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Review "Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise: How MFIs Can Track the Health of Clients," a webinar to discuss how you and your partners can measure client health and well-being.
The webinar featured presentations from two of India's leading microfinance institutions, ESAF Microfinance and Equitas Micro Finance Pvt Ltd. They will share the results of the "Empowering Poor Women through Integrated Health and Financial Services in India: Measuring Impact of Health and Microfinance" project led by Freedom from Hunger and the Microcredit Summit Campaign.
With funding support from Johnson & Johnson, these two organizations set out in 2014 to develop and test a standardized set of "Health Outcome Performance Indicators" (HOPI) that can be used by microfinance institutions (MFIs), self-help promotion institutions (SHPIs), and other financial service providers (FSPs) to monitor the health outcomes of clients over time. The HOPI relied on a cross-sectoral collaborative process, including the involvement of the SEEP Network's HAMED Working Group members, health sector experts, investors, and practitioners who provided input during the indicator selection process as well as the analysis and interpretation of the data.
The webinar focused on the following questions:
- Do the benefits of tracking health outcomes outweigh the costs of the ongoing client data collection?
- You may be asking yourself, why do we care? If MFIs don't have health programs, what do they get out of collecting data on client health?
- Why not just collect the PPI data? Did this give MFIs a better picture of their clients' vulnerability than what the PPI alone can tell them?
Why the Health Outcome Performance Indicators are important:
- They are practical for FSPs to measure and monitor client health over time (annually or as part of other monitoring tools such as the PPI).
- They can be reported by clients in a monitoring survey.
- They can be benchmarked to other regional, national, and global health goals and data.
- They are reliable and are subject to change over time.
- They will be relevant and useful for FSPs to measure and improve measures of program impact on client health and well-being.
- They will provide donors, investors, government, health actors, and others with important information to guide decisions about support and social investment.
John Alex - Vice President and Head of Social Initiatives at Equitas Group and Program Director, Equitas Development Initiatives Trust, India
John Alex, after graduating in agriculture and rural development, started his career as a Group II Gazetted Officer in Tamil Nadu State Government and served as an extension officer (agriculture) and block development officer in North Arcot District, Tamil Nadu from 1979 to 1983. Mr. Alex joined the Indian Overseas Bank as a probationary officer and served as agriculture field officer, branch manager, regional assistant chief officer, senior manager, and chief manager in various branches in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh from 1983 to 2008. Mr. Alex joined the Management Team of Equitas in 2008 and conceptualized and set up the team for social initiatives with a clear focus to address a larger spectrum of requirements of clients in the field of health, education, skill development, food security, and placement for unemployed youth.
Bobbi Gray - Research & Evaluation Specialist, Freedom from Hunger, USA
Bobbi joined Freedom from Hunger in 2004. She leads research and evaluation efforts and works closely with the organization’s partners to determine solutions for assessing and measuring the social performance and impacts of integrated financial and non-financial services for adults and youth, including feedback of this information to stakeholders for decision-making. She has experience with both quantitative and qualitative methodologies, including sampling and analysis methodologies such as Lot Quality Assurance Sampling, financial diaries, qualitative “impact stories,” and Randomized Control Trial evaluations. In the past year, Bobbi has focused on working with a cross-sectoral team of experts to design a short-list of client outcome indicators focused on client health. She is also the Facilitator of the Health and Market Development (HAMED) working group at the Small Enterprise Education and Promotion Network (SEEP). She holds a Master of Public Administration degree in International Management from the Monterey Institute of International Studies, a Bachelor of Arts degree in French and Spanish from Texas Tech University, and speaks both languages.
Sandhya Suresh - Senior Manager, ESAF Microfinance and Investments Pvt Ltd, India
Sandhya Suresh works as senior manager with ESAF Microfinance and Investments Pvt Ltd based in the southernmost part of India in the state of Kerala. Ms. Suresh is a development professional with over 16 years of experience in the social development sector. Her primary interest and work is in social research where she likes to engage with low income women who struggle both socially and economically to keep up to the expectations of her family and community. She has engaged with ESAF’s beneficiaries in various capacities as a trainer, strategy developer, project coordinator, and team leader managing social research (including impact assessments). As an SPM champion with ESAF Microfinance, she has tried to oversee and guide the operations towards adhering to responsible finance and client protection principles. Ms. Suresh possesses a Master’s in Development Communications and has actively participated in the working groups that developed the Universal Standards of Social Performance and also in the development of SPI4 the assessment tool to measure SPM. Ms. Suresh remains fully committed to the cause of bringing positive change in the lives of poor women through the platform of microfinance where in women are in a position to reduce the vulnerability attached to insufficient finances to meet the food, education, and housing expenses that are fundamental to every human being.
D.S.K. Rao - Regional Director, Microcredit Summit Campaign, USA
Dr. D.S.K.Rao is the Regional Director of Microcredit Summit Campaign (MCS), based in Hyderabad, India. MCS draws heavily on his wide experience and familiarity with the sector in Asia. Dr. Rao is a certified trainer of poverty measurement tools, including Cashpor House Index (CHI) and Participatory Wealth Ranking (PWR) and the Progress Out Of Poverty Index (PPI). He is presently implementing a Johnson and Johnson funded project for integrating health with microfinance in India, in collaboration with Freedom From Hunger. He is partnering with some of the largest and most reputable MFIs in India on health integration. He also coordinated with Equitas and ESAF in piloting the project on health indicators.