Articles

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.

Integrating Microfinance and Health Benefits, Challenges and Reflections for Moving Forward

Leatherman, Sheila, Christopher Dunford, Marcia Metcalfe, Myka Reinsch, Megan Gash and Bobbi Gray. Global Microcredit Summit 2011. 49pp (July 2011)

Get the article at Global Microcredit Summit 2011 (link will open in a new window).

Abstract

Microfinance clients and their families often face health challenges that impede their ability to use financial services to improve their lives. Health shocks are among the most common reasons that clients fail to repay, save, and remain active customers. For the benefit of both their social and financial bottom lines, many microfinance providers have felt compelled to help clients prevent and/or treat common health problems. They have developed a variety of responses, ranging from preventive health education to healthcare financing (commitment savings, emergency loans and insurance) to provision of health services and products. This paper surveys the range of experience of microfinance providers of all types and geographies, as well as the available evidence of impacts for clients, families, and communities and the cost and benefits to the microfinance providers who offer health protection options. Lessons for practice and ideas for experimentation and research are offered with the full expectation that integration of microfinance and health protection will become increasingly common in poverty alleviation programs.

Freedom from Hunger Savings Group News

Freedom from Hunger Staff, June 2011.

AIM Youth Newsletter (Summer 2011)

Freedom from Hunger, AIM Youth team.

Malaria Education Policy Brief

Gray, Bobbi. 3pp. (April 2011). Davis, CA : Freedom from Hunger

History of Meals for Millions, Soy, and Freedom from Hunger (1946-2011): Extensively Annotated Bibliography and Sourcebook

Shurtleff, William and Akiko Aoyagi. Soyinfo Center, P.O. Box 234, Lafayette, CA 94549-0234 USA (February 2011).

This is the most comprehensive book ever published about the history of Meals for Millions or Freedom from Hunger. It has been compiled, one record at a time over a period of 35 years, in an attempt to document the history of soy in this region. It is also the single most current and useful source of information on this subject.

Integrating microfinance and health strategies: examining the evidence to inform policy and practice

Sheila Leatherman, Marcia Metcalfe, Kimberley Geissler and Christopher Dunford. 17pp. (February 2011). Chapel Hill, NC : Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina and Davis, CA : Freedom from Hunger.

Abstract

Introduction Single solutions continue to be inadequate in confronting the prevalent problems of poverty, ill health and insufficient health system capacity worldwide. The poor need access to an integrated set of financial and health services to have income security and better health.

Over 3500 microfinance institutions (MFIs) provide microcredit and financial services to more than 155 million households worldwide. Conservative estimates indicate that at least 34 million of these households are very poor by the definition in the Millennium Development Goals, representing around 170 million people, many in remote areas beyond the reach of health agencies, both private and governmental. A small but increasing number of MFIs offer health-related services, such as education, clinical care, community health workers, health-financing and linkages to public and private health providers.

Review of evidence Multiple studies indicate the effectiveness of microfinance and its impact on poverty. A small but growing number of studies also attempt to show that MFIs are capable of contributing to health improvement by increasing knowledge that leads to behavioural changes, and by enhancing access to health services through addressing financial, geographic and other barriers. While these studies are of uneven quality, they indicate positive health benefits in diverse areas such as maternal and child health, malaria and other infectious disease, and domestic violence. While more rigorous research is needed to inform policy and guide programme implementation to integrate microfinance and health interventions that can reliably enhance the well-being of the poor, there is useful evidence to support the design and delivery of integrated programmes now.

Conclusion Worldwide, current public health programmes and health systems are proving to be inadequate to meet population needs. The microfinance sector offers an underutilized opportunity for delivery of health-related services to many hard-to-reach populations.

Findings from Microfinance Institutions Offering Health Services to Clients

Leatherman, Sheila, Somen Saha, Megan Gash and Marcia Metcalfe. Freedom from Hunger Research Paper No. 12. 7pp. (December 2010). Davis, Ca : Freedom from Hunger.

Saving for Change Impact Stories

Miller, Jaclyn and Megan Gash. Freedom from Hunger Research Paper No. 14. 26pp. (December 2010). Davis, CA : Freedom from Hunger.

Strengths, Weaknesses and Evolution of the Peace Corps’ 11-Year-Old Savings Group Program in Ecuador

Fleischer Proaño, Laura, Megan Gash and Amelia Kuklewicz. Freedom from Hunger Research Report No. 13. 37pp. (October 2010). Davis, CA : Freedom from Hunger.

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