I4 Scientific Meeting Conference

The Index Insurance Innovation Initiative (I4) was jointly promoted by FAO, BASIS, USAID, the Micro-Insurance Innovation Facility of ILO, and Oxfam America. The initiative aims at designing and implementing innovative livelihood optimized index insurance contracts, and verifying the extent to which removing correlated risk can indeed reduce poverty and deepen financial markets in rural agricultural areas.

I4 was promoted in response to increasing evidence that uninsured risks are among the reasons which can drive people into poverty and destitution. Risk can cause people to shy away from high-return activities or pursue defensive savings strategies that cut off sustained accumulation of productive assets. Risk also inhibits the development of rural financial market, which reinforces risk’s negative impacts.

Index insurance pilot will be promoted by I4 across Africa, Asia and Latin America, in collaboration with the private sector, and facilitate the scaling-up at the regional level. Based on the pilots, the initiative will synthesize lessons learned, and create a set of global best practices for the design and implementation of index insurance.

Within this context, a meeting of the Scientific Committee of I4 was hosted by FAO – EST in Rome, on January 15th and 16th. The meeting was organized in four sessions, along two working days. The first was devoted to theoretical presentations and discussions, while the second proposed a review of pilots and practical experiences.