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.

All aboard! Adding new wheels to the microfinance locomotive.

Dunford, Christopher. Microfinance Insights, 10: 37–39. (Jan/Feb 2009).

Get the article at Microfinance Insights (link will open in a new window).

Abstract

Over the last several decades, microfinance institutions have created an infrastructure of service delivery to the poor. Tens of thousands of microfinance field officers fan out across the developing world every day to meet groups of borrowers.

These relationships and channels can be used to leverage the delivery of services beyond credit, bringing greater benefit to the end customer. And, microfinance institutions could make financial gains in the process. Christopher Dunford, President of Freedom from Hunger, explains the rationale behind this shift and his organization’s experience with providing education along with credit.

Financing healthier lives: Empowering women through integration of microfinance and health education.

Dunford, Christopher, April Allen Watson and Anna Awimbo. United Nations Population Fund and Microcredit Summit Campaign. 20pp. (2008). NY: United Nations Population Fund. (English Only)

Get the publication at United Nations Population Fund (link will open in a new window).

Abstract

This document is an update of an earlier edition published in 2006 and primarily focuses attention on the strategy of integrating microfinance services with health education. Highlighted within are MCS's and UNFPA’s joint global efforts to empower women using this strategy, employing methodology developed by and receiving training in its use by a key partner, Freedom from Hunger.

Included is analysis from innovative work in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Of special note are the results from a pilot project in India that shows how local capacity can effectively be built to accelerate the large-scale global adoption of integration. The document also serves as a call to action for development agencies, governments, microfinance institutions (MFIs), and donors to invest in this strategy that holds the promise of making many of the MDG targets truly achievable. The final section offers eight concrete recommendations for action to realize the potential of the “combined services” approach of integrating microfinance services with health education. All eight actions rely on the development agencies, governments, MFIs and donors to promote integrated health education and microfinance while championing microfinance as one of the pillars for meeting the MDGs.

Leveraging SHGs to advance girls’ access to resources and influence in rural India: Learning games for girls

Chanani, Sheila and Bobbi Gray. In "Optimizing Microfinance Distribution Channels". Pages 8-17 (2008). Chennai, India : Centre for Microfinance at IFMR.

Abstract

This Freedom from Hunger report details product attributes of their adolescent health education training program, Learning Games for Girls, and discusses the development and implementation of this product. Following the authors’ discussion of the pilot program’s deployment through SHGs, the authors highlight key challenges and lessons learned from providing services to this target population.

Business training for microfinance clients: how it matters and for whom.

Frisancho, Verónica, Dean Karlan and Martin Valdivia. Poverty & Economic Policy Research Network: PMMA Working Paper 2008-11. 36pp. (May 2008). (English Only)

Get the article at Microfinance Gateway (link will open in a new window).

Abstract

This study evaluates the impact of adding entrepreneurial training to a microfinance program. It measures the impact of a business training program for female microentrepreneur clients of a group banking program of FINCA Peru, an MFI that sponsors village banks for poor, female microentrepreneurs.

Using the Credit with Education model, the experiment assigned clients randomly to either treatment or control groups. Treatment groups received thirty to sixty minute entrepreneurship training sessions during their normal weekly group banking meeting. This activity was sustained for a period of 1–2 years. Control groups met weekly with the group banking program solely for making loan and savings payments. The study found strong benefits for the MFI in the form of higher loan repayment and client retention; improved business processes and knowledge by the clients, an increase in business sales and a reduction in the fluctuation of business revenue; and significant heterogeneity in client exposure within the treatment group. The paper demonstrates that educating female entrepreneurs with access to credit about successful business practices can help both the client’s business and the MFI.

Enhancing the impact of microfinance: Client demand for health protection services on three continents.

Metcalfe, Marcia and Myka Reinsch Sinclair. Freedom from Hunger discussion paper. 26pp. (April 2008). (English Only)

Abstract

This paper is based on the market research that Freedom from Hunger and five microfinance institutions conducted in 2006 to understand the impact of health on poor livelihoods and their ability to repay loans. It also examines the need for health financing in Bolivia, Bénin, Burkina Faso, India and the Philippines.

The results reinforce the need for appropriate health services for microfinance clients all across the world, and highlight the importance of services like health education, training programs and health finance. Freedom from Hunger studied the local health needs, demands, available services and MFI capacities, and introduced five innovative health protection packages that are not only relevant, but also sustainable and scalable/replicable.

How microfinance can work for the poor: The case for integrating microfinance with education and health services.

Dunford, Christopher, Sheila Leatherman, Myka Reinsch Sinclair, Marcia Metcalfe, Bobbi Gray and Ellen Vor der Bruegge. Freedom from Hunger discussion paper. 5pp. (2007). (English Only)

Get the article at Microfinance Gateway (link will open in a new window).

Abstract

This paper examines the development of a strategy that can offer the poor access to a coordinated combination of microfinance and other development services to meet their multifaceted needs.

Increasing income and assets alone is not enough to combat serious challenges that the poor face, such as childhood malnutrition, maternal and neonatal mortality and HIV/AIDS. Provision of integrated services through creative partnerships between different development sectors can lead to operational efficiencies and synergies of benefits. The paper provides information about integrated efforts by MFIs in areas like health education, health financing and insurance, links to health care providers and access to health products. It concludes that:

  • Integration of microfinance with non-financial services has great potential for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs);
  • Extension of integrated services on a large scale for national and global impact requires high level support;
  • Governments and development agencies can expedite the achievement of the MDGs by supporting integration of poverty-focused microfinance and non-financial services.

Microfinance against malaria: Impact of Freedom from Hunger's malaria education when delivered by rural banks in Ghana.

Gray, Bobbi, Benjamin Crookston, Natalie de la Cruz and Natasha Ivins. Freedom from Hunger Research Paper No. 8. 103pp. (January 2007). Davis, CA: Freedom from Hunger. (English with French and Spanish Executive Summaries)

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