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Extending Insurance?: Funeral Associations in Ethiopia and Tanzania

  • Stefan Dercon
  • Tessa Bold
  • Joachim De Weerdt
  • Alula Pankhurst

This paper studies the development of indigenous insurance institutions set up to help cover the high costs of funerals, using evidence from rural areas in Tanzania and Ethiopia. Many of these institutions tend to co-exist within the same community and are based on well-defined rules and regulations, often offering premium-based insurance for funeral expenses, as well as, in many cases, other forms of insurance and credit to help address hardship. The paper argues that the characteristics and inclusiveness of these institutions make them well placed as models to broaden insurance provision and other development activities in these communities. In Ethiopia, there is some encouraging experience with using these institutions, as reviewed in this paper. However, the paper argues that their fragility as institutions is well illustrated by current pressures related to HIV/AIDS, as well as by their apparent resistance to engage more broadly with NGOs and government agencies. As a ... A partir de données recueillies dans des zones rurales d’Éthiopie et de Tanzanie, ce document s’intéresse aux organismes locaux d’assurance qui ont fait leur apparition pour aider les familles à assumer les frais d’obsèques, souvent très lourds. Reposant sur une réglementation bien établie, la plupart d’entre eux coexistent au sein d’une même communauté. Ils proposent souvent une assurance « frais d’obsèques » fondée sur les primes ainsi que, dans de nombreux cas, d’autres produits d’assurance et de crédit permettant de faire face à d’éventuels revers. Les caractéristiques et l’ouverture totale de ces établissements en font des modèles intéressants pour la mise en place, dans ces communautés, d’autres services d’assurance ou d’autres activités de développement. En Éthiopie, leur utilisation a donné lieu à plusieurs expériences prometteuses dont ce document rend compte. Pour autant, les pressions exercées aujourd’hui par l’épidémie de sida et l’apparente réticence de ces ...

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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Development Centre Working Papers with number 240.

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Date of creation: Dec 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:oec:devaaa:240-en
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