Going Farther Together: A Recent Report Explores How Partnerships are Boosting Financial Inclusion in Nigeria
Nigeria missed its central bank’s target of 80% financial inclusion by 2020, and a new target has been set for 95% inclusion by 2024. According to Olayinka David-West and Ibukun Taiwo at the Lagos Business School, partnerships are an effective way to pursue this goal and serve the 38 million citizens who lack financial access. They share findings from a recent report that explores the state of Nigeria's digital financial services market, and highlight the critical success factors that can impact the effectiveness of partnerships in advancing financial inclusion.
Reaching Informal Savings Groups with Formal Financial Products: A Study’s Unexpected Findings Reveal the Challenges of Digitizing Transactions
Formalizing the financial activities of informal savings groups has long been a priority in financial inclusion. Since 2015, the Savings at the Frontier program has worked to deepen the relationships between these groups and formal financial service providers, on the assumption that this would lead group members to open individual accounts and reap the benefits of digital transactions. But as Raksha Vasudevan explains, the results of a program evaluation have challenged these assumptions. She explores these findings, and their implications for efforts to digitize informal savings groups.
Deconstructing the Monolith: Why Understanding Women’s Individual Needs is Key to Closing the Gender Gap in Financial Inclusion
How can financial service providers tailor their products to boost women's financial inclusion? Scott Graham and Anahit Tevosyan at FINCA discuss the findings of a survey of 2,800 financial consumers in the DRC, which showed – perhaps counterintuitively – that focusing on gender as the defining characteristic of a female client is exactly the wrong approach. They explore why it's necessary to “deconstruct the monolith” of female clients by digging into sub-segments of the market to understand their specific needs and constraints.
Failing to Learn from Failure is Undermining Energy Access: Why the Lack of Transparent Discussion is Putting SDG7 at Risk
Despite the clear need for sustainable energy and clean cooking solutions, energy access projects frequently fail – and all too often, these failures go unreported. According to Iwona Bisaga at Modern Energy Cooking Services and Julia Tomei and Tash Perros at University College London, the lack of discussion of failures is holding back progress toward global energy access. They share insights from a new study that examines what failure means to different actors across the sector, assesses the different types of failures that occur, and explores why the topic is so rarely discussed.
Debunking Myths on the Impact and Income of Women Sales Forces: New Data Reveals Ways to Maximize Their Potential
The use of female sales agents to sell health-related products is sometimes seen as a panacea that can boost both healthcare access and women’s income empowerment. But little research has been done to prove or disprove these beliefs. Lucie Klarsfeld McGrath and Louise Berthault at Hystra discuss a new report analyzing data from 21 organizations that rely principally on women direct sales forces to sell health-related products. Their analysis sheds light on the role and impact that women sales forces can have, and suggests ways to maximize their impact.
The Path Toward Commercialization: How Research Can Generate Business Opportunities in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
Research universities and labs are important engines of innovation that play a vital role in global business development – and commercializing these innovations can deliver real-world impact. But according to Dana Gorodetsky and Sachin Nijhawan at the William Davidson Institute, there's a lack of expertise and resources related to the commercialization of research in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). They explore the benefits of commercialization for researchers, institutions and entrepreneurs, and offer four key lessons for commercializing research in LMICs.
As farming costs rose and food crops were diverted to biofuels, progress toward food security, health and prosperity all over the world was reversed.
How Low- to Middle-Income Internet Users View Data Privacy and Protection: New Research From India and the United States
One side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the increased adoption and expansion of digital services, including among low- to middle-income users. Decodis CEO Daryl Collins argues that it is becoming increasingly important to create a sense of inclusion and confidence among these consumers, as their usage of these services grows. She shares research findings that show how a sample of low- to middle-income customers in the U.S. and India are navigating the digital world – and what they think about the data-sharing these services are based on.