Philippines program provided 800,000+ women maternal health education and care

Summary:
CARD Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD MRI), the Microcredit Summit Campaign, and Freedom from Hunger announced that under the “Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies” program, some 800,000 women have received maternal health education in the past 5 months and 3600 women have received healthcare in the past 12 months. The project aims to improve maternal health alongside their microfinance services in the Philippines, accelerating achievement of UN Millennium Development Goal 5.


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WASHINGTON, D.C. [September 24]—Partners in a joint-program aiming to improve maternal health in the Philippines announced today that they provided more than 800,000 women with maternal health services in the past year. CARD Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD MRI), the Microcredit Summit Campaign, and Freedom from Hunger began rolling out health education in April to poor and rural communities in Luzon, Mindanao, and, notably, the Visayas, which had catastrophic destruction in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.

With the support of program partners, CARD MRI trained more than 1,000 account officers (AOs) in 14,650 centers to deliver the health education to CARD members. The AOs educated an average of 5,000 women per day over the last five months on important maternal health issues. Each woman received two hours of instruction on simple but important lessons like the food and nutritional supplements that pregnant and young women need and the importance of giving birth in a health facility.

“Helping poor communities through financial access is undeniably important in poverty eradication,” said Marilyn M. Manila, director of the Community Development Group at CARD MRI (a Filipino microfinance institution), “but this is insufficient to reach our goal. Poor health and having no access to health care service are a big part of continuous poverty in many countries. We realize the importance of good health of microfinance institutions’ (MFIs’) clients to help them continue improve their quality of life.” Ms. Manila also chairs the MFIs for Health, a consortium of 21 Filipino MFIs committed to providing access to health care services to poor communities.

At 30 years old, CARD MRI client Barrera is eight months pregnant with her fourth child. Barrera is one of the 3,634 women who received routine gynecological examinations and 2,222 mother and baby kits at four community health fairs over the last 12 months. Berrera attend the fair in Davao this July “for the ultrasound—to be able to see my baby. It was my first time.” More than 100 healthcare providers have participated in the four health fairs, and many more will. The next health fair will take place in very rural areas of Mindanao October 2nd and 3rd.

Community health fairs are important for improving maternal health in poor, rural communities where accessing health services is a challenge. Program partners organize health fairs with support from local foundations and professional associations like the Philippines OB/GYN Society, community health workers and private health providers, as well as the government: the Department of Health, local government units, and PhilHealth (the national insurance program).

Over the last 15 years, the Philippines has improved in many key indicators such as life expectancy, access to education, and infant mortality; however, maternal mortality has remained at unacceptably high levels. Delays in accessing medical care is a key bottleneck in achieving better results for mothers and babies. With 99 days to the end of the Millennium Development Goals and the Global Goals for Sustainable Development on the horizon, this collaboration to educate about and expand access to health services is critical for meeting the needs of poor communities. This project is supported by an educational grant from Johnson & Johnson.

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About CARD Mutually Reinforcing Institutions
The CARD MRI is a group of mutually reinforcing institutions with a common goal of alleviating poverty in the Philippines and improving the quality of lives of the socially-and-economically challenged women and families towards nation building. Based in San Pablo City in Laguna in the Philippines, CARD MRI has 1,845 offices located all over the country and has program/partnership offices in Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, and Hong Kong. CARD MRI has 2.99 million members and clients as of July 2015 throughout the country, continuously providing them holistic and integrated financial and social services that help uplift their lives and eventually transform them into responsible citizens for their community and their environment.
www.cardmri.com

About Freedom from Hunger
Founded in 1946, Freedom from Hunger is a US-based international development organization that brings innovative and sustainable self-help solutions to the fight against chronic hunger and poverty. By partnering with local microfinance institutions (MFIs) and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America, Freedom from Hunger is reaching 5.7 million women, equipping them with resources they need to build futures of health, hope and dignity.
www.freedomfromhunger.org

