This paper provides diverse examples of microfinance institutions that have responded successfully to the challenge of integrating microfinance with nonfinancial services, without compromising the impacts or sustainability of their microfinance and overall operations. Special attention is given to the integration of microfinance with health education for very poor women, including the promotion of family planning and HIV/AIDS prevention management. The credit and education components reinforce each other by addressing the informational as well as the economic obstacles to health and nutrition. There is good potential for large-scale, self-financing delivery of microfinance and education together in one efficient and effective service package. The key element is delivery of both services by one field staff. This requires management to make an extra commitment to staff recruitment, training, and supervision. Where operating grants are available to support nonfinancial services, management may prefer to employ two specialized field staffs to deliver the two types of service in parallel to the same clients.
Christopher Dunford is President of Freedom from Hunger, 1644 DaVinci Court, Davis, CA 95616, U.S.A., telephone 1-530-758-6200, fax 1-530-758-6241.
Journal of Microfinance
Issue and Volume
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
"Building Better Lives: Sustainable Integration of Microfinance and Education in Child Survival, Reproductive Health, and HIV/AIDS Prevention for the Poorest Entrepreneurs,"
Journal of Microfinance / ESR Review: Vol. 3
, Article 2.
Available at: http://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/esr/vol3/iss2/2