ILO’s Impact Insurance Facility: Reflecting on 2016

The year 2016 was a remarkable year for the ILO’s Impact Insurance Facility as we were able to instigate eleven new innovation projects in sub-Saharan Africa as part of our research and innovation initiative, with support from AFD and FSDA. These exciting projects, outlined in our annual report, will enable us to continue to push the frontiers of insurance and test ways in which insurance can live up to its development potential. These innovations include efforts to integrate insurance into supply chains, strengthen public–private partnerships, and use technology to increase scale and efficiency — all promising solutions to enhance the impact of insurance and benefit both individuals and society.

To support these innovation projects, we are extremely fortunate to have a new batch of Impact Insurance Fellows. Fellows are responsible for supporting their host company to implement the project, while concurrently documenting the emerging lessons and experiences. Through this initiative, we envisage three tangible outcomes; (1) successful insurance innovations contributing to development objectives; (2) valuable lessons learned that are widely shared with relevant stakeholders; and (3) a new cadre of impact insurance experts.

We remain committed to learning and sharing, and have stepped up our activities in this area through proactive and sustainable capacity building work. In 2016, together with five local insurance institutes, we offered 16 courses attended by more than 400 participants, while supporting more than 40 local trainers to become certified to offer the content in the future. Last year we also developed four new modules on key topics such as index insurance and providing insurance responsibly.

Of our three initiatives, we had less success in accelerating market development in 2016, largely due to funding limitations. That said, we were still able to develop some new tools and resources that could prove to be important in the future. These focus on responsible insurance, consumer protection and client value.

Overall, the activities described in our annual report reflect a programme that is contributing significant value to enterprises and low-income workers around the world. Our modus operandi is to test, learn, document and disseminate, promoting good practices while identifying common problems that insurers and distribution channels encounter when serving new market segments. This reflects a work in progress, although much progress has indeed been achieved thus far.

Find out more in the video interview below.