About the Microcredit Summit Campaign
The Microcredit Summit Campaign (the “Campaign”), a project of RESULTS Educational Fund, is the largest global network of institutions and individuals involved in microfinance and is committed to two important goals: 1) reaching 175 million of the world’s poorest families with microfinance and 2) helping 100 million families lift themselves out of extreme poverty. The Campaign convenes a broad array of actors involved with microfinance to promote best practices in the field, to stimulate the exchange of knowledge and to work towards alleviating world poverty through microfinance. In early 2016, the Microcredit Summit Campaign will host the 18th Microcredit Summit in Abu Dhabi. The agenda will focus on “Mapping Pathways out of Poverty” and will feature innovations from the Africa-Middle East Region.
www.microcreditsummit.org

Media Contact Information
Microcredit Summit Campaign
Sabina Rogers
Manager, Communications and Relationships
+1 (202) 637-9600
rogers@microcreditsummit.org
Freedom from Hunger
Piper Gianola
Senior Director, Development and Communications
+1 (530) 758-6200 x 1018
piper@freedomfromhunger.org
CARD MRI
Cleofe Montemayor-Figuracion
Deputy Director, Corporate Communications
+63 (49) 562-4309 local 108
corpcomm@cardbankph.com; cardmri.corpcomm@gmail.com

Why I Commit…Child & Youth Finance International

The Campaign sat down with commitment makers at the 17th Microcredit Summit and asked them what making a commitment meant to them. Hear what those leaders had to say in the “Why I Commit…” video series.

Jared Penner, Education Manager, Child & Youth Finance International

See what CYFI Committed to in 2015

Be Inspired. Set Goals. Make a Commitment.

To learn more about CYFI: http://childfinanceinternational.org/

 

Yunus Centre fulfills Campaign Commitment by cultivating ‘job-givers’

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The Yunus Centre has worked tirelessly to promote the philosophy of Professor Mohammad Yunus and to alleviate poverty through social entrepreneurship and turning ‘job-seekers’ into ‘job-givers’. The Yunus Centre declared its support for the goal of helping 100 million families lift themselves out of extreme poverty by announcing a Campaign Commitment at the 2013 Partnerships against Poverty Summit held last October 2013 in Manila, Philippines. The Microcredit Summit Campaign recently caught up with the Yunus Centre to learn about the progress they’ve made on their Commitment and the ways they are working towards the end of extreme poverty.


“The poor themselves can create a poverty-free world all we have to do is to free them from the chains that we have put around them.” – Professor Mohammad Yunus

Yunus

Professor Mohammad Yunus, winner of Nobel Peace Prize for his work with microfinance and founding of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. Image courtesy of Yunus Centre.

Founded in 2006, the Yunus Centre actively promotes and disseminates the philosophy of world-renowned microfinance leader Professor Mohammad Yunus. Professor Yunus believes we can achieve the end of poverty through microfinance and social entrepreneurship.

In October of 2013, the Yunus Centre made the Commitment to support the 100 Million Project through the following actions:

By the end of 2018:

  • Create a global social business sector serving at least 100 million poor, and providing jobs and for at least 10 million households.

In just over one year, by the end of 2014:

  • Help create, finance and expand more than 50 social businesses in at least 20 countries world-wide.
  • Create Social Business Incubator Funds, and other structures, in at least 8 countries: Albania, Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Haiti, India, Tunisia and Uganda
  • Social businesses in Bangladesh will serve at least 2 million households, and employ at least 20,000 households.
  • Collect and publish relevant social-impact data for all social businesses.

Yunus Centre Campaign Commitment Outlook: Achieving the 2014 Benchmarks   

The Yunus Centre has achieved outstanding progress since announcing its Campaign Commitment in 2013.

The Yunus Centre has met its 2013 benchmark of creating, financing and expanding more than 50 social businesses.

As of May 2014, the Yunus Centre has helped launch more than 100 new social businesses in Bangladesh. Recently the Yunus Centre introduced a new initiative called nobin udyoktas(‘new entrepreneurs’ in Bangladeshi) which is aimed primarily at the children of Grameen Bank borrowers and intends to turn them from ‘job seekers’ into ‘job creators’. Every month the Yunus Centre hosts a social business design lab which is a platform for entrepreneurs to present their social business designs in front of experienced business executives and social activists. Initial successes have helped the Yunus Centre to gain momentum in encouraging youth to make their own destiny through social business ventures. The Centre projects that it will reach 200 new social businesses by the end of 2014.

