Freedom from Hunger is committed to sharing what we learn with the rest of the field. Our expert staff members are regularly called upon to contribute commentary, articles and chapters for trade publications, technical journals and books.

We are pleased to provide the following list of published works authored or co-authored by Freedom from Hunger staff, past and present. These articles are generally available for free download in PDF format or via links to other websites. In some cases, articles have been published by journals that provide access only by subscription or purchase.

The titles are listed according to the date of publication, starting with the most recent articles. We provide complete citation information for the convenience of researchers wanting to cite the publication in their own work and provide access to French or Spanish versions, when available.

We sincerely hope you will find these articles useful for broadening your understanding of value-added microfinance and related topics.

Costs and Benefits of Microfinance Institutions Offering Health Protection Services to Clients

Reinsh, Myka; Dunford, Christopher; Metcalfe, Marcia, “Costs and benefits of microfinance institutions offering health protection services to clients :, Enterprise and Microfinance, Vol.22 No 3, 2011.

If you have a subscription to Enterprise and Microfinance you can download the paper from that site at


Five microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Bénin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, India and the Philippines developed and offered health protection services to microfinance clients: health education, health loans, health savings, health micro-insurance, linkages to health providers and distribution of health products.  After about two years, the services were collectively reaching over 300,000 clients and are continuing to scale up.  The cost to the MFI was generally low for each service (average annual net marginal cost of US$.29 per client and average total annual cost, including allocated expenses, of $1.59 per client).  Some were expected to become profitable in the near term.  In addition to the financial cost of offering such services and who bears the cost, we discuss the broader benefits both to clients and the MFIs themselves and suggest that more MFIs around the world could find similar cost-effective ways to deliver health protection services to their clients.

Saving for Change Impact Stories Follow-Up Research Report

Gash, M., Maxwell, M., Arredondo, V., Brown, B., Farrell, J., Guerra, B., Heaton, T., Linton, E., Morgan, R., Seino, Y., & Crookston, B. (2013). Saving for Change Impact Stories Follow-Up Research Report. Davis, California: Freedom from Hunger.


In 2010, Freedom from Hunger conducted “impact stories” research to look at the life events, opportunities, program perceptions, food security and poverty levels of 41 members of Savings Groups formed through the organization Le Tonus in Mali. In 2012, 31 members were interviewed a second time in order to compare outcomes and analyze progress among members. Individual stories have been written for each respondent to describe their experiences with the program in a holistic way, and the aggregate outcomes are described in this report. Sample stories are provided in the appendix.

Saving for Change: Savings Groups as Platforms for Malaria Education in Mali

Fleischer Proaño, Laura and Stack, Kathleen. (October 2010) Saving for Change: Savings Groups as Platforms for Malaria Education in Mali. Aga Khan Foundation Savings Group Learning Initiative. Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN).


Given the high incidence of malaria, the cost of treatment and lost time at work, as well as limited knowledge about malaria prevention and treatment, Saving for Change uses SGs to deliver malaria education to members to enhance the impact of the programme. The Mali experience illustrates that SGs provide a powerful platform for delivering education.

(Keywords/Tags: Saving for Change, Mali, Savings Groups, malaria education)

Saving for Change Social Indicator System (SIS)

Freedom from Hunger, Program Service

Health financing: A new role for microfinance institutions?

Sheila Leatherman, Kimberley Geissler, Bobbi Gray and Megan Gash.

To view the peer-reviewed version of this report, please see: “Health financing: A new role for microfinance institutions?” J. Int. Dev. doi: 10.1002/jid.2829


An innovative and scalable approach, health financing by microfinance institutions can expand existing health-financing options for the poor. We examined healthcare-seeking behavior, health costs and health-financing methods among microfinance clients in Bolivia, Benin and Burkina Faso. Health costs and lost productivity were substantial. Clients benefit from assistance, including health savings, health loans and health micro-insurance. Microfinance institutions offer advantages in developing health-financing options: global reach, expertise in loans and savings, and their mission to facilitate household financial stability. Health-financing products hold considerable potential but require careful design to optimize value and minimize risk to clients.

