The 2015 State of the Campaign Report in a nutshell

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An African farmer is linked into the financial system via her mobile phone.
In his presentation today at the Inclusive Finance India Summit New Delhi, Larry Reed featured Mapping Pathways out of Poverty: The State of the Microcredit Summit Campaign Report, 2015. The report is now available online. We will also publish the full report in French, Spanish, and Arabic in early 2016. You can also read previous reports online, just select the year of interest from the drop-down menu “Previous Reports.”

At our 2013 Microcredit Summit in the Philippines, we focused on the partnerships required to deliver financial services to those living in poverty. At our 2014 Summit in Mexico, we focused on innovations in microfinance with a demonstrated capacity to reach those in extreme poverty. This year, we use the report to explore, in more detail, our six financial “pathways.” Each pathways has a chapter, and each chapter does the following:

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#tbt: The 1997 Microcredit Summit, where it all began

#Tbt_14

Dignitaries who attended the 1997 Microcredit Summit.
From L-R: Tsutomu Hata, Former Prime Minister, Japan; H.E. Pascoal M. Mocumbi, Prime Minister, Mozambique; H.E. Alberto Fujimori, President, Peru; H.M. Queen Sofia, Spain; H.E. Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister, Bangladesh; Hillary Rodham Clinton, First Lady, United States; Prof. Muhammad Yunus, Managing Director, Grameen Bank, Bangladesh; Elizabeth de Calderón Sol, First lady, El Salvador; Ana Paula dos Santos, First Lady, Angola; H.E. Dr. Siti Hasmah, First Lady, Malaysia; H.M. Queen Fabiola, Belgium.

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We are pleased to bring you this #ThrowbackThursday blog post, which was originally published in the 1997 Microcredit Summit Report. As we explore the Six Pathways in financial inclusion to end extreme poverty, we look back at the wise words leaders from around the world had to say about ending poverty. We’ve included just a few in this blog post.


Connie Evans*, President, Women’s Self-Employment Project, Council of Practitioners

Connie Evans

Connie Evans is now the president and CEO of the Association for Enterprise Opportunity

Collectively, we represent what can be a glorious future with our voices and our vision. It is a vision for a global movement whereby poor families, especially the women in those families, are joined by practitioners, CEOs, Presidents and Parliamentarians, advocates from all disciplines and walks of life, to eradicate poverty. A global movement whereby microcredit, microfinance, and microenterprise are supported and fostered.

As practitioners, we must develop — and continue to develop — programs that directly and profoundly empower people to help themselves. We must develop and manage sophisticated data information systems so that we can strategically share best practices and avoidable mistakes. We must develop human and financial resources to sustain the best programs. We must hold accountable all those responsible for the management and administration of our governments…And, most importantly, we must incorporate our clients into decision-making positions in our institutions, our communities, and our governments…

Be renewed, be assured, have courage, and let’s all be bold. Embrace the goal of the Microcredit Summit. Speak loudly and proudly of our task to reach 100 million of the world’s poorest, especially the women, with all the tools of microenterprise…Give your voice to the vision and make your commitment to the Declaration and Plan of Action.

Fawzi al-Sultan*, President, IFAD, Co-Chair, Council of International Financial Institutions

Access to even small-scale deposit and credit services, together with other productive services, can work something close to miracles. Our experience, in a variety of conditions across the developing world, underlines that the rural poor are really bankable…

We must nonetheless keep in mind not only the benefits but also the limits of microfinance as a tool…it is not enough by itself to ensure sustainable development for the rural poor. the poor equally need access to better technologies, to health and education services, to fair markets and adequate infrastructure…

Throughout our efforts, we must make sure our work addresses the real needs and priorities of the people we want to serve. We also need to be realistic about the capacity of the microfinance providers themselves…Banking with the poor requires good management ability, especially in controlling the costs of operations and in assessing risks…

And, finally, we have to make sure the financial sector as a whole is set up to support our efforts…Interest-rate structure, monetary policy, and requirements for registration and reserves can make or break microfinance providers…

To help [the Summit’s] goal, IFAD is committed to allocating up to 30 percent of its loan portfolio, or about US$ 125 million a year, to promote financial services to the poorest…

We will integrate the microfinance strategy into our overall program planning and work with others, wherever possible to further the Summit Action Plan.

*Connie Evans is now the president and CEO of the Association for Enterprise Opportunityand Fawzi al-Sultan is now a senior partner with F&N Consultancy.

Related reading

Join our next E-Workshop on agricultural risk management with FAO and ILO

FAO Photo 2

Photo courtesy of FAO

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Pathway

Agricultural value chains that reach to small scale producers


Join our next Campaign Commitment E-Workshop!