However work remains to be done. The Yunus Centre committed to create, finance, and expand more than 50 social businesses in 20 countries worldwide. They have achieved remarkable success in Bangladesh, but what about the rest of the world? So far Yunus Social Business (YSB) has launched social businesses in Colombia, Costa Rica, Tunisia, Haiti and Albania.As an example, in Colombia, the Yunus Centre partnered with McCain Foods to launch Campo Vivo, a social business that will benefit farmers living in poverty by aiding them in the production and commercialization of potatoes, carrots and peas. The Yunus Centre has made great progress towards achieving the first goal of its Commitment; nonetheless, expanding social businesses into other countries will remain a priority as they seek to reach their target of 20.

Yunus Centre has achieved its goal of creating Social Business Incubator Funds in eight countries.

Yunus Centre launched Social Business Incubator Funds in Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Haiti, Albania, Tunisia, Uganda and India since 2013. The goal of these incubator funds is to provide start-up investment for social businesses when traditional banks may not be willing to invest. The funds are designed to be financially sustainable at $13.5 to $20.5 million and can be expected to invest in approximately 6 new social businesses each year. Some of the incubator funds are already providing services to entrepreneurs.

Although the Yunus Centre has made considerable progress towards achieving its Commitment, it has not yet been able to quantify its impact.

In October of 2013, the Yunus Centre boldly committed to helping social businesses serve 2 million households and employ 20,000 households. Because most of the social businesses are start-up enterprises, they are in the process of developing their market and scaling up their operations. Therefore, it is difficult to estimate exactly how many households the social businesses are currently serving. The number is undoubtedly increasing as new social businesses are generated across Bangladesh. Once the Yunus Centre better determines how many households are being served and employed by social businesses in Bangladesh, it will publish the information on socialbusinesspedia.com. After a social business has been operational for a few years and it becomes feasible to measure its impact, the Yunus Centre publishes all relevant social impact data on Social Business Pedia.

Grameen Veolia

Grameen-Veolia Water Ltd. Image courtesy of Yunus Centre.


Join us in Mexico for the 17th Microcredit Summit this September 3-5. Professor Yunus will be a keynote speaker in addition to moderating workshops on social business and youth employment. http://17microcreditsummit.org/


Turning Social Businesses into a Poverty Elimination Tool 

One example of a social business pioneered by the Yunus Foundation is Grameen-Veolia Water Ltd. Although water supply is abundant in Bangladesh, much of the groundwater is contaminated with arsenic for geological reasons. Grameen Healthcare Services partnered with Veolia Water to provide clean water and distribute it to a vast network of rural villages. The joint venture has been established according to the social business principals advocated by the Yunus Centre.

One example of a social business pioneered by the Yunus Foundation is Grameen-Veolia Water Ltd. Although water supply is abundant in Bangladesh, much of the groundwater is contaminated with arsenic for geological reasons. Grameen Healthcare Services partnered with Veolia Water to provide clean water and distribute it to a vast network of rural villages. The joint venture has been established according to the social business principals advocated by the Yunus Centre.

The Yunus Centre views its Campaign Commitment as an integral part of the achieving its mission and helping lift 100 million families out of extreme poverty. The Commitment contributes in two ways to the goal: 1) new services are being introduced to the next generation of microfinance stakeholders, and 2) the ‘nobin udyokta’ initiative is providing equity financing for social businesses to create a generation of ‘job givers’ instead of ‘job seekers’. Professor Yunus shared his enthusiasm for the progress the Yunus Centre has made towards achieving its Commitment stating, “We are excited about new possible openings, especially social business gaining momentum in many countries. It’s a starting point for a global movement.”

Through these efforts the Yunus Centre is making large contributions to the 100 Million Goal. Standing alongside the Campaign’s coalition of actors who have stated their Campaign Commitment, the Yunus Centre is helping make the end of extreme poverty possible and achievable.


