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Clearly, the Microcredit Summit Campaign advocates for providing non-financial services such as health education and such along side credit, savings, and insurance. We think it is a key ingredient in meeting the needs and preference of clients. With our Financing Healthier Lives project, our partner MFIs are providing those very educational interventions that help women change behaviors at home, thus eliminating diarrhea and improving the health of their family.
You can read about our work here:
Originally posted on Truelift:
During the Technical Committee (TC) meetings leading up to the final methodology for Truelift Assessment and the Pro-Poor Principles, there was a great deal of discussion about non-financial services and whether or not they are essential to pro-poor microfinance. Initially, the TC explored a full dimension of the methodology dedicated to assessing non-financial services when undergoing Truelift Assessment. As these discussions evolved, some broader questions rose to the fore, including the pro-poor intent and strategy behind services provided, and the degree of commitment to pro-poor services in terms of quality, coverage, and duration.
Appropriate non-financial services
The result of the Technical Committee (TC) deliberations ultimately yielded Pro-Poor Principle #2: Services that Meet the Needs of People Living in Poverty. “Services” is perhaps an oversimplification as we include here products, delivery channels, and any other modifications that an MFI has implemented in favor of its poor clients. The indicators in this section of the Truelift Assessment focus on how well products and services meet the needs of people living in poverty. These services may or may not include non-financial services, but the MFI should have a strong theory of change for meeting the identified needs of its clients. A client centric approach to evaluating needs is a critical step in achieving success in this principle.
Thoughts from Technical Committee member Anton Simanowitz, SPM specialist working with Oikocredit and Imp-Act Consortium: