Skip to main content

Microfinance Opportunities (MFO)

About the Project
Project Name: 
Insurance Consumer Education-Kenya (ICE-K)
Type of Facility Project: 
Innovation Grant
País de operaciones: 
North America
Project Thematic Focus: 
Consumer education
Project Description: 

While the need for insurance education targeted at the low-income market is well recognized, few private institutions are willing to invest in education for fear that it might benefit their competitors. The project will galvanize insurance education efforts in Kenya by building local capacity to disseminate insurance education as a public good. A training of trainers (TOT) workshop will disseminate the content and delivery of MFO’s innovative “Risk Management and Insurance” curriculum to insurance companies and delivery channels, such as MFIs. MFO and AKI will collaborate on an industry-wide education strategy to facilitate uptake and usage of insurance in Kenya. This will be done through a participatory radio campaign that will provide consumers with the knowledge and skills necessary to move them from reactive to proactive risk management strategies such as insurance. The project will also provide technical support to organizations other than insurance companies that are interested in adapting the “Risk Management and Insurance” material to other media channels.

Consortium Members: 

The Association of Kenya Insurers (AKI) is a members’ association for insurance companies in Kenya. Since 1987, they have acted as a consultative and advisory body for the Kenyan insurance industry. The Association's main objective is to promote adherence to prudent business practices by its members and to create awareness among the general public of insurance with the aim of accelerating the growth of the industry in Kenya. 


Only 6% of the Kenyan population is insured (Finaccess, 2007). The project’s purpose is to expand the Kenyan microinsurance market by improving the risk management capacities of low-income people through insurance education.

The expansion of microinsurance in Kenya is challenged by limited demand due to a lack of consumer understanding of insurance. Research in East Africa has shown that many low-income people do not understand what insurance is or how it works. Even if they have coverage, knowledge of insurance claims procedures is often weak, preventing many insured from benefiting from their policies. For many people, the idea of paying a premium without a guaranteed return is a hard concept to accept and thus there is a reluctance to buy.

Lessons from the Project
Learning Agenda: 
  • Can the “Risk Management and Insurance” curriculum be cost-effectively adapted to a participatory radio campaign?
  • Can an insurance education radio campaign consistently attract a significant number of low-income listeners?
Emerging Lessons: 
  • Selecting the right type of radio partner and getting their buy-in is key. 
  • The content of the radio program must be carefully tailored to the tastes and experiences of the audience.
  • A program framework is critical to ensure impactful design that is relevant for the audience.
  • The program framework is also critical to manage the project and design evaluation.
  • A program format that is novel for a given market can boost interest in a campaign and attract and retain listeners as well as help tobuild an insurance culture.
  • In a truly participatory campaign, it should be easy for audience members to provide feedback.
  • Monitoring and feedback mechanism needs to be in place to be able to refine the program in real time.
  • Pilot testing is essential.
  • Radio is a great tool to reach masses and get target group’s attention in Kenya.
  • Radio campaign increased awareness and knowledge of insurance.
  • Radio has limitations in addressing distrust or changing negative attitudes about insurance.
  • Radio is an effective tool for encouraging behavioral change, but listeners may require repeated, more prolonged exposure to change their behavior.
  • Radio allows to raise awareness and contribute to some knowledge improvements in a cost-effective way.
  • There might be a case for an insurance association to pool resources from its members to run consumer education campaigns at the national level.
  • It is possible to integrate education messages in the marketing materials.

Date of last Learning Journey: February 2012

About the Organization
Tipo de vínculo con el Fondo: 
Innovation grantee
Country of Head Office: 
Region : 
Type of institution : 
Consultants and fellows
Participation in Microinsurance: 
Distribution channel
Organizational Overview: 

Microfinance Opportunities (MFO) is a resource center that promotes client-led microfinance. Its mission is to be a leading consumer-focused organization that supports the global microfinance industry in the design and delivery of high-quality microfinance products and services, including microinsurance, that match the needs and preferences of low-income households. MFO is a non-profit organisation that started operations in 2002.

More about the Organization