Join Yunus Centre and State your Campaign Commitment

Join Yunus Centre in the global coalition help 100 million families lift themselves out of poverty – state your Campaign Commitment at mycommitment@microcreditsummit.org

Need additional guidance in formulating your own Campaign Commitment? Refer to our Commitment Development Toolkit.

Be social with us on Facebook and Twitter (@MicroCredSummit) using the hashtags #Commit100M and #100MGoal

Learn more about the Microcredit Summit Campaign: http://www.microcreditsummit.org/

Providing a Safety Net to Ten Million People

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Richard Leftley, CEO of MicroEnsure, writes about the experiences that helped lead to the development of a safety net for the most vulnerable and how far they have come in fulfilling their Commitment to the Campaign.


- Image courtesy of MicroEnsure

Image courtesy of MicroEnsure

Join us in Mexico for the 17th Microcredit Summit in Mexico this September 3-5.

Richard Leftley will be joined from leaders in the microinsurance sub-sector for a workshop on microinsurance.

http://17microcreditsummit.org/


Over the years many of the microfinance leaders that I have met have told me of that one chance interaction that changed the course of their lives and resulted in them embarking on a journey to help millions of people be transformed and lifted out of poverty.

My moment was in the summer of 2001 in a village in Northern Zambia; one of the ladies I was talking to had become frustrated by my ignorance as to why she had experienced such a seeming boom and bust in her fortunes. From among her few possessions she produced a child’s Chutes & Ladders board and she explained that she was just trying to work her way out of poverty. She had succeeded earlier in her life having lived in an apartment in the capital and driven a car, but here she was back in the village with seemingly nothing to her name.

She explained that the microfinance loans she received helped accelerate her out of poverty like the ladders in the game, but then she looked at me and explained that no one was there when disaster struck causing her to slide back into poverty just as the chutes in the game return you to your starting place. What is today MicroEnsure was founded a few months later in partnership with the team at Opportunity International.

Twelve years later it is a real pleasure to make a Campaign Commitment to join with other microfinance leaders to help lift 100 million people out of extreme poverty; our contribution will be to provide a safety net to 10 million people in 15 countries so that they do not slip back following the death of a breadwinner, sickness of a child or following a natural disaster.

At the beginning of 2014 when we made this Commitment MicroEnsure was serving just 4 million people, but I am pleased to report that by the end of May we had enrolled 8.2 million customers (a growth of over 200%) and we are well on our way to matching or even exceeding our commitment by the end of the first quarter 2015. This rapid growth has come not only from our MFI partners but most significantly from the mobile network operators that we have partnered with in Africa and Asia some of which are signing up in excess of 250,000 new clients each and every week.

The breakthrough in working with telco’s (telecommunications providers) came when we stopped trying to sell insurance through them but instead realised that we could dramatically affect customer loyalty to the telco; let me explain. You see, none of us wake up wanting to buy insurance and if you are poor the idea of a product that you may need at some time months or years from now really makes no sense in the present.

However we know that our clients do wake up worried about what would happen if their husband died, their kids got sick, or a disaster struck. We also knew that telco’s are suffering from low customer loyalty with most subscribers using multiple SIM cards to make prepaid calls. We simply combined answering clients’ fear with the need of the telco’s for increased loyalty and in doing so we convinced the telco to give their loyal subscribers free insurance in return for spending more airtime on their network. The subscribers were happy to do so because their fears were being addressed for free in return for simply making more of their calls on one network. Everyone wins.

Interestingly we have also used this same idea to significantly drive the mobilisation of deposits in MFIs across Africa. Most deposit accounts have tiny balances that are loss-making for the MFI yet we know that the poor save money in a myriad of ways. It just seemed obvious to us that offering interest to depositors was simply not attractive enough to give customers a reason to choose the bank over  informal savings mechanisms. So we tried giving away free insurance if you saved.  As you saved more – $50, $60, $70 – you earned more free insurance coverage. We were delighted to see 200% increases in deposit rates clustered around these targets.

