Microfinance organizations have often been used as a channel for providing health education and other non-financial services to underserved communities. This paper by Freedom from Hunger (now a part of Grameen Foundation) evaluates whether integrating health education into microcredit lending groups reduces health risks by improving health knowledge and self-reported behaviors. The study found combining microcredit and health education can improve health knowledge but did not find significant improvement in behavior.
Food insecurity remains a significant problem in India, especially among women and children. This paper by Freedom from Hunger (now a part of Grameen Foundation) measures food security and describe associated factors in rural Rajasthan, India. The findings suggest that actions for improving food security may include facilitating saving for food needs, improving decision-making power among women, and increasing ties to organizations that cater to child development needs.
The opportunity for smallholder financing is enormous. Fewer than 10 percent of the nearly half billion of the world’s smallholder farmers operate in organized farmer groups that have benefited from agriculture financial services initiatives.
Grameen Foundation ran a blog series hosted by Next Billion (March 17-June 11, 2015) on the challenges and benefits of microfinance institutions utilizing mobile technology to serve their clients.
Mobile health is a technology with enormous potential, just a fraction of which has been tapped so far. Among our efforts to realize this potential, the MOTECH program in Ghana is one of our proudest innovations.
This is a summary of our five-year report on the MOTECH Ghana project's experience using mobile technology to help reduce preventable maternal and child deaths.
In the fall of 2004, a small group of entrepreneurs attended a weekend gathering to discuss solutions for poverty alleviation. The result was Grameen Foundation’s Growth Guarantee program. Ten years later the program has been one of the most successful global efforts to unlock capital for microfinance clients.
Though mobile financial services offer microfinance institutions an important new channel to serve clients, their staff remain their most valuable asset. This is an important consideration for institutions as transitioning to mobile-based services will require all of their departments to navigate change.
Despite the large sums of money being poured into digital financial services around the world, enrollment and usage remain low and few services reach those who need them most. Grameen Foundation worked with two institutions that offer microfinance services in Uganda to help increase the adoption of digital services among current and potential clients.