Credit with Education Impact Review No. 2: Economic Capacity and Security

How has Freedom from Hunger's program improved the poor's economic capacity and security?
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Freedom from Hunger's Credit with Education strategy is an integrated microfinance and education program:

  • It seeks to address poverty alleviation by channeling money and education through women's associations, to ultimately improve health and nutrition;
  • Intermediate benefits include income, self-confidence, and increased knowledge and practice;
  • By providing credit and savings to women, it hopes to improve the economic capacity of women, of which one effect should be better care of children's nutrition and health.

More specifically, Credit with Education seeks to increase or raise poor people's:

  • Income, assets, and security;
  • Self-confidence and ability, status within the community;
  • Knowledge of best health and nutrition practices.

This impact review contains the following:

  • Literature review:
    • House-hold level impacts go against convention as impact studies normally begin at the enterprise level;
    • The study was on thirteen microfinance programs in seven countries and their impacts on poverty, vulnerability, and deprivation.
  • Credit with Education Program results:
    • Extensive impact studies were carried out at the end of the 1990s in Ghana, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, and Mali on the effects of the program on children's nutritional status;
    • Women's economic capacity however, was also studied as an intermediary stage to improvement in children's nutrition.
  • Relationship among loan use, context and impacts:
    • Freedom from Hunger found that the way clients use their loans determines the level of impact of the program;
    • Family assets are affected by emergencies;
    • Entrepreneurial skills and expenditures also fall under this category.
  • Conclusion:
    • Positive socio-cultural and economic factors within the country will help raise a women's economic security when receiving microfinance services.

About this Publication

By MkNelly, B. & McCord, M.