OUR WORK ON FINANCIAL INCLUSION
Mainstreaming Banking through MFI-Business Correspondent model
Low-income populations in rural areas have remained financially excluded because serving them is commercially unviable for the banks. Our work on the MFI- Business Correspondent model is an important breakthrough to address this challenge. Combining the strengths of a commercial bank in designing and offering financial products with the reach of a microfinance institution to provide last mile access and induce behavior proved to be a game-changer and demonstrated that MFI- – Business Correspondent (BC) could be a viable and scalable model to drive financial inclusion. With generous support from the Metlife Foundation, Grameen Foundation brought technical assistance to a leading MFI Margdarshak and helped it transition into an MFI-BC.
Scaling Digital Financial Services through Research and Innovation
Customer centricity and evidence based design are two of the distinguishing features of our approach that have consistently helped us achieve breakthroughs. Dormancy in usage of bank accounts is a sticky challenge. For banks, it means huge sunk cost, while intended users do not benefit from financial services. Our in-depth research with over 25,000 customers to understand the reasons behind the account dormancy broke new ground in understanding the relationship between household’s livelihood profile and its account usage. It provided a nuanced and segmented breakdown of account usage behavior. With generous support from J P Morgan, we tested effective approaches to drive account usage, including focus on the value proposition for the low- income customers, particularly women, use of IVR (interactive Voice Response) for nudges and reminders and use of a mobile based learning platform G-LEAP to drive financial education.
Digital Inclusion via Education (DIVE)
Achieving sustained behavior change in adoption and usage of digital financial services is a critical breakthrough for the Digital Inclusion via Education (DIVE) project. Combining digital financial literacy with convenient access, building trust through local female agents called “Grameen Mittra” recruited from within the community, providing nudges and reminders through repeated door to door visits and assisted transactions for carefully identified use cases has created to a silent digital revolution in remote parts of Vidarbha region that has already impacted 250,000 people. With generous support from Citi India, the DIVE project is being further scaled to reach an additional 500,000 people.
As of January 2020, 340 Mittras have facilitated transactions worth more than 2.8 million Indian Rupees (US$40579), demonstrating significant pent-up demand for digital banking among poor populations in India. Mitras are also transforming their own lives by learning new skills, generating new income and increasing their financial independence.
Women Link: Catalyzing economic empowerment among women
Effective methods for financial literacy has been an area of interest for stakeholders working on financial inclusion. Our action research on combining human interface in the form of a Front Line Worker and digital technology (interactive Voice response system and mobile learning platform GLeap) provided an important breakthrough in optimizing between efficiency and effectiveness. ‘Women Link’ project is taking this breakthrough forward in 2 states to impact 75,000 low income women with generous support from Wells Fargo. The project puts into practice the learnings from behavioural economics and power of digital technology to ensure financial security and well- being of low-income women.
Youth Champions for Digital Finance
Over 300 young female volunteers in Bhandara district of Maharashtra are facilitating education and assistance in using digital financial services to thousands of rural women and youth. With generous support from Experian India, the project has impacted over 31,000 beneficiaries, helping them learn about digital finance. Youth Champions from the community working as volunteer are a key to the success of this initiative. Driven by their passion and an urge to do something for their society, these Youth Champions are bringing women from remote rural villages into the digital ecosystem.
Financial capacity building of Social Impact Organizations in Yes Foundation’s Accelerator Program cohort
Yes Bank Foundation has expressed interest to engage with Grameen Foundation for Social Impact (GFSI) to assist in a financial management intervention with a cohort of 23 social impact organisations which were selected by Yes Foundation under the Yes Foundation’s Accelerator Program. Grameen Foundation will utilise its extensive knowledge in designing and delivering market leading solutions that help nonprofits and social impact organizations serve the poor and grow their business.
Educating end users on Google Assistant through a high-touch women led network in Maharashtra state
Grameen Foundation India is to implement the Google Assistant programme to promote its usage by training 10,000 End users, including 2500 Engaged users, in Bhandara and Nagpur districts of Maharashtra. Under this project, Grameen mittras will be trained on training modules developed by NASSCOM/Google. Grameen mittra will then mobilise end users based on mobile ownership and in places according to above mentioned mobilisation plan and strategy. Grameen mittra will then train the end user on the use of google assistant from their mobiles and emphasise different use cases to keep users hooked to the tool and increase the usage.
Market Access through Digital Innovation in India (MANDI)
In partnership with Grameen Foundation USA and Walmart Foundation, GFI has launched an ambitious Project to strengthen the capacity of farmer producer organization’s (FPO) to connect smallholder farmers, especially women, to markets, finance and ag-tech solutions with the ultimate aim to improve farmers’ incomes and resilience in eastern Uttar Pradesh, India. GFI will build the capacity of 40 FPOs in eastern U.P to support 12,000 smallholder farmers (especially women) to diversify their agricultural production, and use digital data to make decisions regarding crop planning, production and marketing. Moreover, Grameen Mittras will support farmers’ access digital payments and other financial services to improve household resilience to shocks. GFI will also build capacity in gender mainstreaming to improve outreach, membership and leadership by women.
Business Correspondent Network- Experiments and Demonstrating Scale in India
Under this project GFI, in partnership with Grameen Foundation USA and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will conduct an action research to strengthen the Business Correspondent (BC) model in India. The project aims to answer key questions on the efficiency, productivity, profitability and sustainability of BC networks that can be integrated into the BC business model to make them more effective in driving financial inclusion amongst low income people, particularly women in rural India.
