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Financial Risk Protection for MSE Borrowers of Bank & Non-Bank Financials (NBF) - An Insurance Shield Model

Duration (from month/year/to month/year): 01/2019 to 12/2019

Employer/Client: Nathan Associates London Ltd. , DFID


This pilot project initiative was accepted under the Rolling Round of BFP-B (Business Finance for the Poor in Bangladesh) Challenge Fund Program. This program was funded by UK aid where Financial Institutions Division (FID), Ministry of Finance, Government of Bangladesh is the Executing Agency, Bangladesh Bank is the Implementing Agency and it is managed by Nathan Associates London Ltd.

Pragati Life Insurance Limited led the project in partnership with Paragti Insurance Limited, the product owner for asset coverage, MicroInspire, the technical partner and Banks who were the policy owners. INAFI Bangladesh has been associated with this project as sub-contractor.

A composite like micro-insurance product (covering life, credit and asset) has been developed under this pilot project especially for the MSE borrowers of Bank & Non-Bank Financial Institutions (NBFIs) as part of financial inclusion. 

Tasks performed by INAFI Bangladesh:

· Conducting research and developing the report on “Demand and Affordability Study for a new stapled insurance product for MSE borrowers of Banks and NBFIs”

· Designing and developing content for promotional and training materials for insurance awareness education of the clients in consultation with the lead agency

· Providing a number of TOTs to the staffs of the Banks and NBFIs for building their capacity on the composite micro-insurance product features, awareness education and field level operation

· Organizing workshops for promoting the product and awareness building

· Advisory services to the lead agency, Pragati Life Insurance Limited

Private-Private Initiative for Access to Insurance Program: Financial Inclusion for the MSE; A Sustainable Micro-Insurance Business Model

Duration (from month/year/to month/year): 12/2016 to 11/2019

Employer/Client: Nathan Associates London Ltd., DFID


This was a pilot project initiative accepted under BFP-B (Business Finance for the Poor in Bangladesh) Second Challenge Fund Program. This program was funded by UK aid where Financial Institutions Division (FID), Ministry of Finance, Government of Bangladesh is the Executing Agency, Bangladesh Bank is the Implementing Agency and it is managed by Nathan Associates London Ltd. 

In this private-private initiative, Pragati Life Insurance Limited was the lead partner and product-owner, Paragti Insurance Limited was the product owner for asset coverage, INAFI Bangladesh was the associate partner, MicroInspire was the technical partner and MFIs were the policy owner.

Through this project a composite product has been developed through which the participant borrowers of the partner MFIs will get inclusive risk coverage of life, liability and asset under a single premium. This will not only help to ensure financial inclusion by combining microfinance and micro-insurance but also create a scope for efficient and sustainable private-private partnership model.

Tasks performed by INAFI Bangladesh:

· Act as associate partner as well as facilitator to implement this project

· Exploring market by building partnership with MFIs

· Conducting demand and affordability study on micro-insurance product on the MSE borrowers of the microfinance institutions and developing a study report 

· Assisting lead organization in developing the product features and pro duct pricing

· Promotional and training material designing and development for insurance awareness education of the clients

· Capacity building of the MFI staff on the composite micro-insurance product, awareness education and field level operation

· Coordination and Monitoring of the project activities at the field level

· Reporting-R&D

Piloting of Weather Index Based Crop Insurance Project, Bangladesh

Duration (from month/year/to month/year): 05/2015 to 06/2018

Employer/Client: Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Government of Bangladesh


This was a Pilot Project on Weather Index Based Crop Insurance (WIBCI) implemented by Sadharan Bima Corporation and Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) funded jointly by the Government of Bangladesh (Financial Institutions Division, Ministry of Finance) and Asian Development Bank. INAFI acted as a consortium partner as well as local consultant lead by BASICS Ltd., India which worked as international consultant, engaged by Sadharan Bima Corporation (SBC) for providing “Advisory and technical Services” for the project in Bangladesh.

Twenty (20) automated weather stations were installed in three targeted districts (Rajshahi, Sirajganj and Noakhali) under the supervision of BMD.

The project was aimed at testing Index Insurance as an adaptation tool to reduce the risk of climate variability and extreme weather vulnerability in the agriculture sector. The project intended to facilitate collaboration between a public insurer, Sadharan Bima Corporation (SBC) along with private insurers, in partnership with distribution partners (nongovernment organizations [NGOs], microfinance institutions [MFIs], farmer cooperatives, or agricultural banks) to provide affordable and sustainable weather index-based solutions to small and marginal farmers that require a synergistic approach by both the state and the market.

