ILO Logo

Stimulating innovation (2008-2013)

During the last five years, the Microinsurance Innovation Facility has engaged in the following sets of activities to achieve its mission:

1. Innovation grants

For the last five years, the Facility has awarded innovation grants in order to help institutions develop new microinsurance products and models. The grants cover their start-up costs and some of the costs likely to be incurred during the project.

Insurance innovation involves venturing into uncharted territory in order to find ways to make products viable and beneficial for clients. This could include testing new mechanisms for premium collection or verifying claims, using technology to improve efficiency, or experimenting with ways to educate consumers.

2. Capacity building

The Facility has increased the capacity of microinsurance providers and of individual practitioners.

Our main capacity building activities include:

  • Training and curriculum development: training events and materials that reflect the latest innovations in microinsurance;
  • Professional development: learning activities targeted at microinsurance practitioners and consultants, including workshops, fellowships and access to mentors; and
  • Microinsurance project interventions: access to various capacity-building interventions that help microinsurance projects improve their performance, such as small grants, workshops, and access to tools for developing and delivering microinsurance products.

3. Research

The Facility's research programme responds to key knowledge gaps of practitioners, donors, and policy makers. It includes rigorous, academic research to influence policy, as well as practitioner-based research to understand and improve practice. The Facility collaborated with the European Development Research Network (EUDN) to fulfil its ambitious research agenda.

Our strategy is to focus on three main areas, namely: assessing the benefits and impact of insurance on the vulnerability of low-income people; identifying good practices in stimulating demand, building an insurance culture, and distributing insurance at scale; and understanding why products work – or do not work – for both clients and providers.

4. Knowledge management

The Facility is keen to share its experiences of successes and failures. We see our knowledge management as an upward cycle, where we extract, organize and analyse lessons generated through our projects with partners. We then package, share and disseminate these findings in formats that are relevant to our audiences. Once these lessons are applied, practice is improved, new lessons are generated, and the cycle continues.

The Facility's knowledge management strategy starts with careful selection of grantees and the introduction of learning tools to them. This ensures that our partners are in the best position to generate and share the lessons they learn from their projects. 

With knowledge centralized in one location, we are better able to organize, consolidate, and analyse emerging lessons and trends. Our Knowledge Centre contains several spaces where these lessons and other resources are presented for sharing and further discussion. To have full access to all these spaces, click here to register.

We welcome your feedback on the Facility's knowledge management strategy. Please contact us at [email protected].

We are now shifting gears. We are applying this considerable knowledge to build quality microinsurance markets.