Outcome of conference 'Product Innovation in Intergenerational Perspective'

7-Jul-2010    On the 23rd of June, the P&D Network, together with the Micro Insurance Association Netherlands (MIAN) and the Microjustice Initiative (MJI), successfully organized a conference on micro product innovation at the University of Tilburg.

The conference started with an opening speech by Mr. Toon Bullens (MJI), and continued with a debate between prof. Robert Lensink (University of Groningen) and prof. Peter van Lieshout (WRR - Dutch Scientific Council for Government Policy) on the net effect of micro finance on poverty alleviation.

A perspective from the practical side of micro finance's effect on poverty alleviation was provided by Mr. M.P. Vasimalai, Executive Director of the DHAN Foundation in India, who cooperated with the P&D Network to launch the DHAN Foundation's first micro pension pilot project in Madurai, India.

In the second part of the conference, the participating organizations organized different workshops, each of the workshops focusing on the practical issues of micro product development in the specific discipline:

Workshop 1 (English), organized by the P&D Network, discussed the issues that surround the development of a micro pension product, after the (local) market research (feasibility study) is completed. This workshop was chaired by Mr. Guus Boender (ORTEC).

Workshop 2 (English), organized by the P&D Network, discussed the operational constraints of micro finance products, such as periodic payments, customer relations, early withdrawal and drop-outs and product distribution. This workshop was chaired by Ms. Anna Timmermans (Nationale Nederlanden), an introduction to this workshop was provided by Mr. M.P. Vasimalai (DHAN Foundation).

Workshop 3 (Dutch), organized by the MJI, discussed collective and local arrangements in which people from the community organize the safeguarding of legal rights, supported by institutions outside of the community. This workshop was chaired by prof. Maurits Barendrecht (UIniversity of Tilburg), an introduction to this workshop was provided by Ms. Marion van Dijk (TISCO - Tilburg Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies of Civil Law and Conflict Resolution Systems).

Workshop 4 (Dutch), organized by the MIAN, discussed the possibility of developing an 'all-inclusive' provision that solves the problem of product differentiation and at the same time offers a solution for insurance products, savings and pension schemes and the safeguarding of legal rights. This workshop was chaired by Ms. Kirsty van Hintum (Interpolis / Achmea).

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