Tasks performed by INAFI Bangladesh:

· Under the umbrella of INAFI 13 local experts worked in this project.

· Overall responsibility was to assist international consultant (BASICS, India) along with SBC throughout the project from product development till piloting the product in the field.

· Assist international consultant (BASICS, India) during conducting feasibility study for designing Index based insurance product as well as a feedback study to understand farmers’ willingness to pay for the proposed insurance product

· Assist SBC in piloting of the product in the field through developing linkage with the local MFIs as distribution channel

· Assist the international consultant (BASICS India) in designing and developing the content for promotional materials and product brochure for each piloting

· Responsible for awareness building of the 16,500 farmers along with local stakeholders

· Provided TOT to the SBC local staff for selling the product

· Assist SBC to enroll 9500 farmers in total throughout the 7 pilots

· Responsible for maintaining coordination among all the project stakeholders

Conducting feasibility study on Life and Pension Insurance Scheme/ among the beneficiaries of ASA in its four interim districts in Bangladesh

Duration (from month/year/to month/year): 11/2016 to 04/2017

Employer/Client: ASA


The main objective of the study was to explore the feasibility of pro-poor micro-insurance products mainly focusing on Life and Pension insurance scheme for benefiting the poor and the low income group of people as well as the beneficiaries of ASA. This will help to develop customized product that would reach out to poor communities throughout the beneficiaries of ASA.

Tasks performed by INAFI Bangladesh:

· To understand the demand of the targeted beneficiary groups of ASA for Life and Pension insurance scheme

· To understand the targeted groups’ affordability and willingness to pay the premium for Life and Pension insurance scheme

· To know what extent of benefit amount would be attractive both in case of life insurance as well as pension scheme for the targeted households

· To provide recommendation on possible product feature

· To review and understand regulatory environment/legal compliance of micro-insurance for the MFIs

· To recommend possible options of solutions for the MFIs to implement micro-insurance in the given regulatory framework of the country

Using the Learning Routes methodology for the capitalization and scaling up of Bangladesh-IFAD rural development innovations and best practices

Duration (from month/year/to month/year): 06/2013 to 04/2016

Employer/Client: PROCASUR Corporation


INAFI and PROCASUR jointly undertook the initiative to identify, document and disseminate the innovations and best practices of IFAD funded projects in Bangladesh. 5 projects were identified for documentation: Finance for Enterprise Development and Employment Creation (FEDEC) of PKSF, Market Infrastructure Development Project in Charland Region (MIDPCR) of LGED, National Agricultural Technology Project (NATP) of BARC, Sunamganj Community Based Resource Management Project (SCBRMP) of LGED and Haor Infrastructure and Livelihood Improvement Project (HILIP) of LGED. INAFI Bangladesh through several meetings with the projects finalised two cases per project which have been impacting the local livelihood with outcomes generated from efficient and innovative strategies and approaches. INAFI made necessary field visits, met with the stakeholders, organised FGDs and interviewed respective actors as required and finally developed 8 detailed case studies:

1. Crab Culture Value Chain Development under FEDEC Project

2. Flower Cultivation Value Chain Development under FEDEC Project

3. An Approach to Poverty Reduction in Coastal Char Areas of Bangladesh Adopted by MIDPCR

4. Dairy Cow Farming under NATP: Phase-I in Bangladesh

5. Safe Vegetable Cultivation under NATP: Phase-I

6. Community Based Fisheries Management under SCBRMP in Bangladesh

7. Rural Infrastructure Development under SCBRMP in Bangladesh

8. Vegetable Cultivation in the Fallow Land under HILIP, LGED

Two Learning Routes (LR) were organised under 2 phases of operation. One was held in Satkhira and Jessore based on the two cases of FEDEC, and the other was held in Sunamgonj based on the HILIP case. Participants were from other IFAD funded projects in the country. The objective of the Learning Route was to scale up the innovations and best practices through other IFAD projects. As a follow-up process of Learning Route a half-a-day workshop was organised in Dhaka.

Providing Training on Income Generating Activities (IGA) and Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) for Returnee Migrants and their family members

Duration (from month/year/to month/year): 01/2015 to 03/2015

Employer/Client: BRAC


Every year a number of people from Bangladesh are being migrated to another country in order to improve their socio-economic condition. However, about half of them are returning due to various complexities (cheat, false information, etc.). BRAC has taken an initiative to train up those returnee and failed migrants in order to build their capacity on Income Generating Activity (IGA) and Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) creation.

