The ILO`s Social Finance Programme works with the financial sector to facilitate the ILO´s Decent Work Agenda. The Impact Insurance Facility contributes to the Social Finance agenda by collaborating with the insurance industry, governments and partners to realize the potential of insurance for social and economic development.
The team leader of the Impact Insurance Facility, Craig Churchill, tells us about the reasons to join the actuview community:
actuview: What is your main focus at the Social Finance Unit at the Enterprise Department of the ILO?
Craig Churchill: At the International Labour Organization, the Social Finance Unit explores ways in which the financial sector – banks and microfinance institutions, insurers and reinsurers, and investors – and contribute to the ILO’s Decent Work agenda, that is to say, to create more and better jobs.
In that context, we work with the financial sector to test new products and process, and assess whether those approaches are creating jobs and/or improving working conditions. Let me give you a few examples. In Indonesia, we are finishing a research project to see what impact business training has on small enterprises, and what impact it has on the banks as well in terms of improved portfolio quality and enhanced customer retention. In the Philippines and India, we are working with credit unions and microfinance institutions to see if they can design integrated products that combine elements of savings, credit and insurance, to enable their clients to manage risks more effectively. In Cote d’Ivoire, we are currently working with insurers and banks to see how they can help reduce child labour in the cocoa value chain. And in Kenya, we are about to start a project to design housing insurance for low-income households.
When we have learned insights into what works, and what does not, then we actively promote those lessons through a variety of channels, including social media, webinars, training programmes and conferences.
actuview: What opportunities do you see for the digital exchange of knowledge between the ILO and your stakeholders?
Craig Churchill: Digital knowledge exchange is certainly a valuable means for disseminating the lessons and experiences that we are learning. It enables us to reach the maximum number of people possible, and it is the most cost effective channel as well.
actuview: Why has the ILO decided to become a content partner of actuview, which impact do you expect from the cooperation?
Craig Churchill: Over the years, we have amassed a large database of insurance professionals. We communicate with them regularly, sending monthly newsletters, occasional emails of Emerging Insights and event notifications, but we are interested in expanding our audience to reach additional people. We hope that the collaboration with actuview will help achieve that objective. Anyone interested in subscribing can sign up on our website: www.impactinsurance.org.
We also occasionally have job openings as well – for example, right now we are looking for Impact Insurance Fellows. These are typically mid-career professionals who are interested in using their expertise to support insurance projects in developing countries. Now, we are looking for four or five persons to work on innovative projects in Africa and Asia.
actuview: Which topics can actuaries expect to be addressed in your contributions?
Craig Churchill: We focus on the nexus between international development and insurance. The development community is focused on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, and insurance can contribute to that agenda in many ways, including improving food security, moving toward universal health coverage, and helping to manage risks associated with climate change. We are hoping that through this collaboration, more insurance professionals will be inspired to find ways to see how insurance reduce social and economic inequalities.