The Impact Working Group seeks to enhance knowledge about the impact of microinsurance by increasing the quality and quantity of available evidence, and to assist in its dissemination.
The working group is advancing on its work on the "Practical Guide to Impact Assessments in Microinsurance" and expects publication of the guide within this year.
The working group met at the Network’s member meeting in June 2012 in Königstein, Germany. Information on this meeting will be made available for members on the forum soon.
In 2012, the Impact Working Group will:
- Publish the "Practical Guide for Impact Assessment in Micro-insurance". The working group is coordinating the authorship of this publication, which is geared towards a non-academic audience. It will be available in English in print and maybe in an online Wiki format.
What is impact?
"Impact" is defined as observable changes or effects on conditions or behaviours resulting directly or indirectly, positively or negatively, from a specific microinsurance programme. Impact assessment observes measures and describes the results of an intervention or programme.
Why assess the impact of microinsurance?
At present, very little is known about the impact of microinsurance on the client, household, community, enterprise or institution. Funding agencies may request programme evaluation; however they rarely require schemes to assess their impact. As a result, there is a paucity of impact research available. As more funds pour into the sector, such information on impact is urgently needed. Impact research, however, would need to build on high-quality research methodologies, many of which are not yet developed for microinsurance impact assessment. High-quality impact research could assist microinsurance providers to better understand how their products are working by flagging any changes or side effects, positive or negative, attributed to their product. This information could then be used to:
- Produce evidence on the most effective programmes;
- Learn from past mistakes and avoid ineffective designs;
- Create more effective programmes;
- Include impact assessment in product design;
- Assist donor agencies in funding effective, evidence-based programmes.
What is needed?
Some lessons could be learned from impact assessment of microfinance programmes, but need to be made available for microinsurance; many, however, do not exist yet and need to be developed and tested. High-quality microinsurance impact assessment should include a mixture of methodologies, tailored to respond to different impact dimensions depending on the type of insurance scheme.
The Impact Working Group consists of more than 20 experts in the domain of impact assessment.
The Impact Working Group contributed to a chapter on impact for the second edition of the "Protecting the Poor: A Microinsurance Compendium", which will be published in April 2012.
Additional funding for work on the "Practical Guide for Impact Assessment in Microinsurance" was secured from GIZ/BMZ.
The project note “Global Stocktaking of Ongoing Impact Assessments” was translated into French and Spanish to increase the awareness of the initiative and attract additional funding.
The working group released two notes: "Global Stocktaking of Ongoing Impact Assessments", a project note providing an overview of the activities of the working group's global stocktaking project in microinsurance by briefly describing the activities, the stocktaking website and identified trends, and "The Practical Guide to Impact Assessments", a publication note, which outlines the content of the planned practical guide and is looking for contributors and supporters.
Micro Insurance Academy (MIA) received a second full-time ILO's Microinsurance Innovation Facility fellow, Heidi McGowan, to coordinate the working group activities from July 2010 to July 2011.
The working group also drafted a fundraising proposal and applied for and was awarded 10.000,- Euro from the Microinsurance Network to kick-start its planned "practical guide" activity.
The Impact Working Group was set up in November 2007.
Mode of operations
The Impact Working Group mainly communicates via e-mail and relies on individual project execution by ILO’s Microinsurance Innovation Facility Fellow.