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This internship will be supervised and comes to us via a Middlebury alumna.

Context and Objective
The Coordination Nationale de le Finance Inclusive (CNFI), a government office within the Malagasy Ministry of Finance, would like to offer an internship opportunity within a Malagasy microfinance institution (MFI), for a student (or recent graduate) of development economics. This internship is intended to support Axis 2 of Madagascar’s National Strategy on Financial Inclusion, 2018-2022 (SNIM), specifically objective two: “the call to develop more microinsurance opportunities to support resilience and engender productivity.” 

Criteria and conditions
-      The students will be paired with an MFI selected on the basis of its strong institutional framework, and interest in developing a new insurance product
-      The student will be fluent in French 
-      The student will work with a Malagasy student who will act as translator/interpreter in the field
-      This MFI will be headquartered in Antananarivo for ease of accessibility, so that the interns can receive support and guidance from CNFI personnel on a regular basis 
-      The interns will report to the MFI on a daily basis for the length of their internship
-      The internship will be for ten weeks, to take place this June/July/August 2019 (flexible start/end dates)
-      The proposed internship is funded with a CCI award of $3,000 and will receive a local transport stipend from the employer
-      Housing will be offered for the overseas student by employer

Project Description: Development of an Insurance Product
  • The project itself would primarily entail the conduct of research and focus-group studies of potential clients, and eventually discussions/interviews with insurance companies to gauge participation interest.
  • The interns will assist the MFI to conduct research on customer habits and preferences, and which lifecycle or unanticipated events the customers would prioritize being “prepared for.” It is worthwhile to learn which events push clients to the brink, in order to design an insurance product to address and manage this risk. 
  • Most likely, due to the brief nature of the internship, the additional product development activities such as: calculation of pricing, creation of a training program for sales agents and end users, development of marketing materials, and the launch and roll-out of the product would be items addressed at a later stage by the MFI’s own team. 

One possibility for this product is a Credit Life program, that can be easily replicated by other MFIs, and will help stabilize the sector. Credit Life is an entry-level insurance product that reimburses the loan in the event of death of the borrower. Sometimes, there is also a monetary lump-sum paid out to the family of the deceased. This product helps the family, who has just lost their breadwinner, and eases the worry about repaying the debt to the bank. This insurance product also helps protect the financial institution, who does not need to write-off the loan. This insurance product helps protect the integrity of the system. 

This product is already sold through some MFIs in Madagascar. Because this product tends to be sold by bundling it with a loan, it is very important that the MFI intentionally creates customer awareness about this (usually) mandatory product-purchase. However, most of the MFIs are not properly informing the clients about this additional product that they purchase with their loan. Therefore, a roll-out of an exemplary Credit Life product would be a positive development for the sector.

Please note:
Because this is an internship funded by CCI for current students only, seniors graduating in February or May 2019 are not eligible for the CCI funding. This internship is funded with a CCI award of $3,000.00. If you are offered and accept this internship, please be aware that your funding for this position is provided by CCI, and therefore you will be required to complete funded internship paperwork.