AIM Youth Project Description

Freedom from Hunger, Program Services.

Freedom from Hunger and Fellow Microfinance Leaders Release Road Map for a More Client-Centered and Responsible Microfinance Industry.

Microfinance CEO Working Group

Freedom from Hunger, as a founding member of the Microfinance CEO Working Group, is proud to endorse a new Road Map to guide the microfinance industry to the highest standards of practice, putting clients first and ensuring that our shared mission of alleviating poverty is achieved in the most responsible and ethical way possible.

The Road Map outlines the vision of the Microfinance CEO Working Group, which includes the CEOs of pioneering microfinance organizations ACCION, FINCA, Grameen Foundation USA, Opportunity International, Pro Mujer, VisionFund International, and Women’s World Banking.  The Map also provides practical guidelines and underscores the Group’s commitment to raising industry standards, starting with their own. 

Central to the Working Group’s vision is the support for three ambitious initiatives that are helping to lay the groundwork for a more responsible, client-focused and transformative industry: the Smart Campaign, MicroFinance Transparency and the Social Performance Task Force’s universal standards for social performance management.

The Microfinance CEO Working Group members call for their valued peers in the microfinance industry to take action by endorsing these three initiatives, transforming their principles into action, and striving for better ways to provide financial services for the poor. 

The Working Group welcomes your comments and feedback. Please contact Meghan Greene, manager of the Microfinance CEO Working Group, at

Village banking: The state of the practice.

Nelson, Candace, Barbara MkNelly, Kathleen Stack and Lawrence Yanovitch (with assistance from the Poverty Lending Working Group of SEEP and participants at the International Conference of Village Bank Practitioners). Ana Maria Brasileiro, ed. Small Enterp

Get the publication at Seep Network (link will open in a new window).


This paper is the culmination of a multi-year, collaborative learning program focused on village banking. The process has been sponsored by the Small Enterprise Education and Promotion (SEEP) Network and its Poverty Lending Working Group.

Together they function as a forum for practitioner exchange to share program experience and analyze key program issues.  As village banking attracts more attention throughout the world, the insights and solutions they have found to improve their own programs should also benefit those undertaking new initiatives.

Health and Microfinance: Leveraging the Strengths of Two Sectors to Alleviate Poverty

Metcalfe, Marcia, M. Gash, B. Gray, M. Reinsch Sinclair, C. Chandler, C. Dunford, S. Leatherman. 2012. The Journal of Social Business, 2 (1), 26-44.


Freedom from Hunger and five microfinance institutions (MFIs) from Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, India, and the Philippines tested whether MFIs could sustainably offer health-related services with positive health and social impacts for client. The health services ranged from education, health-financing (loans, savings and microinsurance), to linkages to health providers and health products.
Impact research included client interviews; focus-group discussions; a randomised controlled trial; and cost-benefit analyses at the institutional level. Positive benefits were detected at the client and household levels, including improved health knowledge andbehaviours, and in access to health services and products. These findings support the idea that MFIs offer large and growing distribution networks that can provide an integrated set of services to improve both health and financial security of poor families.

A two-pronged approach : Microfinance can be leveraged to address health care expenditure for the poor

Bindu Shajan Perappadan. The Hindu (July 2012).

Read the full article at The Hindu (link will open in a new window).



Indian microfinance institutions (MFI) currently serve 71 million rural poor. Pairing financial services with access to life saving health interventions such as health financing, telemedicine and other innovations has tremendous potential. But it requires further commitment and resources to reach scale. An international development organisation, Freedom from Hunger notes in a report on `Integrated Health and Microfinance in India: Harnessing the strengths of two sectors to improve health and alleviate poverty’. The report was recently released along with the Microcredit Summit Campaign and the Indian Institute of Public Health, Gandhinagar.