Doing It Big or Small: Health and Microfinance at Your Level

This breakout session is supported by an educational grant from Johnson & Johnson

Featured speakers

Moderator:Dr. D.S.K. Rao, Regional Director for Asia-Pacific, Microcredit Summit Campaign, India
Speakers:Ms. Marilyn Manila, Director of the Community Development Group, CARD MRI, Philippines
Ms. Cassie Chandler, Global Manager, Microfinance and Health Protection, Freedom from Hunger, USA
Mr. Ediri Iruaga, Country Program Director, Partners for Development, Nigeria
Ms. Reem Badran, Chairwoman, Alwatani Microfinance Bank, Jordan


Microfinance institutions (MFIs) and community savings groups occupy a position of strategic importance in poor communities across the world. They offer access to financial and other important services to marginalized and socially excluded people.

At the top of the food chain, large MFIs like CARD MRI in the Philippines can roll out a simple health message to hundreds of thousands of people in a matter of months. They can act as a catalyst bringing together other global development organizations, donors, and government agencies with a common goal (improving health) and common target population (poor/marginalized/rural) to leverage the strengths of each.

At the bottom of the pyramid, you have groups of women mobilized in savings groups taking the future of their community’s development in their own hands. Under Freedom from Hunger’s project in Benin, health savings groups are using their savings to address community infrastructure needs.

We’ll take a look at both approaches and discuss the challenges and opportunities in delivering health and microfinance services at each level.

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