This briefing paper draws on a conceptual analysis of meso-insurance and the results of field research conducted in March 2018 with indigenous Palaw’ans in the Philippines. The paper finds that climate risk insurance (CRI) needs to be attuned to the differential vulnerabilities and capacities of its beneficiaries. This is particularly true for poor and vulnerable people, for whom issues of accessibility and affordability need to be managed, and human rights and pro-poor approaches need to be ensured.
The strong communal relationship of indigenous peoples facilitates their participation in community-based organisations (CBOs). CBOs are a suitable vehicle for meso-insurance, in which risk is aggregated and an insurance policy belongs to a group. In this way, CBOs can facilitate service provision that would otherwise be beyond the reach of individuals.
In this context, meso-insurance is a promising approach when it provides accessibility and affordability and promotes a pro-poor and human rights-based approach of risk transfer by:
- Properly identifying and involving target beneficiaries and duty-bearers by employing pro-poor and human rights principles.
- Employing measures to improve the financial literacy of target beneficiaries.
- Designing insurance models from the bottom up.