International Network of
Alternative Financial Institutions
invites you to the
Microfinance Café – Roundtable Discussions
1. Microfinance and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
2. Microfinance and Climate Change: Post – Disaster Restoration of Livelihoods
Fifty ( 50 ) Participants will be invited who are heads or representatives of microfinance programmes, researchers
from the academe and research institutions, representatives from relevant government agencies, and
representatives from development organizations (local or international) and civil society organization that directly deal
Date and venue
November 12, 2010 at the Conrado Benitez Hall, PRRM Building, 56 Mo. Ignacia St. cor. Dr. Lascano, Paligsahan,
For confirmation and queries , please contact 371-21-39 and look for Irene Fernandez or Ching Abril of the INAFI
The International Network of Alternative Financial Institutions (INAFI), a global network of microfinance practitioners,
share the goal of addressing poverty through microfinance. Since 1995, INAFI has continued to expand as a network
across three continents: Asia, Africa and Lain America. Currently, INAFI has more than 300 alternative financial
institution members and affiliates that serve about 25 million people around the world. INAFI aims to enhance the
capacity of member organizations in areas related to microfinance services, including the design of microfinance
programmes and management, poverty reduction programmes and policy advocacy for pro-poor policies. Moreover,
INAFI focuses on increasing access to microfinance for the poor and disadvantaged population, appropriate pricing,
demand-driven products and enabling regulatory framework. In addition, it provides research studies related to
impact of microfinance on people‟s livelihood.
INAFI is one with the world in fulfilling the promise of helping the poor to attain a life of dignity including food
security, health, education and decent livelihoods. INAFI continues to provide the poor with the capacity to direct
their own development path by enhancing their skills and opportunities through access to financial services.
INAFI‟s identified frontiers in development include Microfinance and the MDG and Food Security. It is in this vein that
we would like to share and learn on two key topics for discussion in this RTD.‟s
Microfinance and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
Microfinance is not a mere financial instrument but a powerful tool to address multiple aspects of poverty which the
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) want to address. Globally, microfinance has been recognized as a powerful
instrument to address poverty. Perhaps, no other development instrument has generated so much enthusiasm and
promise in recent past in impacting to the lives of the poor.
In September 2000, 189 heads of states adopted the Millennium Declaration which outlines the MDGs where
governments pledged commitment to achieve 18 development targets and 48 indicators by 2015. The commitment to
achieve the goals was reaffirmed in 2005 in Mexico. This year, these nations have reported on their achievements.
Philippines is one with the world in keeping its promise to achieve the MDGs, but how far have we achieved?
It cannot be denied that microfinance have contributed to the Millennium Development Goals. Access to financial
services underpins the ability of the poor to achieve the MDGs on their own terms in a sustainable way. Evidence
shows that poor people choose to invest in a wide range of assets: better nutrition, improved health, access to
schooling, a better shelter and expansion of their small businesses.
Microfinance support the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger through the small loans that can help break the
cycle of poverty when it is invested in an economic activity that generates increased earnings. Studies of
microfinance clients show that: clients have graduated out of poverty; have doubled income; reduced food deficits.
Access to financial services improve education and increased incomes allow poor people to invest in their children‟s
future. Studies on the impact of microfinance on children‟s schooling show that: clients spent at least a third on their
Access to financial services improve the health of children and women as some microfinance programs explicitly
include education on basic health issues as part of their credit and savings methodology. Studies show that financial
services have had a strong positive impact on children and women‟s health:
There have been few studies of the impact of financial services for the poor on public infrastructure. Evidence shows
that increased earnings lead the poor to invest in improved housing, water, and sanitation.
Access to financial services empower women as their ability to borrow, save, and earn income enhances poor
women‟s confidence, enabling them to better confront systemic gender inequities. Existing studies show that this
empowerment takes different forms: make joint decisions with their husbands concerning allocation of household
money, children‟s education, use of contraceptives and decision on family size; make decisions on buying and selling
property, sending daughters to school, marrying children, and family planning; have lobbied for higher wages, the
rights of women in the informal sector, and resolving neighborhood issues; and clients of microfinance programs
have run for local government office and won.
With all the above statements of microfinance success, microfinance and the microfinance sector can therefore
significantly contribute to the attainment of the MDG‟s as the challenge gears up towards 2015.
With these premises, INAFI will hold a roundtable discussion (RTD) to gather microfinance practitioners and
scholars and call upon the sector to strengthen its resolve in contributing immensely and significantly, to the
achievement of the MDGs as we near 2015.
Specifically, the RTD would serve as discussion sharing on INAFI India‟s experience on “ Co-branding the MDG “
and on INAFI Asia‟s policy on the MDG.
At the end of the RTD, participants would have a common understanding on microfinance MDG contributions,
yardsticks and shared directions in moving forward beyond 2015.
Microfinance and Climate Change: Post-Disaster Restoration of Livelihoods and Climate Change Adaptation
Microfinance practitioners and their clients now feel the immediate effects of climate change. Affects to livelihood
and food security will soon intensify and result to -- decreasing crop production, increasing the disease burden and
incidence of malnutrition More importantly, it will cause deaths through disease, flood and droughts, and other
natural disasters whose frequency and intensity will increase due to global warming. In other words, climate change
will reverse the progress that poor people have made using financial services provided by the MFIs (Dowla, 2009).
The microfinance sector remain silent ( if not less concerned )on climate change. This was obvious during the
Copenhagen Summit. Experts have cautioned that Latin America, Asia and Africa will bear the brunt of
consequences of climate change.
In not so distant past, a Tsunami struck South Asia wiping out livelihoods after livelihoods including that of millions of
MFI clients in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. In post Tsunami situation, the gargantuan
challenge for MFI‟s and development workers was how to rebuild and restore livelihoods of millions, but how prepare
are we? Climate change in these times can have the impact similar to that of the Indonesian Tsunami.
Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng that engulfed almost the whole metropolitan Manila and Northern and Central Luzon
with flood waters caught residents of those areas and even government unprepared and basically unguarded. This
has heavily affected the microfinance sector. With the continuing threat and effect of climate change, how will
microfinance sector adapt?. How do we „„climate change proof” and “disaster prepared “ our products and services?
How can we sustain microfinance interventions and restore livelihoods in post disaster situations?
These are some of the key questions that will be discussed during the Session on Microfinance and Climate
Change: Post-disaster Restoration of Livelihoods and Climate Change Adaptation.
1. To start discussions and deepen consciousness on climate change and its effects on the microfinance
2. To discuss on possible solutions and common actions.
3. to share and learn from experiences
This serves an invitation to :