Agricultural Risk Management:
Innovations you should know about

April 21, 2015 | 10 AM (GMT-4)

The Microcredit Summit Campaign is proud to present the next installment in our Campaign Commitment E-Workshops Series. The UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) will lead you through a discussion into new tools for understanding and mitigating the many and varied risks facing smallholder farmer.

Both FAO and ILO launched Campaign Commitments in 2014. We look forward to learning about their accomplishments on these fronts and where they are breaking new ground. Hear about how ILO and FAO are identifying key areas of service gaps and other challenges facing smallholder and substance farmers, be introduced to ILO’s 4-dimensional risk mitigation tool, and learn about the ways non-financial services are working to support reducing vulnerability.

JOIN US…
Tuesday, April 21st
10:00 AM (GMT-4)

…for the E-WORKSHOP
“Agricultural Risk Management: Innovations you should know about”

This webinar will be conducted in English. We will live-tweet using the hashtag #Commit100M in English, Spanish, and French.

Presenting Organizations
International Labour Organization
Food and Agricultural Organization
Microcredit Summit Campaign

ILO and FAO both launched Campaign Commitments! We invite you also to…

Get Inspired. Set a Goal. Make a Commitment.

Join the movement to help 100 million families lift themselves out of extreme poverty:

Empowering communities one Esther at a time

Esther Chebet is a Community Knowledge Worker. She says, "It has made such a difference in my life. From a poor woman whom people say, 'Who is she?' to now, 'There is CKW!' I’m so proud to be a CKW and serve the community willingly."   Photo credit: Grameen Foundation

Esther Chebet is a Community Knowledge Worker. She says, “It has made such a difference in my life. From a poor woman whom people say, ‘Who is she?’ to now, ‘There is CKW!’ I’m so proud to be a CKW and serve the community willingly.”
All photos courtesy of: Grameen Foundation

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>>By Sabina Rogers, Communications and Relationships Manager

Esther Chebet is an inspiration to her neighbors. She is a valuable resource to her community, and they know it. Kids call out to her on the street: “CKW!” Men respect her knowledge and opinions. Women come to her for help fixing problems and resolving disputes.

With International Women’s Day on Sunday, March 8th, I’d like to take this opportunity to appreciate Esther and many women like her — community health workers in India who are working with ESAF to screen their clients for high blood pressure and health professionals in the Philippines who volunteer their time for Community Health Fairs organized by CARD MRI — who are on the front lines in the fight to end extreme poverty.

This is Esther Chebet’s story: one woman who is making a huge difference in her community.

A farmer in rural Uganda, Esther received training as a Community Knowledge Worker (CKW), from Grameen Foundation. She was the star of a webinar hosted by Grameen, telling her story and showing us how one woman can help create an economically empowered community.

She has multiple roles in her community in rural eastern Uganda: farmer, seamstress, volunteer domestic violence counselor, teacher and Grameen Foundation Community Knowledge Worker.

In her role as a Community Knowledge Worker (CKW), Esther visits her neighbors — a large number of whom are women — and helps them solve problems with their crops and livestock. She uses her mobile phone to access an agricultural database with information on relevant, local best farming practices, weather forecasts and market price information. This enables her neighbors to treat diseases like banana wilt and to get better market prices for their produce. As a result of this support, farmers are able to earn on average 38 percent more money from their crops. [1]

Below follows my attempt to capture the Q&A from her video chat, though answers are paraphrased.

Does work as Community Knowledge Worker (CKW) empower women?

Yes, it empowers women. In our culture, men used to say women were property. As a CKW, I’m a women’s right activist. I train women on their rights and they’re now doing things they never could before.

For example, before, women couldn’t take coffee to market. She could grow it but not sell it. Now with my training, women are going and selling their coffee. They’re now so happy. They say, “We sell our coffee, we show a receipt of that transaction.” They grow their own crops and sell it!

What is a typical day as a CKW?

I wake early at 5 AM, then I prepare breakfast for family. At 7am I visit my banana plantation and then feed my animals. After doing my housework, from about 2 PM to 5 or 6 PM, I go visit the savings group members and other people, educating them on what they can get out of becoming a savings group member or answering people’s questions about their farms. Then I come back to prepare supper and rest.

Can you tell a difference in your farm from your work as a CKW?

Yes, after I went through the training, I started gathering manure and built a system of preserving water. Now my banana trees are always green because I always have water for them. Production is up.

Can you give an example of a woman you helped?

I helped a woman who came to me because her poultry were getting sick.

She said, “I hear you’ve got information.”

“Yes, I have; what is the problem?”

“My poultry are doing poorly and my hen is dying.”

I told her to use seltzer water and aloe vera; she did that and now the poultry is doing fine. Then she shared this information with other women who are planting aloe vera for their use.