Tasks performed by INAFI Bangladesh:

- Conducted training need assessment in three migrant prone areas of Bangladesh for developing IGA Guideline and SME Training Module for the returnee migrants and their family members and developed a training need assessment report.

- Based on the need assessment developed 2 modules both in English and Bangla:

1. Training Module on SME Business Management

2. Training Module on IGA Guideline

- Provided ToT to the training facilitators on the two training modules.

- Provided training to 10 batches of target participants at 3 districts: Dhaka, Comilla and Noakhali. In total 250 trainees got the training among which 100 were SME participants and 150 were IGA participants.

The duration of training was 4 days for each batch and 4 training facilitators under the lead consultant conducted the trainings. 

The training module incorporates a brief idea about the Small and Medium Enterprise, entrepreneurship and entrepreneur, identify different enterprises, feasibility study, brief idea about value chain, different business operational issue, how to prepare IGA and SME plan etc. with the aim that it will help the target clients to manage their enterprises and also encourage the potential entrepreneurs to establish IGA and SME business.

Healthcare system in Bangladesh and its access to low and middle income households

Duration (from month/year/to month/year): 08/2014 to 09/2014

Employer/Client: CORDAID, The Netherlands


The CORDAID expressed special interest in understanding the health care services and practices of low‐income, middle‐income and migrant households in Bangladesh. In order to get a proper understanding of the healthcare system and practices in Bangladesh, a small‐scale research study has been conducted by INAFI Bangladesh.

This study provides an insight about total healthcare system in Bangladesh reflecting its network of services, infrastructures, quality services, effectiveness, efficiency, cost of healthcare services, accessing to the healthcare system by the low and middle income people and their perception about the healthcare system in Bangladesh. This study report assesses the healthcare needs and uses of the targeted population as well as provides guidelines to design specific type healthcare products focusing on this targeted population.

Under this assignment 3 districts (Comilla, Kishoreganj and Tangail) have been chosen based on the expert opinion and also the available information of migrant workers families. Within the district one sub‐district (Upazila) has been selected for household and expert interviews. In every upazila, 3 villages were selected and in total 180 households were targeted. Besides household survey, village level Focused Group Discussion (FGDs), doctors’ interview, pharmacy salesman interview, hospital personnel interview have been conducted to get an overall idea of the healthcare sector in district, upazila, union and village level.

Accessibility of Health Services to the Low Income and Ultra poor Group of People in Bangladesh

Duration (from month/year/to month/year): 06/2011 to 12/2012

Employer/Client: The Rockefeller Foundation


The Rockefeller Foundation supports strengthening of resilience of the poor to social, economic, health and environmental challenges and took a special interest in providing universal healthcare in Bangladesh.

The objective of Rockefeller Foundation’s project was to make health services available to two target groups, namely, (1) Low Income Households (LIHs) in rural areas and (2) ultra-poor (UP) people under social safety network programs. The study objectives are as follows:

· To understand the health care demand linked with health insurance and the affordability of target group to pay the premium

· To develop customized health micro-insurance product so that different groups of people can have a good health which is the basic requirement for a human being

· To design a health micro-insurance project linked with SSN programs of Bangladesh

· To attract donors to finance the piloting of the health insurance project for the ultra-poor and to share the impact of the project with the relevant ministries and other stakeholders

· To develop health micro-insurance product for the low income group of people considering the affordability of the target group to attract the implementers; three leading MFIs in the country

· To develop a business plan for a health insurance program for the low income people

· To advocate the leading MFIs in the country to mainstream the program under their banner for their members

Tasks performed by INAFI Bangladesh: 

· Conducted the surveys and collected information from 1288 low income households and 591 ultra-poor households through in-depth interview and FGDs

· Analyzed the gaps in healthcare sector of Bangladesh through literature review and interview with policymakers and other stakeholders

· Developed two Feasibility Study Reports on health micro-insurance (HMI) for the low income households and ultra-poor households

- Accessibility of Health services to the Low Income Households in Bangladesh

- Accessibility of Health services to the Ultra-poor Households in Bangladesh

· Based on the feasibility study developed health micro-insurance product

· Developed HMI Business Plan for the recommended product

· Disseminated the study findings and business plan through national seminar and sharing workshop

Scoping Study on the Relevance of Social Insurance in the Child Sensitive Social Protection Project in Bangladesh

Duration (from month/year/to month/year): 12/2011 to 12/2011

Employer/Client: Save the Children


The assignment was carried out under Child Sensitive Security Project of Save the Children. The main objective of the project was to conduct a study in the CSSP Project area to-

· Determine the types of health shocks affecting the poor households

· Determine the impact of health crisis on children of the target households

INAFI Bangladesh collected information from 50 households through in-depth interview and FGDs. INAFI Bangladesh also reviewed literature on health scenario in Bangladesh and developed the study report.

