Asasah has been striving to improve the livelihoods of poor segment of the society through providing its credit and financial products/services. During the course, we learnt that micro-financial services can be offered to such a class among poor who may have repayment capacity, in other words a poor who is un-banked but credit-worthy. Thus a major segment among poor that is called extreme-poor having multifaceted nature of poverty remained un-noticed. Livelihoods of extreme-poor are mostly dependant on such formal and informal social safety-net practices which despite sustaining their livelihoods; help them maintaining their dependency.
Livelihood Program has been designed to serve such unbanked and non-credit worthy, extreme-poor. It aims at designing and implementing improved sustainable livelihood options for the extreme-poor. Nature of poverty of this class of poor requires long-term interventions to an extent where they could be regarded as credit-worthy and may be served through any microfinance program; this is the main forte of the Livelihood Program of Asasah.
To access extreme-poor, it was imperative to streamline systems and processes of existing Microfinance Program of the organization in a way that may support directly or indirectly in outreaching such a class of poor. Therefore, functions of Livelihood Program are schemed in a manner where they support Microfinance Program in achieving efficiency & effectiveness and developing a structure to access and serve extreme-poor which ultimately be mainstreamed with Microfinance Program.
Initially, the Livelihood Program has been providing support to Microfinance Program of Asasah in achieving its sustainability and growth by intervening through streamlining institutional and programmatic processes and introducing innovative and outreach services.
The Livelihoods Program (LHP) has been performing six functions in the organization. In each functions different projects (funded or non-funded) have been implemented.
1. Research and Development
Designing and pilot testing sustain bale projects and introduce innovative and demand driven products and services along with ensuring effective and efficient structures and processes is the core strategy of this function.
2. Social Performance Management
Ensure progress towards social performance of Asasah is the core objective of this function.
3. Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Development
Asasah is a Social Enterprise and aims to develop its staff as social entrepreneurs, on the receiving end there are mic0r-(business) entrepreneurs who are striving to develop their enterprises through investing funds. Both supply and demand side requires intrapreneurship and entrepreneurship to meet the ends. Therefore, this component provides solutions for both.
4. Image Building
Building image of Asasah as a leading innovative, transparent and vibrant Microfinance Institution that strives for strengthening capacities of low income households, especially women.
5. Knowledge Management
Improving strategies and processes to identify, capture, structure, value, leverage, and share Asasah's intellectual assets to enhance its performance and competitiveness.
Timely availability of funds to achieve strategic growth is a must for any organization. This can be done through opting various strategies. Therefore, the Livelihoods Program is responsible for bringing project funding and funds through consulting services. Under this function Livelihoods Program has also launch Volunteers Program, which is focused for serving only the poorest of the poor segment of society by attracting volunteer serving and giving.