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Fellow alumni

Are you curious to learn more about the Fellowship Programme? Have a look at the below testimonials to see what previous fellows have to say about it!


Fellow alumni: 2015 - current

Adriana Sanchez
NBC Moçambique Companhia de Micro Seguros, Maputo, Mozambique
January - August 2018

Adriana was hosted by NBC Moçambique Companhia de Micro Seguros (Maputo, Mozambique) where she supported a project to design and deliver a variety of microinsurance products.

"The Impact Insurance Fellowship is a unique learning platform for those who are willing to work at the forefront of development and financial inclusion; it is offering me the opportunity to work with colleagues from diverse backgrounds and experiences. To bring adequate options to low income families and contribute to improve their resilience is part of my commitment and this fellowship is offering me the tools and context to use my skills."

Saurabh Sharma
Britam General Insurance, Nairobi, Kenya
August 2016 – July 2018

Saurabh was hosted by Britam General Insurance where he provided technical inputs and project management support for the Facility's innovation and change management project with the partner.

“It is the unique blend of learning and execution that excited me about the Fellowship Programme. Working with my host organization, I have the opportunity to apply my existing skills, while learning how traditional insurers are reaching out to vulnerable communities. Further, the extensive experience of the Impact Insurance Facility, and its resources in this space will add a lot to my knowledge and abilities."

Sarfraz Shah
APA Insurance Limited, Nairobi, Kenya
August 2016 – July 2018

Sarfraz was hosted by APA Insurance Limited where he provided technical inputs and project management support for the Facility's innovation project with the partner.

"The Fellowship Programme is an inimitable way for the person passionate about bringing positive change on the lives of low-income people through insurance. It is an international stage to explore the different markets, products and upgrading own skills. Working in a different continent and organizations with freedom of applying your thoughts is what the fellowship has offered me. Having previous experience in distribution I am looking forward to create an impact on the low-income household through affordable insurance. The exchange of ideas with host organization and capability of the Facility mentor is giving new dimension to my thoughts. The tools and trainings designed by Facility over the period of years excite me and help me in my daily tasks."

Queenie Chow
MicroEnsure, Nairobi, Kenya
August 2016 – July 2018

Queenie was hosted by MicroEnsure (Nairobi, Kenya) where she provided technical inputs and project management support.

“I cannot describe the sense of fulfilment and reward one receives working as an actuary in global development. Working as an Impact Insurance Fellow opens up new doors to the boundless world of micro-insurance and managing risk for the underserved. I am thrilled at how the skill-set of an actuary and data scientist can be applied in developing innovative insurance solutions and make a positive impact in the lives of the low-income population!"

Olisa Gravney
Nyala Insurance, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
August 2016 – May 2018

Olisa was hosted by Nyala Insurance where she provided technical inputs and project management support for the Facility's innovation and change management project with the partner.

"I first became interested in the possibility of a career in financial exclusion while volunteering at an Entrepreneurship Training Program. I am excited about this opportunity to learn how adapt my experience and skills to improve access and to better serve the low-income market."

Enock Kipkemboi Sing'oei
Kifiya, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
July 2016 – July 2018

Enock was hosted by Kifiya where he provided technical inputs and project management support for the Facility's innovation project with the partner.

"The greatest joy is to continuously provide, learn and gain more experience in designing range of microinsurance products and distribution solutions tailored to the needs of millions of low-income people in sub Saharan Africa."

Cedric Roux
SUNU Assurances Vie, Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire
July 2016 – December 2017

Cedric was hosted by SUNU Assurances Vie Côte d’Ivoire where he provided technical inputs and project management support for the Facility's innovation and change management project with the partner.

"I believe this fellowship is an invaluable opportunity to be part of a unique community of experts, built around people with diverse and complementary cultural and professional backgrounds, all sharing the same passion and purpose: fostering financial inclusion, while promoting reverse innovation in our old insurance industry. This project drives me into corners each and every day. I face challenges and issues I never had to face before, and most importantly issues I could not have been prepared for. This forces me to think outside-the-box, challenge the status quo and most importantly pick my battles. In a nutshell I’m learning new things everyday, and it’s extremely rewarding."

Nuno Meira
CNAAS, Dakar, Senegal
July 2016 – July 2017

Nuno was hosted by CNAAS where he provided technical inputs and project management support.

Nuno is currently an Agricultural Finance Specialist with the International Finance Corporation.

"I consider this opportunity to be hosted by CNAAS and work with the low-income market in West Africa as something that meets my expectations as a professional and a human being. An intellectual challenge, doing real things in field, "hands-on" on areas that matter for the people and the economy of my host country. After so many years working in mainly transactional activities this is a great opportunity to immerse myself in a new culture, bridge my natural curiosity with people and new learnings. At the end of this project, I hope to have helped my host and my host country in a substantive way. I feel extremely grateful to the Facility and the Fellowship Programme for the opportunity given to allow me to, once more, get out of my comfort zone and expand my personal and professional horizons. "The World is a village, if we want it to be"."


Fellow alumni: 2009 - 2014

Agrotosh Mokerjee
Sajida Foundation, Dhaka, Bangladesh
September 2011 – September 2012

Agrotosh completed an extensive pricing review of a comprehensive microinsurance product, focusing on health and education benefits. He incorporated actuarial and other technical tools, which the organisation could use for a range of purposes, including pricing, product design, monitoring and evaluation of both insurance and other programs. He also trained both management and field staff on actuarial, technical and operational aspects of running a microinsurance program. 

Agrotosh is currently the Principal Actuary of MicroEnsure and co-leads the Agriculture division of MicroEnsure.

"The fellowship helped immensely in giving me a taste of what its like to be a professional working in microinsurance in a developing country. It helped me decide how exactly I wanted to structure my career in microinsurance and enabled me to specialise in this field. Taking up the fellowship was perhaps the best decision of my career."

William Collins
Kenya Orient Insurance Limited (KOIL) (Nairobi, Kenya)
May 2012 – May 2013

William delivered a concept paper to a major sugar miller for them to present the benefits of supporting a bundled insurance program for their stakeholders. He redesigned policy and claims forms for use with microinsurance products. He also conducted training on microinsurance key financial and social performance indicators for his host organization.

William is a Manager of Customer Experience and Retention Analytics at Esurance.

“The fellowship gave me great hands-on experience working on microinsurance. I'm now advocating to raise awareness and interest to the field of microinsurance and the building of actuarial capacity in developing countries. I also learned a strong customer-centric view of the insurance process, and I decided that I wanted my future work to have a strong impact on customers.”

Joshua Ling
AMUCSS (Mexico City, Mexico)
August 2012 – August 2013

Joshua designed a savings linked insurance product. He created and introduced a dashboard of key performance indicators over the organization's microinsurance portfolio. He also developed a proposal to pilot parametric agricultural insurance against frost in a coffee growing 

Joshua is a Microinsurance Consultant and Actuary, based in Bogota, Colombia and currently working with national governments, World Bank, Mercy Corps and MiCRO.

"Coming from a consulting actuary and insurance background,  through the fellowship I had the chance to develop a number of key skills that will be highly useful in my future career in microinsurance.  These include field experience (visiting rural bank branches and meeting clients), understanding the risks of low income households, familiarity of the Mexican and Latin American financial markets, understanding the role of the microinsurance intermediary and gaining skills negotiating with the underwriting insurance company and also the distributing field organisations, networking and meeting people in the industry, particularly in the Americas, and Spanish language skills."

Ayham Esmaiel
Star Microinsurance Service Limited (Accra, Ghana)
April 2012 – October 2013

Ayham conducted a process mapping exercise that helped in organizing and restructuring each function and allow for comprehensive revision for the overall work practices. He developed three manuals during his fellowship, which include Back office comprehensive Operational Manual, Bancassurance Operational Manual and Operational Manual for Ghana post officers. He also contributed to the microinsurance partnership development between Star Micro and Ghana Post.

Ayham is currently a microinsurance consultant.

"The fellowship has enhanced my project managemetn skills and and knowledge, as I have been involved in different projects with Star Micro. The most important project was the partnership with Ghana Post Company to distribute Star Micro’s MI products. I  practiced the different project phases; pre-implementing, planning (develop a project management plan, collect project requirements), time management, planning project budget, communications and executing a project (direct and manage project work, acquire project team, develop project team, manage a project team, manage communications, conduct procurements, manage stakeholder engagement). The different hands on experiences with the various projects of Star Micro have strengthened my understanding of each phase of a project preparation, execution and evaluation, in line with developing my personal skills to adapt to the changing nature of the projects’ demands."

