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President Obama honors his mothers legacy at Women's World Banking

Speaking at the opening session of the Clinton Global Initiative in New York this week, President Obama lauded President Clinton and the attendees for their commitment to public service. He then spoke about how he has been shaped by that same spirit of service by his mother, "an anthropologist who dedicated her life to understanding and improving the lives of the rural poor.." He went on to cite the places where his mother had worked, including "...Women's World Banking here in New York, [where] she championed the cause of women's welfare and helped pioneer the micro loans that have helped lift millions out of poverty".

The President's mother, Ann Dunham-Soetoro, was WWB's policy coordinator in the mid-90's. One of her enduring legacies to the microfinance sector and women's empowerment was the work she did to inform the policy platform of the 1995 United Nations International Women's Conference in Beijing.
Women's World Banking applauds the President for honoring his mother's legacy, and acknowledging the "common principles of justice and progress, tolerance and dignity of all human beings" that inspire and shape all our work.

The full transcript of the President's speech and live streaming video of the CGI opening plennary session can be found by following the links below.

Transcript of speach

Watch video

Janashakthi joins global giants to develop microinsurance

Sunday Times.27 September 2009

Janashakthi Insurance PLC this week said it has signed up with renowned global re-insurer and giant Hannover Re and international microinsurance specialist Planet Guarantee to launch a range of microinsurance products in Sri Lanka.

Read full article

Invitation for Performance Indicator Workshop for French-speakers





Invitation pour
Atelier sur les indicateurs de performance de la micro-assurance
Dakar, 3 Novembre 2009


ADA, BRS et GTZ, membres actifs du réseau de micro-assurance (Microinsurance Network), sont heureux de vous inviter à une demi-journée d'atelier sur les indicateurs de performance de la micro-assurance.

Au cours des 4 dernières années, plus de 80 micro-assureurs venant d'Asie, d'Afrique et d'Amérique latine ont été formés à l'importance, l'utilisation et la pertinence des indicateurs de performance conçus pour la micro-assurance. Cette formation est destinée aux responsables des programmes de micro-assurance. Les participants à l'atelier pourront se faire une idée de l'importance et de l'analyse des indicateurs de performance clés. Les expériences des utilisateurs de la micro-assurance, de même que des outils pour l'analyse et l'examen des indicateurs de performance clés seront présentés et échangés.

L'atelier se déroulera à l'Hôtel 'Le Méridien Président' à Dakar, le 3 novembre 2009 de 9 à 12h30. La participation est gratuite, mais limitée à 30 personnes. Préférence sera donna aux participants de la région.  Les déplacements et frais de séjours sont à charge des participants. 

Pour s'inscrire, visitez :

Date butoir : 15 Octobre, 2009

Pour de plus amples informations, n'hésitez pas à contacter Véronique Faber.


ADA, BRS, GTZ et le Microinsurance Network


MicroEnsure Opens Kenyan Office

Tonic, 15 September 2009

MicroEnsure, the world's first insurance company that serves the needs of the poor, is opening a new office in Kenya after its ongoing success in Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda, India and the Philippines, according to an article in africanewsbreak.com

The company's goal is to reach sustainability for insurance companies to grow local economies in partnership with microfinance organizations, rural banks, as well as humanitarian organizations that are providing non-financial services.

According to the company, traditional insurance products have tended to fail in these markets because they didn't meet the needs of the poor. Despite this, the company said, demand for microinsurance products is growing.

“We are continuing MicroEnsure’s mission of providing insurance products for the poor, we are making a commitment to develop products that effectively meet the specific needs of the Kenyan market,” said Richard Leftley, the company's president. "We are looking to significantly expand the availability of microinsurance to the poor by making it easier to access, understand and afford."

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Alternative Insurance Company (AIC) of Haiti is a runner up in the Pioneers of Prosperity (PoP) Awards

ScrippsNews, 17 September 2009

The Pioneers of Prosperity (PoP) Awards, a veritable Oscars of entrepreneurship, lavished limelight and cash on cutting-edge, small-to-medium Caribbean businesses. Boston's OTF (ontheFRONTIER) Group and the Social Equity Venture (S.E.VEN) Fund, organized this initiative, with support from the John Templeton Foundation and the Inter-American Development Bank's Multilateral Investment Fund. PoP identifies Earth's leading entrepreneurs, integrates them into wider circles of capital and expertise, and highlights them as examples worldwide.

One of the two runners up was the Alternative Insurance Company of Haiti, launched in 2001, and member of the Microinsurance Network. CEO Olivier Barrau's microinsurance covers people who earn less than $4 per day. Through small transactions, Barrau and his 80-member team help those without much protect what little they have.

