International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation

Achmea Foundation becomes first provider of technical assistance to ICMIF’s 5-5-5 Mutual Microinsurance Strategy

The Achmea Foundation, a Netherlands-based member of the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF) has joined other ICMIF member organisations in supporting ICMIF’s 5-5-5 Mutual Microinsurance Strategy. Other organisations already contributing to the 5-5-5 project are The Co-operators, Canada and Länsförsäkringar AB, Sweden which are both providing financial support to Uplift Mutuals (the flagship programme of Uplift India Association).

ICMIF’s 5-5-5 Mutual Microinsurance Strategy is a five year project based in five emerging market countries which aims to provide five million households with insurance cover for the first time. The aim is to provide microinsurance cover for 25 million previously uninsured people. A successful outcome for the 5-5-5 Strategy would equate to 25% of the G7’s business sector commitment, announced at the G7 Summit held in Bonn, Germany, in June 2015, to increase climate insurance cover for an additional 400 million poor and vulnerable people in highly exposed and low income countries by 2020. The 5-5-5 Strategy has been widely discussed at meetings of the B20 and at the recently convened Insurance Development Forum (IDF). The Microinsurance Working Group of the IDF is co-chaired by ICMIF’s Chief Executive, Shaun Tarbuck.


ICMIF member, the Achmea Foundation’s support is taking the form of the provision of technical assistance to Uplift Mutuals by helping the organisation develop a marketing strategy. The Achmea Foundation was established by Dutch cooperative insurer Achmea in 2006 and its work involves initiating and supporting projects that help to permanently improve the lives of people from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds. 

The provision of technical assistance to ICMIF member organisations which are part of the 5-5-5 Strategy involves employees engaging in bespoke assignments which help improve delivery and the impact of projects in the countries where the 5-5-5 Strategy is being implemented. The technical assistance provided by the Achmea Foundation began on 6 February this year with the arrival of two experienced marketing managers from Achmea, Andrea Poodt (Manager, Base Marketing) and Erna Kuiper (Manager, Proposition Management) to assist Uplift Mutuals develop its marketing strategy and thus achieve their goal of providing health mutual aid to half a million low-income people in India over the next five years.

Karlijn Korten, Programme Manager at the Achmea Foundation, explains the reasons the Achmea Foundation has in wanting to support the project, saying: “We believe in the impact of the 5-5-5 approach, because it uses the power of collaboration and strengthening one another to the maximum. By contributing our expertise, we can equally learn as much ourselves!”

Kumar Shailabh, Executive Director, Uplift India Association, commented: “We are delighted that the Achmea Foundation is supporting our project. Understanding the context that Uplift is working in is crucial to the success of assignments, and we are excited to be working with Andrea and Erna to explore fresh ideas on how we can improve our messaging and utilise new communications tools to reach more members with affordable health protection solutions."

Andrea and Erna’s assignment has started with a field visit in Mumbai to see how Uplift’s community-model works on the ground and they are now in Pune working on the marketing strategy with Uplift at their office.

“We are lucky to have one of the best healthcare systems in the world in the Netherlands and this is not yet the case in India – there is a big difference. We support the long-term goal of Uplift Mutuals and hope to help them increase their impact by providing our marketing knowledge”, explain Andrea and Erna.

ICMIF launched the 5-5-5 Mutual Microinsurance Strategy in January 2015 to develop mutual microinsurance in five countries (India, Kenya, the Philippines, Colombia and Sri Lanka), reaching out to 5 million uninsured, low-income households, which will equate to 25 million previously uninsured people in total. The project with Uplift Mutuals in India is one of the first to have launched.

ICMIF’s Senior Vice-President, Emerging Markets, Sabbir Patel explains the value that providing technical assistance can bring for ICMIF members: “As well as demonstrating the solidarity within the mutual and cooperative movement this engagement provides employees from our member organizations a unique opportunity to see mutuality in practice at the grass roots level and at the same time deliver invaluable support within a challenging and unfamiliar environment. We believe this will be the first of many technical assistance programs between members as part of the 5-5-5 Strategy.”


Photo shows: Sister Shakuntala of Prem Sewa, an all-women credit cooperative society operating in Santa Cruz East, Mumbai, briefs Andrea and Erna about their work and the importance of the provision of health insurance to their members. Prem Sewa is a partner of Uplift Mutuals and has been inexistence since 1993, its mission is to empower slum women and promote self-reliance.

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