The 1st International FIN-B Financial Inclusion Conference and Inclusion Fair 2019 was organized by Institute for Inclusive Finance and Development (InM) at the Krishibid Institution, Bangladesh (KIB) on 30-31 July 2019 in Dhaka with the objective of bringing forth knowledge of different stakeholders seeking new pathways to promote the financial inclusion agenda. On the second day of the conference we presented a summary in Power Point of our study paper entitled Financial Inclusion Enabling Piggyback Primary Health Care and Education Support Services.

In this paper, we have pointed to a large opportunity of providing many types of social services making use of the structure for delivering financial services already existing with micro-finance institutions (MFIs) working in rural areas. Not only MFIs or NGOs, in fact also many other organizations that work in remote and rural parts of the country have a structural facility for their main work or business operation. Any social service such as education and awareness, health and hygiene and other soft development agendas needs a delivery structure to perform its functions. But an organization need not lay down multiple functional structures for providing these various services. Varieties of services, rather, can be provided by relying on the existing functional structure for the key business or service activity.

The functional structure for any program costs a lot. An office, food and accommodation for grassroots implementers, transports, supervision, etc., besides papers or documents, relevant tools and others, are required for any program. The organizations who have social or business activities in rural and hard-to-reach areas need not multiply the basic cost for multiple services adopted by them. The basic fixed cost should be nearly the same in spite of implementing several social service projects and programs. The implementation of some allied and relevant social projects and programs riding on the shoulders of the structure already founded for the key function of an organization has been called piggybacking.

The paper has shown how financial service delivery by CDIP, an MFI, has enabled it to operate other social programs for sustainable development of the rural people. When a villager gets herself included in the financial service program, she simultaneously becomes entitled to other basic services run by the MFI or NGO. The other basic services like education support, health care, etc., however, are not required to be implemented separately by any new structure. The piggyback structure can be put into use to deliver many allied development services for the community people.

In case of CDIP, as of April 2019, 2,23,709 adults have been brought under cover of financial inclusion with the following services: organizing members into credit groups, collecting their savings, providing them with different types of credit, delivering financial counselling, remittance delivery etc. This inclusion of its organized group members has enabled them along with other community people to make easy access to its primary health care and education support programs along with other related projects and programs.

Along with it, sustainable Health Care Program has 100 SACMOs (Sub-Assistant Community Medical Officers) in 100 Branches providing primary health services to 37,932 patients on average per month in 2019 at a minimum cost of Tk 200 for all members of a family for a year. Education Support Program has 2,520 learning centres run by village girls providing extra education care to about 48,000 children of pre-primary, Class I and Class II.

Our paper has drawn the following conclusion: Financial inclusion services by NGOs in Bangladesh can enable them to plan and implement their other core sustainable human development programs. The functional structure can be devised as to make it capable of providing piggyback structural facility to implement their development programs like primary health care, education support and other related projects and programs aimed at enhancing the capability of the financially included and other community people to function for the betterment of their lives.

The paper further presents a functional structure and a model emerging out of inductive reasoning with empirical evidence from the village level operations. It shows clearly that financial services for inclusion with a piggyback structure enables an organization to launch projects and programs for sustainable human development and contribute towards emancipation from poverty and backwardness.

Shajahan Bhuiya is a development professional and Alamgir Khan is Executive Editor of Shikkhalok and Keynotes

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