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Janashakthi partners Hannover Re and Planet Guarantee

Sri Lanka Daily News , 17 September 2009

Janashakthi Insurance entered into a partnership with Hannover Re and Planet Guarantee to introduce a range of microinsurance products in Sri Lanka. The tie up will make available a range of insurance covers to the potential customers.

Janashakthi Insurance PLC Managing Director, Prakash Schaffter said that although microinsurance is comparatively new to Sri Lanka, the concept is very relevant at this point of time. With less than one percent of the country’s 19.4 million population covered by microinsurance, it is evident that Sri Lanka has a massive market potential in this area. Microinsurance is an ideal tool to assist small entrepreneurs in the post-war Sri Lanka, with its visible and tangible resurgence of economic activity in different spheres both at micro and macro level, he said.

The main objective of microinsurance is to protect micro enterprises against unexpected eventualities.

It is a complementary financial instrument aiming at providing the low-income population with protection against known and unknown risks.

Microinsurance is a tailor made product targeted at specific needs of the population. As the first step it will offer credit life insurance to protect the borrower. It will be followed by crop insurance to protect the farmer community and a few more will be introduced shortly.

Hannover Re Worldwide Micro Insurance Program General Manager Claude Vercasson said, “Reinsurance is insurance for the insurance companies. It is the second level of insurance.

“With our extensive experience in the field of re-insurance and our long and successful relationship with Planet Guarantee, the partnership would benefit Janashakthi Insurance”.

Read article

Job vacancy at the Microinsurance Innovation Facility

Housed at the International Labour Organization's Social Finance Programme, the Microinsurance Innovation Facility seeks to increase the availability of quality insurance for the developing worlds low-income families to help them guard against risk and overcome poverty. The Facility was launched in 2008 with the support of a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. See more at www.ilo.org/microinsurance. The Facility is currently filling a Knowledge Officer position.

Reporting to the Chief Project Manager, the Knowledge Officer is responsible for managing knowledge generated through Facility innovation, research and technical assistance projects in order to enable further development of microinsurance in developing countries. The Knowledge Officer will cooperate with the Facility's Research Officer on extracting credible lessons learnt and with the Facility Communication Officer on effective dissemination of relevant knowledge to specific target audiences. Travel estimated to be 10-15% of the work time.

The Micro Insurance Academy and Save the Children host a workshop on Micro Health Insurance in Nepal (Kathmandu, 16-17 September 2009)

The Micro Insurance Academy (MIA) & Save the Children have been engaged for about a year now in efforts to elaborate micro health insurance solutions for rural and resource-poor families and communities in Nepal.

Earlier this year a baseline survey was conducted in Dhading and Banke districts, in order to obtain essential local data needed to calculate premiums and compose benefit packages.  Now that the initial analysis of the data is ready, we wish to share insights gained from our survey and discuss the underlying logic as well as the innovative value proposition of this activity.

For this purpose, we are organizing a two-day workshop on 16 and 17 September 2009 in the Himalaya Hotel, Kathmandu.  It is our great pleasure to invite you to attend this workshop.  

For more information and registration, please contact Ms. Manna Sainju at manna@mia.org.in.

MicroEnsure to provide cover against drought

Daily Nation Kenya, 2 September 2009

Drought could become an insurable risk following the entry into the country of an insurance intermediary dedicated to serving the poor with affordable cover.

Microensure’s weather indexed crop insurance provides protection for poor smallholder farmers against catastrophic drought. Lending for agriculture in areas prone to drought has been viewed as too high a risk because a few farmers are able to provide any form of collateral.

The microinsurance agency’s crop insurance product is designed to provide compensation to farmers when during a crop growing cycle, rainfall is insufficient to grow and optimise yields. For this model, drought is not measured by what happens on the field but by the amount of rainfall received.

Because it is not possible to take measurements on each individual farm, rainfall levels are taken at local meteorological stations. Participating farmers within a 20-kilometre radius of a station are assumed to have received the same amount of rainfall and to be affected in a similar manner.

In the case of severe drought, all farmers will receive compensation.

“The mechanism is simple, easy to administer and payouts are automatic so there is need for affected farmers to file a claim or an expensive loss verification procedure,” Microensure chief executive, Richard Leftley told reporters in Nairobi on Wednesday.

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Latest issue of Micro Insurance Voices available

The Micro Insurance Academy, on the eve of their 2 year anniversary, has published their latest issue of Micro Insurance Voices. The newsletter contains information regarding MIA's recent activity and progress, along with a message from their Chief Trustee and an article concerning a recently launched EU-funded project in which MIA and its consortium partners will implement community-based health insurance and measure its impact.

Click here to view newsletter