The idea for this report grew out of a meeting of leaders of the microfinance and health communities held in Ahmedabad, India in July 2011, thanks to the support of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), Johnson & Johnson, Ananya Finance for Inclusive Growth, and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Relation (CSIR). In an unusual exchange, leaders from microfinance and health—two diverse sectors—shared information, approaches, impact evidence, and the opportunities and challenges of combining health and microfinance to reach millions of underserved poor in India. They urged us to tell the story of this emerging field more broadly.
Freedom from Hunger, the Indian Institute of Public Health at Ghandinagar, and the Microcredit Summit Campaign prepared this report to inform and educate policymakers, microfinance institutions (MFIs), self-help promoting institutions (SHPIs), private and public health providers, researchers, donors and social investors, and other stakeholders about approaches to combining microfinance and health. We hope it will catalyze dialogue and debate and encourage further exploration of the potential to combine microfinance and health for a low-cost approach to improve health and productivity of the Indian poor.
We are grateful for the financial support of the Johnson & Johnson Foundation, NABARD, and SIDBI, who agreed that it was important to share more broadly the current state of the Indian field of health and microfinance. We especially acknowledge and thank the many pioneering microfinance and self-help promoting institutions, healthcare providers, and others who are working across sectors to improve the health and financial security of vulnerable Indian families. They have generously shared program information and experiences so that others might learn
about both the opportunities and challenges of linking microfinance and health.
- Kathleen Stack, Vice President for Asia and Africa, Freedom from Hunger
- Dr. Dileep Mavalankar, Director, Indian Institute of Public Health, Ghandhinagar
- Larry Reed, Director, Microcredit Summit Campaign Read more »