Micro Insurance for Mutual Enabling (MIME) Project

Duration (from month/year/to month/year): 05/2007 to 06/2014

Employer/Client: Oxfam Novib, Rabobank Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation


Micro Insurance for Mutual Enabling (MIME) was a social security project lead by INAFI Bangladesh in partnership with 13 NGOs/MFIs. INAFI Bangladesh took the initiative to establish a separate micro-insurance company based on the concept of ‘mutuality’, dedicated to offer affordable micro-insurance services to the poor and low income people using the network of MFI/NGOs to cover their significant risks and reduce their social and economic vulnerabilities.

As part of social protection scheme, MIME piloted 3 types of Life Micro-insurance products and 1 Outpatient Micro Health Insurance product as a rider with the life product in some of its implementing areas.

Tasks performed by INAFI Bangladesh:

· Conducted demand and affordability study for the development of tailor made product focusing the target beneficiaries.

· Conducted another demand and affordability study on Micro Health Insurance for the low income people

· Developed micro-insurance products with the assistance of the actuary of Micro Insurance Association of Netherlands (MIAN) and offered the products to the low income people who were the borrowers of the partner MFIs

· Provided trainings to the staff of partner MFIs on micro-insurance operations and management

· Developed different guidelines and modules on micro-insurance operations, micro-insurance management and insurance education for the beneficiaries

· Provided formal and informal training to the potential clients

· Provided some selected healthcare services through satellite clinics

Micro-insurance Database for Bangladesh

Duration (from month/year/to month/year): 02/2010 to 06/2010

Employer/Client: World Bank Group


INAFI Bangladesh developed an inception report consisting of various steps and methodology for data collection and reporting. INAFI collected data on micro-insurance from 107 organizations (90 MFIs/ NGOs and 17 insurance companies which were identified by the clients) and developed and submitted a summary report based on collected data along with the database. Based on this INAFI Bangladesh developed the final document on Bangladesh Micro-insurance Database and submitted to the World Bank.

Suitable Insurance Mechanism for the Poor Fisher Folk (Sea)

Duration (from month/year/to month/year): 08/2008 to 01/2009

Employer/Client: Actionaid Bangladesh and CODEC


The objectives of the study were to assess demand and affordability of the target clients (fishermen and boat owners), collect and analyse information from supply side and propose suitable insurance mechanism through bridging the gap between demand and supply side. Based on some key research questions, information and data has been collected from 100 fishermen and 10 boat owners through structured questionnaires by 5 enumerators and from 17 mainstream insurance companies; both life and general insurance companies through personal interviews with a checklist. INAFI Bangladesh also organised four FGDs with fishermen and boat owners. Based on the demand side analysis demand for four insurance products were identified: life insurance, health insurance, boat insurance and insurance for fishing nets.

The study found that some of the existing Micro-insurance products of mainstream insurance companies will fit the fisher folk and meet some of their demands. But the existing products of mainstream insurance companies are not sufficient enough to meet the demand for diverse Micro-insurance products among the fisherman community. The downscaling of outreach is also a constraint for mainstream insurance companies to offer Micro-insurance products to this target group. Based on the findings and analysis three models can be developed to offer and deliver Micro-insurance products to the poor fishermen community: Full Service Delivery Model, Partner-Agent Model and Community Managed Mutual Insurance Scheme Model.

Role of Microfinance Tools in Disaster Management: A Study in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka

Duration (from month/year/to month/year): 04/2008 to 12/2008

Employer/Client: ProVention Consortium and Oxfam America


The central purpose of the research was to explore the roles of microfinance tools in disaster management. This study informs the stakeholders by finding out the impact of microfinance tools in reducing disaster risk and facilitating post-disaster recovery. A secondary purpose was to explore how to make policy and product recommendations for enhancing the potential of microfinance and micro-insurance for disaster risk reduction.

Through the study, INAFI Bangladesh got the opportunity to explore the role of 3 microfinance tools including savings, credit and micro-insurance in disaster management in the context of Bangladesh. A Bangladesh Country Report was also published.

This survey covered 5 districts viz., Gaibandha, Sirajganj, Bagerhat, Barguna, and Sunamganj in Bangladesh. The data were collected from 2368 members (who were victims of disaster) in 500 households (400 microfinance clients and 100 controls) through individual interview. Also 23 focus group discussions took place.