Projects

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.

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  • A Breakthrough for financial inclusion

    The Success of Margdarshak in using MFI- BC model to provide banking services in rural areas has opened the doors for over 45 million customers of microfinance institutions all over the country to access full banking services.

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.

  • Economic Inclusion as a pathway for financial inclusion

    Understanding the relationship between the household livelihood profile and account usage was a new paradigm. It helped us to look at financial inclusion as an outcome of economic inclusion instead of the other way round, and brought the focus back on customer- centricity in financial education and inclusion efforts.

  • Product Development Incubator for Mass Market Banking

    Financial service providers are always on the lookout to develop innovative products and services for their clients. Shared insights give them vital ideas to customize their products according to client requirements. Grameen Foundation’s client-centric Product Development Incubator Program, introduced new products, shared insights and learnings about client behavior, all towards a goal of encouraging financial service providers (FSPs) to design and deliver client centric financial products. This incubator enabled Grameen Foundation through its partners to cater to a mass market of 100,000 clients who lived below $2.50/day poverty line.

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.

  • Grameen Mittras at the heart of driving sustained behavior change

    ‘Harsha Dongre’, is affectionately called “TEZ BANK” in her village. And this is not just because she helps people access financial services at their doorstep. They don’t have to forego a day’s wage just to visit a bank, as they can access all their banking services right at their doorstep with help from ‘Harsha’. Trained as a Grameen Mittra by the DIVE project, ‘Harsha’ is particularly appreciated by rural women who face mobility restrictions. They can now save and invest in small chunks to achieve their goals and build a secure and resilient future. Breakthrough of Grameen Mittras like Harsha validates our belief that women are key to ending poverty, when empowered with the right resources and tools.

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.

Digital & life skills training of girls in public libraries in Nagpur supported by Nasscom Foundation

Grameen Foundation for Social Impact (GFSI) is due to deliver trainings around ‘Technology Empowering Girls/Community (TEG/TEC)’ in 5 Public libraries in Nagpur & Maharashtra for the year 2019-20. GFSI is to train girls in basic digital literacy, soft skills and life skills.

For further details on breakthrough initiatives of Grameen Foundation, please contact Prateep Chakraborty at pchakraborty@grameenfoundation.in

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.

  • The project improved health outcomes for millions of pregnant women and their families by improving the health awareness and training and by providing job aid to the frontline health workers. This project supplemented the deployment of the National MOTECH System (NMS) for the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) to deliver Mobile Academy, Mobile Kunji, and Mobile Kilkari nationally.

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.

  • The project resulted in women having greater decision-making authority within households and improved the household food security. Men and Women were engaged in gender dialogues, resulting in joint decisions by them.

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 Prateep Chakraborty at pchakraborty@grameenfoundation.in

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)