides 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.

Independently and collaboratively, the two organizations are working with numerous institutions in India (more here), 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.  

Using India as a demonstration of what can be achieved globally, the Health and Microfinance Alliance is currently disseminating methodologies, tools, and products to build the capacity of 28 institutions serving India’s poor. By continuing to innovate, and aggressively replicate successful interventions, over the next 5 years the Alliance expects 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 the Health and Microfinance Alliance, the Microcredit Summit Campaign and Freedom from Hunger are actively working with 33 microfinance institutions (MFIs), self-help group promoting institutions (SHPIs), and networks in India who are reaching a total of 330,348 clients and 2,051,740 family members with microfinance and health protection (MAHP) services. This number continues to grow every month as our partners scale up their operations and new partners join the Alliance.

Implementing partnersProgram ComponentsCurrent Outreach
Bandhan, West BengalMAHP partner; community based health education; Community Health Workers; health products; developing clinical services; health missions244,098
ESAF, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, andHealth education12,000
Friends of Women’s World Banking* partners, BiharMAHP workshop; market research workshop; product concept development workshop; health education1,500
Gram-Utthan, OdishaCommunity based health education; Community Health Volunteers, product sales; health camps10,000
Nidan, BiharStaff training on market research, product concept development, Training of Trainers on health education; small scale pilot health intervention5,000
Pioneer Trad, Tamil NaduContinued health education1,500
People’s Multipurpose Development Society (PMD), Tamil NaduContinued health education1,250
Reach India, West BengalProvide education training10,000
SKDRDP, KarnatakaHealth education40,000
West Bengal Volunteer Health Association (WBVHA)**, West BengalPilot health education followed by health savings5,000
New partnersProgram ComponentsIntended outreach
Access DevelopmentStaff training on education and savings15,000
SamhitaPlanning pilot education and loanstbd

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

** WBVHA is an SHPI network with 42 partners.

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.

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.

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