Benedicte Ya Menan
UNACOOPEC (Cote d'Ivoire)
August 2010 – September 2011

Benedict conducted the segmentation of premiums to make them more inclusive and all strata of society. She improved the processes and data recording medium of the information system and established the dashboard that assesses the social, commercial and technical performance indicators.

Benedicte is an independent consultant working on actuarial evaluation and insurance consulting.

"Excelent working methodology, and a unique possibility to collect additional lessons. It also gave me the capacity to manage real and valuable objectives."

Carol Stewart
INFUSE (East Timor)
July 2011 – September 2012

Carol conducted market research among microfinance clients to determine the types of microinsurance products that may be viable in the near to medium term and benchmark customer willingness to pay for these products. Together with National Insurance Timor Leste and 2 microfinance institutions, she designed and launched 2 enhanced credit life products and  tailored slightly for each of the MFIs.  In partnership with the Fellows based in Fiji and PNG and with support from the Pacific Financial Inclusion Program and the Asian Development Bank, she conducted multiple regional training events.

Carol is consulting for the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as the Timor Leste Coordinator for the Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI).

"The fellowship provided an excellent opportunity to drive microinsurance product implementation from start to finish: market research all the way to launch and evaluation.  The support from the ILO Microinsurance Facility and the fellowship mentors was excellent   providing relevant input, resources, and training as needed.  This Fellowship is well suited to the self motivated, curious, aspiring development practitioner, offering opportunities to learn practical and widely applicable skills including: engaging and establishing buy in from local partners   from Central Bankers to local businesses to MFI clients, building inter organizational teams capable of delivering results, and learning first hand the day to day challenges of living and doing business in some of the world's more challenging contexts." 

Clemence Tatin-Jaleran
CIRM, IFMR (Chennai, India)
April 2009 - December 2010

Clemence set up pricing and monitoring guidelines for a HMI project and conducted a feasibility study on index based product development for catastrophic floods mesoinsurance. Throughout her fellowship, she not only actively drove ANED’s microinsurance activities, but also ensured management participation in decision making and the transfer of knowledge to designated ANED staff. In parallel, she also researched the possibility of ANED’s providing an agricultural product in the future

Clemence is a tri-lingual French actuary and microinsurance consultant.

"Living in India for two years and being in the field was the greatest learning lesson from the fellowship; it enabled me to understand better the country context, its complexity, and the economic reality of the population targeted by microinsurance. Working within the IFMR ecosystem was also a great exposure to development topics, cutting edge microfinance and knowledge, from research to implementation. Meeting Indian and international microinsurance and development experts during the fellowship lead me to remain in the sector. The fellowship was overall a fast track."

Derek Poulton
Seguros Futuro (San Salvador, El Salvador)
July 2010 – June 2011

Derek provided the design that was the foundation of Seguros Futuro’s successfully introduced new repatriation and remittance product with multiple life coverage.
Based on his design based on focus groups with clients, Seguros Futuro successfully introduced a new repatriation and remittance product with multiple life coverage. He helped Seguros Futuro integrate financial education in risk management and also helped design a women's health microinsurance prototype based on the results of a study of women's health practices and financing for Aseguradora Rural in Guatemala, which he implemented as well. 

Derek is a Project Manager at EA Consultants and also an Independent Consultant in Financial Services at the Base of the Pyramid.

"The fellowship gave me both deep and broad exposure to microinsurance, and introduced me to the most important players in the sector, who continue to be my clients, mentors, colleagues and friends."

Heidi McGowan
Microinsurance Academy (New Dehli, India)
June - November 2010

Heidi conceptualized, coordinated, partially wrote, edited and fundraised for “The Practical Guide to Impact Assessments of Microinsurance”, a forthcoming 14 chapter handbook that teaches practitioners to design, implement and analyze data from rigorous evaluations of microinsurance programs. She also reviewed the evaluations for the second volume of the Microinsurance Compendium. She managed the activities of the Microinsurance Network’s Impact Working Group

Heidi is an independent researcher and consultant. 

"The fellowship gave me the opportunity to work with multiple impact assessment methodologies and studies of microinsurance plans from around the world, through which I strengthened my capacity as an evaluator and knowledge of what policy elements work (or don’t) under different circumstances.  With these skills and knowledge, I look forward to providing research and consulting services in the microinsurance and overall access to finance fields, for example to facilitate the design, implementation, administration and assessment of high quality financial products and services."

