Financial service providers throughout the world are benefitting from unprecedented recognition and access to capital. This, in turn, has allowed the sector to provide millions of the world’s low-income households and businesses with credit and other financial services. EA Consultants’ work considers the competitive needs of these financial service providers , with a strong emphasis in providing value to clients. We are a recognized leader of innovation in the industry, offering a broad range of services including:
Our work has included strategic and business planning, product development, sales training, downscaling, SME lending, costing, program evaluations and market studies for the Inter-American Development Bank and other regional development banks as well as financial access landscape studies for research groups including CGAP and the Microinsurance Centre.
EA Consultants believes that there are critical links between research, learning and action. Before implementing a new program or policy, it is important to have a comprehensive understanding of the current market and of all the positive and negative effects that the strategy may produce. Our approach incorporates academic and programmatic research. We ensure that quantitative and qualitative information about clients is incorporated in our work to give clients a “voice” in the process. By recognizing gaps in the market, we can create appropriate solutions to address those areas of critical need. Our research is markedly independent and objective.
Our work in policy research has included programmatic studies for local, national, and international governmental organizations including the CNSeg, City of New York, International Labor Organization, and USAID.
Low- and middle-income countries often lack the resources to provide their citizens with sufficient safety nets and social protection services to protect them from the devastating effects of external shocks. In the absence of these public programs, microinsurance can help the poor mitigate risk. Yet, microinsurance is not just about "small policies." It involves tailoring products and processes to a new, low-income target while taking into account the demands of the market. EA Consultants recognizes that innovation in this field does not only emanate from the private sector. Whether through social security, microinsurance or other programs, governments play an important role in helping to mitigate the risk of vulnerable populations.
We provide advisory and research services to insurance companies and the donors and networks that support them to develop sustainable microinsurance and social protection strategies.
Throughout the world, underserved populations lack access to affordable medical care. The result is dramatic disparities between rich and poor, reflected in poorer health outcomes and high mortality rates among poor populations and exacerbated by the fact that the poor often de-capitalize their households to deal with health emergencies. In lower-income countries, this effect becomes far stronger. However, governments of developing countries are often unable to provide broad-based or high-quality health care due to limited resources, administrative and political constraints, or civil conflict. This care gap has created space for the microfinance to develop innovative products that improve clients’ healthcare access and security.
EA Consultants provides support to institutions interested in these solutions, which include health education, health loans and savings products, health insurance, and telemedicine. Our approach involves gauging the supply and effectiveness of extant coping mechanisms, as well as clients’ needs and preferences, and organizations’ delivery capacity. When conducting these consultancies we pay close attention to the key elements of healthcare access, which include product-specific variables as well as prevailing social factors.
Our work on access to healthcare has been on the design side–advising private institutions how to optimize pro-poor healthcare products, and on the research side–most notably studying client value for the 3-year Microinsurance Centre Learning & Knowledge project.
Women contribute significantly to the livelihoods of their families. However, they often lack sufficient access to financial tools, training and social protection mechanisms that take into account their particular needs. Although microfinance has provided millions of women with access to working capital, women-owned business are still smaller and slower growing than male-owned businesses. Our programs take gender differences into account, to ensure that solutions can be most effective. As a women-owned firm, we are particularly aware of the integral role that women have in international development. We recognize that any development solution, both in its focus and in its design, must take into account complex gender issues.
While, attention to the dynamics of gender relations is consistent in all our work, we are often commissioned to conduct focused studies women's access to finance and social protection, most recently by the Inter-American Development Bank and ProMujer.
One in seven people worldwide is a domestic or international migrant. Many of these migrants play an important role in mitigating risk for their families at home by increasing and diversifying income. However, migrants very often face unique and great risks themselves. Formal financial services, including insurance, can play an important role in mitigating risks for migrants and their families. To be effective, however, these solutions must be carefully designed in light of the particular needs of migrants and the challenges to serving them effectively and sustainably.
EA Consultants’ efforts in this area consist of four pillars: