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Health and Microfinance Alliance

The Health and Microfinance Alliance, established by the Microcredit Summit Campaign and Freedom from Hunger in 2011, 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. (Download the concept note.) We work with microfinance institutions (MFIs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs), networks, and government agencies. In India, we also work with self-help promoting institutions (SHPIs), NGOs that serve self-help groups (SHGs). Read our State of the Sector Reports for India to learn all about integrated health and microfinance in India.

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.  

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 41 MFIs, NGOs, government agencies, and networks,  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 currently working with 41 financial service providers in India (i.e., MFIs, SHPIs, networks, and goverenment agencies). These partner institutions are reaching a total of 952,401 clients and 3.8 million family members with integrated health and microfinance services. 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

Current Outreach
(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.

554,500

Equitas, Tamil Nadu

(MFI)

 - Health education: "Healthy Habits for Life"

9,681

ESAF, Maharashtra, Chattisgarh, & Madhya Pradesh

(MFI)

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

35,626

Gram-Utthan, Odisha

(NGO MFI)

 - 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.

15,000

Nidan, Bihar

(SHPI)

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

50,678

Pioneer Trad, Tamil Nadu

(SHPI)

Health education: Pregnant women's health

4,041

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

(SHPI)

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

11,085

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

12,000

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

150,000

SKDRDP, Karnataka

(MFI)

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

104,790

West Bengal Volunteer Health Association (WBVHA), West Bengal

(Health NGO with network of 17 partners)

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

5,000

 

ACTIVE TOTAL

952,401

 

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

(NBFC MFI)

Information coming soon

coming soon

Grameen Koota, Karnataka

(NBFC MFI)

Information coming soon

coming soon

MAVIM, Maharashtra

(Government program)

Information coming soon

coming soon

 

Inactive partners

Program Status

Outreach

Access Development, Odisha

Staff training on education and savings

1,500

Cashpor, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar

Discontinued health education

80,000

Nirantra, Karnataka

Discontinued health education

3,800

VWS, West Bengal

Discontinued health education

3,000

KAS, Odisha

No longer operating

8,500

Aga Khan Rural Support Program, India

Completed health education. No plan in current FY

5,000

Friends of Women's World Banking* partners, Bihar

Completed pilot education; no plan to scale or expand

1,500

 

INACTIVE TOTAL

103,300

* 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. www.freedomfromhunger.org

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. www.jnj.com