Trial Lecture – time and place
See Trial Lecture.
- First opponent: Professor Angwara Denis Kiwara, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences
- Second opponent: Professor Roy Mersland, School of Business and Law, University of Agder
- Third member and chair of the evaluation committee: Professor Emeritus Gunnar Aksel Bjune, University of Oslo
Chair of the Defence
Professor emerita Edle Ravndal
Professor emerita Grete Botten
Research has shown that Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) through provision of small
loans to women excluded from formal financial sector and integration of health
promotion programs, have a potential for economic and health benefits for women and
their children. Despite a vibrant growth of MFIs in low-resourced countries like
Tanzania, poverty is still rampant and poor health is common. This thesis “Provision of
microfinance services and integration of health education programs” aims to document
who provides MFIs and who are the beneficiaries, how are the loans spent and what
services do clients get and want to get. It includes three empirical studies from Moshi in
The first analyzed characteristics, distribution patterns and key services provided by
MFIs. Both formal, semiformal and informal MFIs operated, they had varied terms, the
informal reaching the poorest mostly. The MFIs provided only financial related products
and hardly any health promotion services.
The second analyzed demographic and socio-economic characteristics of MFIs’ female
clients and non-clients. Higher education and income were associated with use of
microfinance services. Women mainly got loans and credit, and some business training,
but scarcely any health promotion. The loans were used for improving business, paying
school fees and housing improvements.
The third explored women’s views regarding their experiences, perceived benefits and
possibilities for integrating health promotion in the informal MFI. The women were
generally satisfied and had expanded their businesses, paid for health care and school
fees and improved water and sanitation in their homes. They acknowledged MFIs as an
appropriate platform for provision of health promotion.
All MFIs have a substantial role to play in addressing poverty. The formal MFIs seem to
discriminate women with low socioeconomic status. The informal grass root model has
an untapped potential for addressing poverty and health promotion.
Contact the research support staff.