One man asked me about spacing of coffee. We did a demonstration with him at his plantation. This year, he’s going to have so much coffee.

What is the problem you see most frequently on your neighbors’ farms?

The main thing is a banana bacteria wilt, but through my help as CKW, it’s improving. We, my community, worked together to cut down every affected plant, and now there is no more affected plant. Plus, every farmer knows that it if happens, if the bacteria comes back, it’ll be bad for him, so immediately, they cut down the affected banana tree.

How were you selected to be CKW?

I was elected by my neighbors. Three of us were nominated for election: 2 women and 1 man. We were sent out of the room so they could talk about us, and after about 5 or 10 minutes, they called us back in. They said, “We choose Esther.”

When I was elected, I was happy! They said, “We selected Esther because she is confident, she can speak to many people, and she is willing to serve the community.” Most of the time, I speak the truth. So that is why I was elected. Without knowing exactly what I’d be doing, I was so happy that I would be serving community members. Willingly!

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned as CKW?

I’ve learned the correct amount of manure to use as fertilizer. I’ve also learned how to make my own drugs for treating my animals, plants, and many other things. I make insecticide for my plants and vegetables using local ingredients.

Esther's daughter with avocado

Tell us about building a barn for your cow. You said you got a lot more milk when you built the barn.

Since I built the barn, the cow stays dry and warm when it rains. Since then, the milk production has increased to 5 L in the morning and in the evening 4 L. I sell each liter at 1,200 Ugandan shillings. I sell the morning milk, and my family drinks the milk from the evening.

What is your biggest challenge as a CKW?

Farmers don’t adapt to the message quickly. Among 20 farmers who saw example of a granary I built, only 6 started doing it. They ask for the information, but they see it is hard to use it and some don’t persevere. But, when farmers who keep at it and it works for them, they give testimony of it working and tell others to go talk to Esther

Also, sometimes people neglect you because you’re a woman. They say, this is information for men.

When you train men, do they ever resist information just because you’re a woman?

Esther's manThey like it, but mostly, the people who accept the information are women. Then women tell them, “This is good information from Esther.” Then the man or the husband can come and ask, “Is it true this information?” I say, “Yes, it’s true; I came to your home and talked to your lady.” Then the men ask for more information.

I’m now in my third year of being a CKW, and people are more accepting than they were at the beginning. Men are now coming to trust me; coming to me to ask for information.

How do other women in your community feel about you being a leader?

They feel good because of the information I can give them like women’s rights and creating a savings and credit group. Women have learned to save money and loan it to others in the group; some years from now these women are going to have happy families because they no longer have to ask their husbands, “Ah, please give me something with your money…haha” and so on. No. Now women are able to buy what they need with their own money.

I have nine savings groups that are operating strongly. They say thank you for this knowledge, and they’re sending their kids to school with money they’ve saved or profits earned from businesses financed by the group.

How has being a CKW improved your status in the community? Do people treat you differently now?

It’s changed my status from who I was then, a poor nobody, to who I am now three years later. Men are respecting me. Sometimes I’m a counselor; they call me in to help resolve a problem or counsel families. Kids call out to me, “CKW!” That’s how I’m known now, as “CKW.”

How has being a CKW changed your life?

It has made such a difference in my life. From a poor woman whom people say, “Who is she?” to now, “There is CKW!” I’m so proud to be a CKW and serve the community willingly.

Fostering Access to Agricultural Financial Products: FAO’s Commitment

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We are pleased to present this guest post from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization covering much of the outstanding work they are engaged in, in pursuit of their recent Campaign Commitment.

For the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) the topic of financial inclusion is of the utmost relevance. Enabling the rural population to access a wide set of financial services that meet their needs and help them accomplish their aspirations is one of the several important conditions required to attain sustainable agricultural development and food security. This is why as part of FAO’s Agribusiness and Finance Group, we are thrilled to have made a Microcredit Summit Campaign Commitment to join forces with a vast network of organizations working to expand the delivery of financial services to those underserved population segments in the developing world.

We are happy to bring our focus on smallholder households and the rural small and medium enterprises they participate in. This target group represents a financially under served clientele of about 475 million households. Various estimates 1made derive from the World Census of Agriculture, which FAO has been helping Governments around the world to implement since 1950. For an interesting reference on this subject, click here.

Both the development and business case of enabling sustainable financial services to smallholder households has never been stronger. On the one hand, mounting evidence shows how growth in agriculture, enabled through greater finance and investment in the sector, reduces extreme poverty significantly more than growth in the non-agricultural sector in the context of least developed countries. On the other hand, world agricultural markets have been booming, mainly because of the rise of a middle class in developing countries that demand various agricultural products. This has created new agribusiness opportunities that hold the potential to greatly benefit the rural poor. But this opportunity will not become a reality unless we figure out how to solve those challenges limiting the delivery of rural financial services, which should include credit, insurance and savings.

Given the prominent role of agriculture in rural areas and its development and business potential, we at FAO have been focusing on fostering broad access to agricultural financial products, as part of the mixed bundle of financial services required by the rural poor. For this we are leveraging on the presence in over 143 countries of the CABFIN partners, which includes FAO, IFAD, GIZ, UNCDF and the World Bank. Our current work plan includes the screening of innovations led by pioneer organizations around the world that have been able to design and sustainably deliver different agricultural financial products for smallholder households, enabling them to exploit rising opportunities in the agricultural sector and improve their incomes, food security and nutrition. We are in the process of analyzing these innovations to draw evidence-based training toolkits on how financial institutions, Governments and agricultural value chain actors can join forces to effectively scale them up and make them more inclusive of the rural poor. This means solving challenges in the supply and demand side of rural finance. You can see some of the training material we have developed over the years here. These new findings will be disseminated through the Rural Finance Learning Centre, the largest on-line multi-language gateway specialized in the topic of rural and agricultural finance, hosting policy guidance, training guides, news and events produced by development finance practitioners from all over the world.

FAO and the CABFIN partners look forward to sharing these new insights as part of the campaign commitments made. We hope to provide intervention alternatives that recognize the leading role of agricultural value chain actors with important advantages related to client information; promote efficient ways for financial institutions to partner with them and develop more flexible and feasible financial products; make use of modern MIS and telecommunication technologies to enable product delivery, and put in place more effective policies that encourage wider and deeper exposure of the financial systems in rural areas.

UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization announces a Campaign Commitment

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The Microcredit Summit Campaign welcomes the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the UN specialized agency for agricultural development, as the newest Campaign Commitment member, joining a global coalition of organizations committed to specific, measurable, and time-bound actions to advance the Campaign’s goal of helping 100 million families lift themselves out of poverty. Their Commitment to disseminate research that enables inclusive agricultural investments to their 143 countries will ensure more inclusive agricultural investments. Read the full Press Release.

The United Nations specialized agency for agricultural development, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) aims to achieve food security for all and to provide high-quality food so that all people may live active and healthy lives. FAO strives to eradicate food insecurity and malnutrition, eliminate poverty by working towards economic and social progress, and promote the sustainable use of natural resources. The Microcredit Summit Campaign is proud to announce its newest Commitment: FAO to disseminate research that enables inclusive agricultural investments.
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Why this will be the most fun Summit ever!

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By Allan Robert I. Sicat, Executive Director, Microfinance Council of the Philippines, Inc.

Allan Robert I. Sicat
Executive Director

Microfinance Council of the Philippines, Inc.

The Philippines takes pride in places and activities that are more fun to go to and do. The 2013 Partnerships against Poverty Summit must be more fun in the Philippines as well!

On October 9 – 11, 2013, the Microfinance Council of the Philippines, Inc. and the Microcredit Summit Campaign will bring together government regulators, microfinance practitioners, product design experts, providers of support services, and advocates for the 2013 Partnerships against Poverty Summit at the Philippine International Convention Center in Manila, Philippines.

MCPI invites the stakeholders and advocates of the microfinance industry in the country to participate and highlight the success of partnerships in microfinance in the Philippines to the global community.

In the Philippines, the Farmer’s Entrepreneurship Program (FEP, read about itview a PPT), a project implemented in partnership by the National Livelihood Development Corporation (NLDC), Jollibee Group Foundation (JGF), and the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is being implemented by Luzon and Mindanao involving local government units and microfinance institutions.

FEP has shown that with the right agro-enterprise training and guidance, small farmers can act collectively and meet the volume, quality, and delivery requirements of companies.

We look forward to welcoming counterparts from other nations who bring with them their own inspiring stories of public-private partnerships. Together, let us examine what makes them thrive. Let us discover innovations that can be replicated in our respective communities. The number of possibilities is as many and varied as the participants. What better place to advance our goals than at the 2013 Microcredit Summit?

On top of the knowledge-sharing experience, varied, too, are the sights that our 7,107 islands offer. When you come to the Philippines, be prepared to explore natural and historical landmarks such as…

…the Puerto Princesa underground river, one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature

…the world-renowned white sand beaches of Boracay

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White Beach, Boracay Source: http://wikitravel.org/en/Boracay

…diving in the UNESCO World Heritage Site Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park and marvel at the diversity of its marine species.

We also have historical landmarks right at the metro if you choose to see nearby sights.

It will be much more fun if you join us at the 2013 Partnerships against Poverty Summit!

  • Go here to Register
  • Go here to give your ideas for sessions or speakers that would like to see at the Summit
  • Go here to learn about how you could become a sponsor of the Summit