India’s Self-Help Groups Need Help: How to Strengthen a Proven Model to Support Women’s Recovery From the COVID-19 Crisis
Women’s empowerment is a growing focus in the development sector, but COVID-19 is putting the hard-won progress women have made in recent years at risk. Moin Qazi highlights one way to support women in emerging countries: the self-help group model. He discusses how these groups operate in India, their strengths and weaknesses, and how they could be leveraged to address the current crisis.
A Sector in Ruins or ‘Building Back Better’? Findings From e-MFP’s Covid-19 Financial Inclusion Compass
With the COVID-19 pandemic and the global recession it has triggered, the financial inclusion sector is facing perhaps the greatest crisis in its modern history. In response, the European Microfinance Platform repurposed this year's Financial Inclusion Compass survey for this critical moment. Sam Mendelson discusses the results, and what they say about the sector's priorities, challenges and prospects for recovery.
Digital Identity and Financial Inclusion: How Digitizing Customer Due Diligence Can Strengthen Providers During COVID-19 and Beyond
Customer due diligence requirements are a major barrier to financial inclusion, since in some countries up to half the adult population can't open a bank account because they lack the necessary identity documents. With COVID-19 placing this obstacle in the spotlight, analysts at Cenfri explore how digital ID systems can benefit providers and customers, during the pandemic and beyond.
Tackling the Creative Economy Financing Gap: How Short-Term Capital Can Unlock Long-Term Impact Among Artisan Businesses
An estimated 3% of global GDP comes from creative industries – and the sector is growing quickly in the developing world. Laura Callanan at Upstart Co-Lab and Christopher van Bergen at Nest Inc. argue that now is the time to shape the creative economy to be more inclusive and sustainable. But for that to happen, the industry must first address its funding gap.
Why Don’t Small Retailers Adopt E-Payments?: New Research Suggests the Reasons Behind Merchant Aversion – And Solutions for Stimulating Customer Demand
Mexico's 2.1 million 'tienditas' (small shops) drive most of the country's retail sales – yet 83% of them only accept cash, even though e-payment technology is cheaply accessible. Shreya Kankanhalli at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and Luz Gomez at Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth explore findings from a field study that's testing ways to promote e-payments.
A Pandemic Response Based on Listening: Leveraging Customer Interviews to Understand COVID-19’s Impact in the Developing World
As COVID-19 spread around the world early this year, there was a flurry of data about its impact. But nearly all of it was gathered via online surveys, which omitted the 50% of the global population that lacks internet access. 60 Decibels responded by launching phone surveys with over 10,000 people in 13 developing countries to discuss their challenges and unmet needs. Kat Harrison discusses what they found.
Healthcare Cannot Exist Without Clean Water: Why WASH is the Foundation of an Effective Pandemic Response
Hospital beds and masks are often seen as the basic elements of defense against COVID-19. Yet for many developing countries, the pandemic has exposed even more fundamental disease prevention needs – namely, clean water and sanitation. Nafisa Jiwani at U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) discusses the vital role WASH plays in combating the pandemic, and how DFC is supporting water and sanitation efforts around the world.
The COVID-19 Pivot: How Five Nonprofits and Community-Based Enterprises Have Adapted in Response to the Pandemic
As COVID-19 has upended entire industries, businesses and non-profits everywhere have had to adapt to survive – sometimes shifting completely from their traditional services. June Sugiyama at the Vodafone Americas Foundation explores how five participants in the OpenIDEO COVID Business Pivot Challenge have quickly adjusted to provide innovative solutions to the crisis.