Articles by Michael Fryar
Those looking to technology to boost financial inclusion should stay focused on problems rather than solutions. That may sound counterintuitive, but Michael Fryar at Harvard's Evidence for Policy Design cautions that it's tantalizingly easy to treat fresh tech like a shiny new hammer and every problem as a nail. Fryar discusses this and other key insights from the recent "Rethinking Financial Inclusion" program at Harvard Kennedy School.
Big Data isn’t Enough: We Need an ‘All of the Above’ Strategy to Drive Innovation in Financial Inclusion
Researchers love talking about their data and methods as a “toolbox,” and with the rise of big data, they’ve got a fancy new tool. However, the reason for carrying a toolbox is that there are very few projects where just one tool, no matter how powerful, is sufficient to get the job done. It’s necessary to recognize the weaknesses of big data as well as its strengths, and to think about what other types of data are needed to complement it.
Opening a bank account – as more than 200 million people have done since India's financial inclusion push – is an important first step toward empowerment. But simply having an account is not enough; many women in India own bank accounts but lack full freedom to use them.