Jessica Jacobson has twenty years experience in international development, with a focus on increasing access to financial services for low and mid-income households. She served as Deputy Director of the EBRD Micro and Small Finance Facility in Kyrgyzstan, working with seven local banks to develop credit products for low-and-mid income households. She has also worked with non-profit microfinance institutions in Africa and Asia and with ProCredit Banks in Latin America. She has managed complex multi-million dollar small loan portfolios and has provided technical training to bank executives, credit managers and loan officers. Prior to joining Water.org, she conducted evaluations of international financial services and health projects for Mathematica Policy Research. She worked on evaluations for the Gates Foundation, UNICEF and the Millennium Challenge Corporation, among others. She has studied nine languages and has work experience in 26 countries. Her articles on financial inclusion have appeared in Enterprise Development and Microfinance, the Journal of Public and International Affairs and the Akipress Kyrgyz Analytical Journal.
Commitment to Water.org
"I am committed to working towards a world in which all individuals can realize their potential. Safe water and sanitation are prerequisites to achieving improvements in health status, economic wellbeing, education and gender equality. Making microloans available for connecting to piped water or for building a toilet helps families overcome the affordability barrier of the upfront connection or construction costs. By breaking the upfront cost down into monthly payments, more people can afford access to these essential services. And financial institutions can benefit by diversifying their portfolios and strengthening the position of their clients to pursue further economic development."