By T. Narendran, Project Executive, Indian Network of Federations of Microfinance Self Help Groups (INFOS), Madurai
Microfinance is globally recognised as an effective instrument to reduce poverty and improve women empowerment. Microfinance is not a mere financial instrument but a powerful tool for development to address multiple dimensions of poverty by addressing the issue of health,education, gender and environment. The experience across India and other countries has shown a robust potential of microfinance to integrate with the development issues thereby significantly impacting the lives of poor.
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are globally-adopted targets for reducing extreme poverty by 2015. They address income poverty, hunger, and disease; lack of education, infrastructure and shelter; and gender exclusion and environmental degradation. The unique framework in which microfinance drives specific development outcomes creates a remarkable opportunity for the achievement of the MDGs.
There exists always a natural interconnection between microfinance and the MDGs as microfinance fosters the achievement of many MDGs and plays a key role in many strategies.
Organising conventions/summit has proved to be an effective platform for sharing lessons and dissemination of knowledge and good practices.
- To sensitise, provide orientation and make participants aware of the Millennium Development Goals
- To facilitate sharing of experience and contributions of the self-help group federations and promoting NGOs in achieving MDGs through microfinance interventions that would facilitate cross-learning among the participants
- To take stock of the experience of the SHGs, federations and NGOs in achieving MDGs through microfinance interventions and to disseminate the best practices for wider sharing
- To evolve plans and strategies to enhance the effectiveness of microfinance programme in achieving MDGs
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