Job Harms
Swedish Cooperative Centre (Nairobi, Kenya) 
November 2009 - May 2010

Job conducted a baseline survey for randomized evaluation on composite health insurance in Kenya (CIC & NHIF). He coordinated marketing interventions and also conducted a study on consumer preferences for rebates & deductibles.

Job is a PhD candidate in Economics at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

"The fellowship contributed to my understanding of conducting experimental research in the field of development economics."

Josephine Mukibi
May 2009 – April 2010 
CIDR (Uganda)

Josephine was involved in product design for weather indexed based insurance products. She coordinated with the different stakeholders that led to the successful launch of agriculture insurance products. 

Josephine is a Manager of Kungula Agrinsurance, the first agriculture insurance scheme in Uganda. 

"The fellowship gave me the foundation and the background knowledge I needed to confidently start a career in agriculture insurance in Uganda and Africa as a whole. My confident levels soared and I was able to educate different people form all backgrounds about insurance in general and agriculture insurance specifically."

Leticia Goncalves
Aseguradora Rural (Guatemala City, Guatemala)
August 2011 – February 2013

Leticia conducted qualitative and quantitative product research that included design, implementation and evaluation. She was involved and managed multiple projects.

Leticia is a PhD Candidate in Peace, Conflict and Development Studies and an Independent consultant in different projects for GIZ  and A2ii.

"After completing my masters degree in peace, conflict and development I was looking in pursuing a career which could match development and my previous insurance experience. The fellowship gave me the opportunity to learn and research a lot on microinsurance products and development projects and today I can say I am very happy working on this field." 

Mangesh Patankar
PCIC (Philippines)
August 2010 – August 2011 

Mangesh assisted in compiling information on microinsurance and credit product offerings in the project area. He planned and executed technical and non-technical trainings for the insurance company, distributors, government agencies and farmers. He also assessed feasibility and designed pilot weather index based insuranceproducts for the project area.

Mangesh is an Assistant Vice President of Agriculture with Swiss Re Services India Private Limited.

"The fellowship has given an excellent exposure to the environment involving transitioning of an insurer from the traditional product base to non traditional products. Further, as the fellowship demanded a prolonged stay at the field site, it also helped understanding the implementation aspects from vicinity. Mentorship is an important aspect of the fellowship programme and the mentor did provide extremely valuable technical inputs (particularly regarding the designing of the weather index products) and also made sure that the 'learning' happens simultaneously with the actual implementation."

Manoj Pandey
Yasiru Mutual Provident Society (Colombo, Sri Lanka) 
October 2009 - May 2010
Cooperative Insurance Company (Nairobi, Kenya)
June - December 2010

Manoj designed a staff training and client education template and conducted a business performance analysis and costing exercise for Yasiru Mutual Provident Society. He completed a business performance analysis and KPI analysis of CIC’s microinsurance business.

Manoj is the Microinsurance Knowledge Coordinator at the Microinsurance Network.

"The fellowship exposed me to microinsurance sector outside of India and expanded my understanding of Microinsurance in general. It helped me develop a network of likeminded professionals in the sector and that helped me upgrade my skills and also helped me identify new career opportunities within the sector. The skill development support from the Facility during the fellowship and also getting access to the International Microinsurance Conference in 2010 was also very helpful."

Monica De Gyves Barradas
REDSOL-AMUCCS (Mexico City, Mexico)
August - December 2009

Monica organized market industry interviews within insurance companies to gauge their interest in microinsurance. The results were used by REDSOL to determine the possibilities of implementing product strategies in the short and medium run.She participated in defining contractual schemes with insurance companies in order to obtain the best terms for the organization and its members. 

Monica is the Global Director Alternative Channels, Insurance & Prevision at BBVA Retail Banking. 

"Almost my entire career has been developed in the for- profit areas, insurance companies and financial Institutions. The opportunity to be part of the Facility's work,  opened my eyes to fully understand that there are ways to extend the insurance benefits to the low income families. I think that is precisely the most important lesson I learned during my fellowship. After doing a fellowship things never will be the same. Nowadays I always think on providing really good benefits for the people and not only in terms of profits. I grew personal and professionally speaking. Thank you for the opportunity."