Achieving our goals will not be simple. We continue to rely upon partnership in order to provide our services and we are always on the lookout for MFIs, telco’s and others that provide services to the mass market. We would love to hear from anyone who wants to join with us on this mission. This kind of rapid growth also requires capital and we were delighted to announce last month that AXA and Sanlam Insurance Companies joined Opportunity, IFC, Omidyar Network and Telenor as investors in MicroEnsure bringing together key strategic partnerships with the funds required to continue scaling.

I often dream of returning to that village to find the Chutes & Ladders lady. I have no idea what I would say to her, but I would love the chance to simply say thanks for starting us out on this journey. I wonder if she knows she was the spark that has helped 10 million people like her find a safety net against the chutes they find along their own journeys out of poverty?


MicroEnsure announced their Campaign Commitment as:

  • MicroEnsure commits to reach 10 million clients with insurance services by the end of the first quarter of 2015.
  • MicroEnsure commits to expand its current reach into 15 countries by launching work in 5 new countries by the end of the first quarter of 2015

Join MicroEnsure and State your Campaign Commitment

Join MicroEnsure in the global coalition to help 100 million families lift themselves out of poverty – state your Campaign Commitment at mycommitment@microcreditsummit.org

Need additional guidance in formulating your own Campaign Commitment? Refer to our Commitment Development Toolkit.

Be social with us on Facebook and Twitter (@MicroCredSummit) using the hashtags #Commit100M and #100MGoal

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.

Grameen Foundation has a new PPI Certification – Learn About it during our Upcoming E-Workshop

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Join us Tuesday June 24th at 10:00 AM (EDT / GMT – 4) for the E-Workshop Webinar:

“Instilling Confidence in Poverty Measurement: The New PPI Certification”

This webinar will be conducted in English. For our Spanish-speaking colleagues, the Portal de Microfinanzas (@Portal_MF) will be live-tweeting in Spanish the key points addressed by the speakers.

Click here to find what time the webinar will be in your county


Join us for an e-workshop co-hosted by the Microcredit Summit Campaign and Grameen Foundation for a discussion on the recent improvements to the Progress out of Poverty Index® Certification and the new additions to the Standards of Use

Featuring Frank Ballard, the Program Officer from the Grameen Foundation‘s Social Performance Management Center, and Analí Oda, a Senior Analyst from Planet Rating, and Chiara Pescatori, Deputy Social Rating Director at MicroFinanza Rating, this webinar will introduce participants to the changes and benefits of the new PPI Certification. 

The presenters will share their knowledge and experiences on how the renovated PPI Certification can improve an organization’s measurement of poverty, enhance its reputation, and build confidence in its practices.

Through the valuable insights offered in this webinar, participants will gain a better understanding of effective and reliable poverty measurement and the benefits that it has to offer.

Speakers: 

MCSC Logo Jesse Marsden, Research & Operations Manager (moderator)
Grameen Logo
Frank Ballard, Program Officer, Social Performance Management Center
Planet Rating Logo
Analí Oda, Senior Analyst
MicroFinanza Logo
Chiara Pescatori, Deputy Social Rating Director

Join us for this stimulating conversation to gain a deeper understanding of the improvements in the new PPI Certification and the benefits that it has to offer!

Follow this e-workshop and the Campaign’s 100 Million Project:

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Use hashtags #100MGoal and #Commit100M

Learn more about the 100 Million Project Project and Campaign Commitments

BRAC declares Campaign Commitment to graduate 250,000 households from ultra-poverty

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Summary: The Microcredit Summit Campaign welcomes BRAC as the newest Campaign Commitment member, joining a global coalition to help 100 million families lift themselves out of extreme poverty. Read the full Press Release.
BRAC group meeting

Image courtesy of BRAC

BRAC is a development organization founded in Bangladesh in 1972 and has since become one of the largest NGOs in the world in terms of employees and number of clients served, spreading successful poverty alleviating solutions born in the developing world to other countries. In 2002, BRAC launched the Ultra-Poor Graduation Program, which aimed at lifting the ultra poor out of their situation of poverty so that they can access mainstream development services such as microfinance. The program targets extremely deprived women and their households, and maintains BRAC’s holistic approach to development by providing targeted asset grants, skill training and healthcare support. Since 2002, 1.4 million households have already graduated from BRAC’s Ultra-Poor Graduation Program. With this tremendous success, BRAC plans to continue the spread of this model to reach even more households around the globe.

