ICMIF member Achmea confirms three new technical assistance assignments to support ICMIF’s 5-5-5 Strategy in India

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Achmea, a Netherlands-based member of the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF), has agreed to send three members of staff on secondment to India over the next few months to assist with ICMIF’s 5-5-5 Mutual Microinsurance Strategy. Two employees will provide technical assistance to Uplift Mutuals (India), and the third will provide technical assistance to DHAN Foundation (also India).

ICMIF’s 5-5-5 Mutual Microinsurance Strategy is a five year project based in five emerging market countries (Colombia, India, Kenya, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka) 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. ICMIF members have been invited to support the 5-5-5 Strategy through two channels: financial support (donations) or through technical assistance (TA) projects where employees of member organisations can offer their technical expertise to help one of the various 5-5-5 projects. This is usually done in the country where the specific project they are supporting is being carried out.

The first two assignments will commence on 19 February 2018 with Uplift Mutuals. Judith Boute, Business Change Manager Digital from Achmea, will travel to Mumbai to provide a strategic review of Uplift’s business model from the first year of the Uplift 5-5-5 project, and help Uplift identify bottlenecks, new opportunities and any challenges. Guus van der Weijden, Transition Manager Finance and Risk from Achmea, will also be providing technical assistance to the project at the same time by helping Uplift to improve its monitoring and evaluation systems. Judith and Guus’s four-day assignment will begin with a field trip to meet with policyholders and see the project in action, followed by a visit with staff at Uplift’s headquarters in Pune.

Through the ICMIF 5-5-5 Strategy, Uplift Mutuals aims to bring affordable health insurance to an additional half a million low-income people in Mumbai and Pune over the next five years. Both the above technical assistance assignments conducted by Achmea staff will enable Uplift to make strategic developments to their business plan to support them in achieving this target.

The third new technical assistance assignment will see Bas Lavalaye, Manager Finance and Control, from Achmea preparing for the first Annual Review Meeting of DHAN Foundation’s project for the 5-5-5 Strategy, which will take place either in late April or early May this year. To do this Bas will visit DHAN Foundation’s offices in Madurai. Through the ICMIF 5-5-5 Strategy, DHAN Foundation aims to supply an additional 1.17 million people from low-income communities with its mutual life, health, crop and livestock products. This forthcoming technical assistance assignment will help shape the second year of this five-year project.

Staff from Achmea previously participated in technical assistance assignments for the 5-5-5 Strategy in India in February 2017, when two experienced marketing managers, Andrea Poodt (Manager, Base Marketing) and Erna Kuiper (Manager, Proposition Management) assisted Uplift Mutuals with developing a comprehensive marketing strategy. Andrea was able to share her experiences with Judith and Guus before they decided to participate in this current technical assistance assignment. Bob Tjaarda, Financial Management Trainee at Achmea, also visited the DHAN Foundation project in the summer of 2017 to undertake a review of the business plan, formatting and financial assumptions behind the project.

Karlijn Korten, the Achmea Foundation, speaks about their support of the 5-5-5 Strategy saying: "We believe in the impact of the 5-5-5 approach because it uses the power of collaboration and strengthening each other to the maximum. by contributing our expertise, we can equally learn as much ourselves!"

Sabbir Patel, ICMIF Senior Vice-President, Emerging Markets, explains: “We are delighted that Achmea have decided to continue their support of our 5-5-5 Strategy by seconding three more members of staff to our projects in India. Assisting ICMIF with the 5-5-5 Strategy by means of technical assistance assignments is an excellent way for our members to really motivate and engage their employees, as well as providing them with a valuable insight into mutual and cooperative insurance in an emerging market country. We would encourage all our member organisations to consider this as a unique way to offer their employees a very different yet very enriching personal development experience.”

To find out more and discuss ways to support the ICMIF 5-5-5 Mutual Microinsurance Strategy please contact Tina Blain, Resource Mobiliser tina@icmif.org

Picture: Andrea Poodt and Erna Kuiper of Achmea on their Technical Assignment in India in 2017 where they worked with the team at Uplift Mutuals (some of whom are seen here)