Oliver Ulrich 
PFIP (Papua New Guinea)
July 2011 – July 2012

Oliver designed and managed qualitative and quantitative market research on financial risk management of low income households, which was the first conducted in the country. He then developed and launched the first mobile microinsurance product in the South Pacific.

Oliver is an independent consultant specializing in mobile microinsurance and mobile health.

"Through this fellowship I have been given freedom and responsibility to work along the entire value chain of developing and implementing demand driven, innovative financial solutions in a greenfield environment. An amazing opportunity to strengthen stakeholder management skills by working with everyone from grass roots organisations to the CEO of a listed international bank."

Paola  Romera Marquez
Iniser (Managua, Nicaragua)
October 2009 – May 2010 

She implemented a complex product development process that the institution had never undergone before. At the end of the fellowship products were already designed, and complete strategic and business plans were delivered to the institution. She developed new tools and methods for a national level market study that she also coordinated and managed. 

Paolo is working in traditional insurance (environmental and asset) and risk management.

"The programme definitively helped me reinforce my professional credibility and visibility."

Saima Tabassum Zafar
Hygeia Community Health Plan Limited (Lagos, Nigeria)
August 2012 – July 2013

Saima conducted a comparative analysis of HCHC using PACE analysis to assess client value and suggest improvements for urban & rural health microinsurance programmes. She assisted in channelizing and creating dialogues between largest MFI in Nigeria and HCHC and also in capacity building activities.

Saima is part of the Microinsurance department of Jubilee General Insurance.

"The fellowship helped me be part of a platform where the knowledge & experience sharing of various innovative models, lessons, peer exchanges, meetings keep me motivated to bring about improvement in the microinsurance sector. The opportunity to pursue technical assistance fellowship in Hygeia Community Health Care Programme in Nigeria has made me identify challenges specially whilst working in urban areas, the need to create access to health care and creating client value for people living in both rural and urban areas to sustain the programme with or without subsidy and value of regular evaluation and monitoring."

Sarahjane Phelan
UAB Vie (Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso)
June 2013 – February 2014

Sarahjane designed and implemented an automated claims process, which increased accuracy and control over the manual system. She was planned and implemented market research of over 300 participants across 30 markets in Ouagadougou. She was also involved in advancing product design and partnership opportunities, improving the distribution strategy, putting in place a process for calculating and monitoring Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and capacity building activities.

Sarahjane is a Business Analyst at GRM International. 

"The fellowship has given me an insight into the everyday challenges and opportunities facing players who serve the working poor with financial services, and how the skillset and knowledge of insurance professionals can be applied to help them.  I now understand more about the organizations working in the space and their various roles, and have had the opportunity to meet many representatives from these organisations during my fellowship."

Soro Defergouo    
CIDR (Guinea, Benin) 
May 2009 – July 2009; September 2009 – November 2009 

Soro conducted the capitalization of health microinsurance programs in different contexts. He conducted a feasibility study of a reinsurance program which aimed to reinsure microinsurance products in the different programs through a mechanism of social reinsurance and another feasibility study of a microinsurance product aimed to cover "Moto-taxis" in a rural area of Guinea. 

Soro is a West Africa Regional Technical Advisor in health and social protection with CIDR, which was his former host organization.

"The fellowship was an opportunity to get knowledge on microassurance as it was the first time a got in touch with that sector.  The fellowship was very exciting as I had the opportunity to appreciate three microinsurance programs in three different contexts and to make a benchmark. At the end of the fellowship I had a job opportunity with the host organization as Technical Advisor in Comoros. This first job was a real experience of managing a microinsurance program and to transfer the program to the local association set up during project phase. I have to say that my current job is the fruit of the ILO fellowship program."

Tyler Tappendorf
Cenfri Innovation Lab (Cape Town, South Africa)
April 2013 – February 2014

Tyler helped formalize the concept within Cenfri of a Microinsurance Innovation Lab, which connects industry research with private companies looking to launch new microinsurance products. He designed a unique health MI concept that incentivizes mobile money agent networks. He also conducted in-depth studies on mobile microinsurance initiatives.

Tyler is a Research Associate at Cenfri, which was his former host organization.

"The fellowship gave me the opportunity to broaden my thinking around microinsurance and financial inclusion in general. It allowed me to explore new business models and to challenge existing approaches. It also helped me identify and establish a pathway towards more long-term personal and professional goals."