When asked about the origins of BRAC’s Ultra-Poor Graduation Program, Program Manager Sadna Samaranayake responded,“The extreme poor, living on less than $1.25 a day, are far from homogenous. Among them are households trapped in the direst forms of destitution, who are chronically hungry, lack assets, income, or support from their communities. It was to address the needs of these populations, the ultra-poor at the margins and beyond the reach of microfinance and other development programs, that BRAC pioneered what is now known as the Graduation approach. Even the poorest can “graduate” from ultra-poverty with a set of carefully tailored interventions designed to help achieve increased incomes, food security and better resilience overall. A complement to MFI, NGO and government strategies to reach the ultra-poor, BRAC is committed to advancing knowledge and implementation of the Graduation approach.”

Some key excerpts of BRAC’s Campaign Commitment:

  • In Bangladesh alone, BRAC commits to graduating 250,000 households out of ultra-poverty by the end of 2016.
  • BRAC commits to publishing an in-depth implementation guide in September 2014 to help governments, microfinance institutions and NGOs execute their own ultra-poor graduation programs. Additionally, BRAC commits to providing technical assistance and consultation where requested to governments, NGOs and MFIs looking to implement the graduation approach.
  • BRAC commits to hosting a national conference on the graduation approach in a country where BRAC operates in 2014.
  • BRAC commits to hosting annual Immersion and Training Visits in Bangladesh for interested parties including policy makers, microfinance institutions, multilateral funders, and donors to witness the graduation program in action. During these visits, participants will get an in-depth look at the program, from field staff training ultra-poor women on how to realize a return on their new assets, to the healthcare, savings and social integration elements of the approach.

The next round of these Immersion Training Visits are on the weeks of August 18th and August 25th. Contact Sadna Samaranayake at sadna@bracusa.org to register.

Read the BRAC Commitment Letter.


Join BRAC and State your Campaign Commitment

Join us in the global coalition to help 100 million families lift themselves out of poverty – state your Campaign Commitment at mycommitment@microcreditsummit.org

Need additional guidance in formulating your own Campaign Commitment? Refer to our Commitment Development Toolkit.

Be social with us on Facebook and Twitter (@MicroCredSummit) using the hashtags #Commit100M and #100MGoal

Discussions with practitioners in the field: What’s up with mBanking?

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Jesse Marsden, Research & Operations Manager at the Campaign, shares some of the practitioner viewpoints about mBanking gleaned from our joint research with Microfinance Opportunities. EspañolFrançais Continue reading

How Can Microfinance Be More Inclusive to Children and Youth? Webinar Recording

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On Wednesday, March 12th in celebration of Global Money Week 2014, we co-hosted with Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI) a webinar that explored how microfinance can be more inclusive to children and youth. A small but increasing number of MFIs now offer financial and non-financial services to children and youth. By doing so, they are building the next generation’s capability to save, build assets and, if needed acquire microloans to support their livelihood activities.

Español | Français | Continue reading

TODAY! Yunus Centre to Livestream the 10th Social Business Design Lab

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The Yunus Centre will be streaming a live video feed of the 10th Social Business Design Lab TODAY, December 20th at 11 PM (local time: December 21, 2013 at 10.00 AM (GMT+6)) . The Yunus Centre Social Business Design Lab is a meeting place … Continue reading

Initial Reports of Affected Filipino MFI Staff, Clients, and Branches

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We encourage you to make a donation to any one of these MFIs EspañolFrançais Continue reading

2013 Partnerships against Poverty Summit Declaration

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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.

We, the participants in the Partnerships against Poverty Summit, state collectively and enthusiastically, that:

EXTREME POVERTY CAN AND WILL BE ENDED BY THE YEAR 2030!