The primary outcome of this action research project is that scalable, effective BC models and approaches are communicated among interested stakeholders in order to drive replicability, financial sectoral learning and transformation. The research will drive informed pilots with established Business Correspondent Network Managers (BCNMs) to test more cost effective and agile ways of establishing and on-boarding new BC Agents and also improve viability of individual agents by testing various approaches of diversifying and increasing revenue.
Transform Agriculture Ecosystem of Uttar Pradesh in India
The Transform Agriculture in UP program builds on a knowledge partnership developed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) with the Department of Agriculture, Government of Uttar Pradesh (GoUP) since 2018 for the purposes of driving inclusive agricultural transformation in the state of UP. In partnership with Grameen Foundation USA, BMGF and Ernst and Young, the program seeks to transform the agricultural sector in select districts of UP by promoting a Food Systems approach to agriculture through nutrition-focused crop diversification, introducing innovative women-friendly and climate-smart technology and developing market linkages. The project will also (i) pilot innovations in service delivery models to farmer-producer organizations (FPOs) and develop five “lighthouse” FPOs; and (ii) embed technical support to Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare to provide strategic inputs in policy making and resource allocation, and upgrade government implementation capacity.
Anchoring BC Sakhi’s for Financial Inclusion in Uttar Pradesh
UP State Rural Livelihood Mission has approved the project titled “Anchoring BC Sakhi’s for Financial Inclusion in Uttar Pradesh” submitted jointly by Grameen Foundation India, Margdarshak Financial Services Limited and Airtel Payments Bank. In this consortium, GFI will provide technical support on training and capacity building on Financial Inclusion; and Airtel Payment Bank will be the financial and banking partner. The project will cover 11 districts, 103 blocks in Uttar Pradesh and onboard and capacitate 8,000 women as BC Sakhi’s who will work towards financial inclusion and expansion of the BC network in all project villages for doorstep delivery of financial services including social security products. It will also enable digital transactions within the SHG ecosystem.
For further details on breakthrough initiatives of Grameen Foundation, please contact Induja Rai at firstname.lastname@example.org
OUR WORK ON HEALTH AND NUTRITION
Mobile Technology for Health (MOTECH)
Despite a significant reduction, the maternal mortality, infant mortality and under 5 mortality rates in India remain at stubbornly high levels. Grameen Foundation’s Mobile Technology for Health (MOTECH) platform addresses this by imparting knowledge and actionable inputs at the right time to the specific target population- pregnant and lactating women. MOTECH delivers robust, cost-effective mobile health information at scale to influence behaviour to address maternal and child health, nutrition and family planning issues pan India.
Rajasthan Nutrition Project (RNP)
Training local women from within the community to become local leaders called Community Nutrition Advocates (CNAs) was a breakthrough of Rajasthan Nutrition Project that helped over 30,000 family members in addressing the issues of anaemia, premature and low-birth- weight babies and neonatal death.
Working closely with Freedom from Hunger India Trust (FFHIT) and local NGOs, Grameen Foundation developed an innovative behavior change communication strategy and built the capacity of over 1,250 women to become expert in nutrition and improved health practices.
Maa aur Shishu Swasthya (MASS)
Leveraging the largescale outreach of microfinance institutions and self-help groups to combine anaemia education along with financial services was an important breakthrough of Maa Aur Shishu Swastha (MASS) project. The program reached over half a million women by integrating the delivery of health education, financial services, and linkages to health care providers, helping them to incorporate easy modifications in their diets to battle maternal and child deaths, stunting and malnutrition.
For an exhaustive list of health and other projects implemented by the Grameen Foundation please contact Induja Rai at email@example.com
LAKSHYAVATI: ENPOWERING GIRLS WITH EDUCATION
GFI launched Lakshyavati to address the high school dropout rate of adolescent girls in India and empower them with education. Today, ‘Lakshyavati’ is enabling hundreds of ambitious girls from less privileged backgrounds continue their education through scholarships in the states of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.
Through ‘Lakshyavati’, GFI is proud to support the girls achieve their ‘LAKSHYA’- (Goal)
Awards And Recognition
Grameen Foundation’s role of being at the forefront of digital financial services and driving innovations that help the industry move forward is recognised by several prominent awards, such as:
CNBC TV18 in partnership with Union Bank recognised organisations and business leaders for their commendable contribution in the Financial Inclusion space. The awards were given by Hon’ble Union Minister of State for Finance Shri Shiv Pratap Shukla. On this occasion, Grameen Foundation India received an award in two categories:
- CNBC TV18 Financial Inclusion Award for Strategic Partnership for its Commendable Contributions to the Financial Inclusion Sector.
- CNBC TV18 Award for Advancing Financial Inclusion through Community Based Initiatives.
- NASSCOM Social Innovation Forum Award for GFI’s work to integrate mobile financial education and services in India. The work has enabled microfinance clients to use digital payment channels to repay their micro-loans.
- Mobile Kunji and mobile academy awards at the Mobile World Congress: was awarded for its work on MOTECH (mobile technology in health) for the best product or service for women in emerging markets.
Grameen Foundation has produced a set of videos which educate the underserved population on banking, mobile banking, and other financial products and have been integrated into the G-LEAP application. Apart from educating the user about the application, these videos are also shown to participants in conjunction with trained field worker-led education sessions. These videos can be found here.