Online Program

Microgrant empowerment initiative: Pairing microfinance and program planning training to increase community participation and ownership over local development efforts

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 8:30 a.m. - 8:50 a.m.

Sarah Nunn, MSN, Teach For Health, San Francisco, CA
Kris Coontz, MPH, MD, School of Medicine, Tulane University School of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, New Orleans, LA
Noah Hawthorne, MPH, MD, Department of Emergency Medicine, UCSF, San Francisco, CA
José Albany Chavarría Picado, Teach For Health, San Ramon, Matagalpa, Nicaragua
Paola Ferst, MS, Teach For Health, Matagalpa, Nicaragua
Ivania del Carmen Escobar Sanchez, Teach for Health, Teach for Health, San Ramon, Matagalpa, Nicaragua
Teach for Health (TFH) consults with a Health Promoter Network in 25 rural, low-income communities in San Ramon, Nicaragua to develop local expertise and leadership for communities to enact their own health and development agendas. The Microgrant Empowerment Initiative (MEI), launched in 2012, provides a series of competitive, escalating “microgrants” with local matching for community-developed program proposals to improve health and well-being. Five escalating rounds of grants are coupled with comprehensive training on skills required to facilitate the process. The total cost of all grants is $11,600, funding 69 increasingly advanced and autonomous, cost efficient local development projects. This will lay the foundation for future independent resource seeking to implement community driven projects. This presentation reviews the successes and challenges encountered thus far while implementing the MEI, and describes the program characteristics that simultaneously build capacity within a regional health promoter organization and at the community level. Seventy-five per cent of communities are developing and 6 communities have completed their “practice” microgrant to improve first aid supply chaining – a problem common to participating communities - and 1 has begun their second project to place waste bins throughout the community, with incorporation of organic trash sorting and education on waste management. Ten communities have raised money through creative mechanisms such as horse racing, raffles and community fairs, and 20% have conducted a community diagnosis to choose issues for their next, higher level proposal. New initiatives to further support and catalyze community project design and implementation will be described.

Learning Areas:

Program planning

Learning Objectives:
Describe an approach utilizing microfinance and program planning training for community health promoters to improve local ownership over community development in villages surrounding San Ramon, Nicaragua. Analyze challenges and successes encountered in health-focused microfinance projects.

Keyword(s): Community Development, Community Health Promoters

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a graduate of the MSN program at UCSF in the advanced public health nurse track and the Nicaragua Program Director for Teach for Health. I have directly overseen the implementation of the Micro-Grant Empowerment Initiative in 2012 within the Community Health Promoter Network of San Ramon, Matagalpa, Nicaragua.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.