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

First, we commit to putting the poor first!

Español | Français | Continue reading

New Partnerships against Poverty: Health and Financial Services

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When hundreds of millions of women like Alpana can enjoy health, savings, good work, and a sense of achievement and security for their families, we will know that our job is done EspañolFrançais Continue reading

Sign onto the Declaration in Support of the Independence of Grameen Bank

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Please join us and other allies of Grameen Bank in endorsing the Grameen Declaration EspañolFrançais Continue reading

Reflections from the 2013 Summit: Summary of Day 1, October 9th 2013 OPENING CEREMONY… and Preview of Day 2, October 10th 2013

The opening ceremony started of with a speech from Mr. Larry Reed, the Director of the Microcredit Summit Campaign and  Mrs. Mila Mercado Bunker, the President of Ahon sa Hirap, Inc. (ASHI), and Chairperson of the Microfinance Council of the Philippines, Inc. After that, there were speeches made by some of the speakers including Amando Tetangco Jr., the Governor of the Central Bank of the Philippines, Philippines; Florencio “Butch” Abad, Budget Secretary, Philippines; Sharif al din Hasan, Minister, Ministry of Cooperatives and SMEs, Indonesia; Muhammad Yunus, Founderof Grameen Bank, Bangladesh; and Karen Dávila, award-winning Filipino broadcast journalist and television and presenter. In his speech, Governer Tetango said, “It is my personal wish to see every Filipino productively contributing to and reaping the benefits of a robust economy. This vision also underlies the policy and regulatory actions of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. We endeavor to maintain price stability; safeguard the soundness and efficiency of the financial system, at the same time provide an environment that enables every citizen, especially the poor, to access appropriate financial services including microcredit. We are all here because we share the same vision and goal. Together we can cover a lot of ground. Now is the time for all of us in the public and private sectors to work more closely together as partners in achieving high productivity and economic growth that translates into better lives.” He added that  “two thirds of the worlds poor live in Asia and the Pacific region”… 

According to Budget secretary Florencio Abad, “The Philipines is in the midst of a process of substantial changes in governance”. The main question of the day was how can government reform help financial inclusion in your country? Secretary Abad adds “Economic prosperity of nations depends on the nature of political institutions”.  “The government and commercial banks cannot help achieve financial inclusion as well as MFIs and other organisations. Financial inclusion requires grass roots support and community presence which the commercial banks are unable to provide”

Additionally, there was showing of a speech made by World Bank President Jim Yong Kim. See here: https://100millionideas.org/2013/10/07/live-streaming-plenary-sessions-at-the-2013-summit/

As well as a speech made by Mrs. Valerie Boffy, speaking about her experiences climbing Mt. Everest and its paralels with combating extreme poverty. The kind  of resources and strength you need to climb the Everest is comparable to the things you need for ending poverty. Climbing the Everest requires technology, experience/know-how, confidence, favourable weather, good health and luck. The same ingredients are required to end poverty. She also talks about her non-profit entity, Women on a Mission, which she co-founded helping to combat poverty by raising awareness and funds for a humanitarian cause. See more here: https://mcsummit.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=3246&action=edit

Professor Muhammad Yunus Interview: See more at: http://new.livestream.com/accounts/2071894/PartnershipsAgainstPovertySummit2013

Can MF lend to anybody? Nobody should be out of the financial services. Everybody should have access to financial services… We have to redesign products to keep everyone within the financial sector. When we started Microcredit, we were NOT looking at job creation; we were focusing more on self- employment. The future for poor people is in self-employment. It’s about creating entrepreneurs. Each borrower can create jobs. We believe all human beings are entrepreneurs. If you want to solve the problem of poverty by job creation, you won’t go very far. Look at Europe for example; half of the youth are unemployed because all structure is based on creating jobs and not on creating entrepreneurs.

Define social business? A non-dividend company to solve human problems. We have created many social businesses in Bangladesh. We have taken this message abroad. We create a social fund. Gradually they buy us out and repay us without paying over and above the capital. We have no expectation of returns whatsoever. Money has become an addiction. That is a distortion of being human. Humans are selfish and yet selfless. A Social Business is not martyrdom, it’s not charity. I do business my capital comes back. In charity, money is used once. Here, money goes out and comes back in. This is business and appeals to poor people right away. Every business can run a Social business in parallel.

