Video Corner | Shamsul Haque on reducing poverty through an integrated approach

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Shamsul Haque of Society for Development Initiatives (Bangladesh) discusses his organization, the role of microfinance to help end poverty, and the lessons learned at the 18th Microcredit Summit with Miranda Beshara, editor of the Arabic Microfinance Gateway. Haque explains that SDI’s objective is to reduce poverty in Bangladesh through an integrated approach involving components such as microcredit, education, and the environment.

Haque is attending the Summit to gain experience from people in other countries on how they providing non-financial services like health, education, and the environment. “Microfinance plus at least education and health,” Haque said. “If we combine education, health and microcredit ….they [clients] will graduate [out of poverty]. They will be a respectable people in society. That is also our objective.”

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What about Non-Financial Services? (reblogged from Truelift)

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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:  

Truelift

Lively discussion
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…

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