Health shocks are the most prominent idiosyncratic shocks and stresses that low-income households face. Demand for health financing support is often higher than any other financial risk management solution, and demand far exceeds the supply. An improved and expanded choice of health financing options is needed to ensure low-income households have financial instruments to anticipate, respond to, and recover from health events without resulting in increased vulnerability and poverty traps. This will require patient and long-term investments from donors, investors, governments, health service actors and the financial services sector and will require thinking about health financing through an ecosystem lens, where demand generation for and supply of health services and health financing should be designed to intersect.
The Grameen Foundation program, “Women’s Savings Groups for Better Reproductive Health in Bénin” advanced opportunities for rural women and their husbands to make choices about reproductive health that best fit their individual and family needs. It built on “Healthy Savings,” an earlier program by Freedom from Hunger (now part of Grameen Foundation). The Reproductive Health program worked with women’s savings groups to combine health savings with access to family planning education and linkages to health providers. The program served 11,590 women in 516 savings groups. Gender Dialogues--facilitated conversations about family planning—engaged husbands and partners in discussion, leading to greater joint decision-making among women and men in planning families and choosing birth control.
In 2015, Freedom from Hunger India Trust, Grameen Foundation and RESULTS Educational Fund launched the Maa aur Shishu Swasthya (MASS) (Mother and Child Health) program in India. Integrating the delivery of health education, financial services, and linkages to health care providers, the program reached more than half a million Indian women. Key components were implemented in West Bengal and Jharkhand with financial service partners Aikyatan Development Society (ADS) and Bandhan Konnagar. This comprehensive report highlights the key findings and learnings, and contains links to related resources developed by the program’s Community of Practice for Health and Microfinance (COPHAM).
This report shows how integration between the robust, pro-poor microfinance sector and the health sector can drive progress on two of the factors most critical to achieving universal health coverage (UHC) in India: 1) ensuring the poorest and most vulnerable households are effectively reached, enrolled and actively use the coverage and 2) public, private or civil society actors delivering support services that fill the gaps in services and financing.
Grameen Foundation research among low-income urban residents in India finds a gaping need for dental health financing and services. Nearly half of those surveyed had experienced an dental ailment in the last year, and nearly half of those did not seek care. Lack of dental health awareness, financing and access to services were major obstacles.
Unmet demand for family planning in Bénin is acute. Grameen Foundation, in partnership with two local non-governmental organization (NGO) partners in Bénin—APHEDD (Association pour la Promotion de l’Homme, la Protection de l’Environnement pour un Développement Durable and FADeC (Femmes Actrices de Développement Communautaire)— is working to integrate family planning support into APHEDD and FADeC’s existing Savings Group programs, in a new project called Women’s Savings Groups for Better Reproductive Health in Bénin which seeks to advance opportunities for rural women and...
The Rajasthan Nutrition Project uses women’s self-help groups as a foundation to address India’s crisis of rural malnutrition. Find out how Community Nutrition Advocates working with indigenous women have improved the lives of more than 30,000 women, men and children in poor, marginalized communities.
In a part of India where over half of children and women suffer from anemia, the Maa aur Shishu Swathya (MASS), or Mother and Child Health Project, has worked since 2015 to bring women and their families an integrated, comprehensive package of financial services, health financing, health education and linkages to formal health providers. Find out how this project has improved life-saving knowledge of good nutrition and health practices.
Women’s Savings Groups for Better Reproductive Health in Bénin has delivered family planning education to women in hundreds of savings groups in the country’s southern region. It builds upon a savings program that has enabled thousands of women to save for health-related issues. See how the project has empowered women to take care of their own and their families’ health. Watch for additional impacts on empowering rural women and men to make thoughtful and informed decisions regarding planning their families.
Building Resilience in Burkina Faso builds women’s capacity to withstand climate shocks and improve their livelihoods through their engagement in Savings Groups. Find out how an integrated package of agricultural, nutrition, health and financial information and services, along with gender dialogues is changing the lives of women and their family members.