What makes some clients succeed? No one fails but the range of success differs, some are small and some major. People do it in a very marginal way, first they pay back with interest. That’s a success I would say. Then you save a bit and send children to school. That’s a success. So you have to go step by step. By selling few chickens you don’t change your life. You change your life by changing your mindset. Selling a few chickens starts that mind set change. These are the heroes of history. They have changed the financial system. It’s the same the world over. We work in NYC now. Our address has changed holistically. We need to ask what we are doing for this second generation, our kids generation. Also, Bangladesh was a basket case as declared by the ‘big guys’. We have to prove them wrong. We have achieved the first MDG to reduce poverty by half and so the next round will be easier for us. We will create poverty museums. We have created the steel in ourselves to address.

Does family planning end poverty? It is complex. Despite everything that we have. We persuaded our leaders to reduce poverty. We have to believe in it. Corruption is a big issue. Bad governance too. It all holds us up. Let us not comprise on our major goal.

What more can MFIs do? Learn from each other. Charge our batteries. Win the war with determination. Again, NOBODY should be excluded. We have to evolve to a more holistic approach. Our entire mission is to help people come out of poverty. MFI is merely a tool to do so, It’s not our main business. We would like to be the first county to build a poverty museum.

Where do you get the fire? When you see the change your work you bubble with enthusiasm. I say I remove profit from business. People say that is the inventive. I say profit is not the only incentive. Making yourself money that is happiness. But you make others happy that is super happiness. We’ll make it! We will not fail in 2030. We will come up with 15 new ideas and make things happen. We will win this war.

The Partnership Plenary was next. How, when and why to partner? This plenary focused on the question ‘What is a multi-sector partnership?’ – an ongoing working relationship which shares risks and benefits.

Nick Luft

Emerging trends

  • opportunities for collaboration are widening
  • stakeholder engagement is taking place
  • profile, branding and communication matter
  • organisations are becoming increasingly strategic in their engagement
  • organisations use local networks for global partnerships
  • stakeholders are increasingly important

What is an ideal partner?

  • knowledge sharer
  • creates synergy
  • proactive
  • transparent
  • clear value proposition

How do originations partner?

The partnering cycle includes:

  1. funding
  2. engaging
  3. building
  4. implementing
  5. reviewing

Partnerships work when:

  • there are right partners
  • they achieve the right results
  • add value to all partners
  • appreciate the transactional costs involved with the partnerships
  • highest standards of project management
  • engagement and buy in across the board
  • culture of ongoing review
  • Global index shows that 2.5 billions left out! 70% of the poor are unbanked
  • it’s time to take what works and leverage it in bigger ways
  • the big question is why does it matter – what is needed

Roger Voorhies (Bill and Melinda Gates foundation)

Richard Leftley – Micro Ensure

Working with MFIs… The most successful case is giving insurance as a reward for using air time – this benefits the client and the teleco provider

Edgar Generoso:

  • never take short cuts in Microfinance
  • record base line data and measure the impact

Summary of the partnerships plenary:

i.      Emerging trends

ii.      What is an ideal partner

iii.      How do originations partner

See the opening ceremony including all the Interviews at http://new.livestream.com/accounts/2071894/PartnershipsAgainstPovertySummit2013

Preview of Day 2 (October 11th 2013) 

Going the Extra Mile plenary: This is a modified pitch session in which each practitioner will give an elevator pitch to present their concept for creating pathways out of poverty and to answer the question, why does your program have the most potential to help the most people move out of poverty, and how can we design a program that has the most potential to help the most people do that? They will than be scrutinized and their pitch judged.

Check out the Speakers here:  http://partnershipsagainstpoverty.org/going-the-extra-mile-from-safety-nets-to-pathways-out-of-poverty/

And it can also be viewed live streamed here:  http://partnershipsagainstpoverty.org/livestream/