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Mayada El-Zoghbi, Building Resilience through Financial Inclusion

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Mayada El-Zoghbi
Building Resilience through Financial Inclusion: A Review of Existing Evidence and Knowledge Gaps
Co-Organized by IFPRI and Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA)
MAY 9, 2019 - 12:15 PM TO 01:45 PM EDT

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Mayada El-Zoghbi, Building Resilience through Financial Inclusion

  1. 1. Building Resilience through Financial Inclusion Mayada El-Zoghbi May 9, 2019
  2. 2. Resilience framing for the impact of financial inclusion • CGAP strongly supports the use of a resilience framing for the impact of financial inclusion. • IFPRI/IPA research aligns with CGAP’s own literature review on the topic • CGAP has undertaken an effort to ‘change the narrative’ around the role of financial services for the poor to better align with the evidence and this new framing. • This process of updating the narrative has led to building resilience and seizing opportunity as the key channels for wellbeing improvements for poor people. 2
  3. 3. • Existing narratives are ‘outdated’ and do not take into account the plethora of research and evidence that has come out over the past 4-5 years. • “Microcredit eradicates poverty” • “Digital financial services reduce transaction costs and increase distribution to remote and rural areas” • Existing narratives were not based on evidence. They did not cover the nuances among different groups. • Microcredit ➔ entrepreneurs • DFS ➔ those with access to phones / in markets with digital ecosystem / where norms allow women to participate with agents and with technology • But the evidence alone does not tell a story. A narrative requires building the connective tissue around the evidence – or a theory of change – highlighting what we know and what we hypothesize. • Evidence through a product lens does not seem to be effective for storytelling; does not result in clarity for policymakers or donors/investors. • From the customer perspective, financial services are used interchangeably for the same purpose by the poor. Products are useful framing for providers and for research. Why an updated narrative?
  4. 4. How do we build a new narrative? • Step 1: Start with a literature review of the evidence. o CGAP created library of nearly 200 publications; 80 of which are published after 2014. o CGAP identified emerging themes and is publishing a new paper with recent findings. Story that is emerging is different from product siloed story: credit doesn’t work, savings is good, microinsurance is good but not viable; payments too early to tell. o Messages on resilience align closely with IFPRI/IPA paper. • Step 2: Update the TOC based on the literature review. o Reviewed existing TOCs. o Build out a draft TOC. o Held several consultations with researchers, donors, and practitioners to validate the updated TOC. • Step 3: Identify implications. o Where is more funding needed for experimentation? o What has already been proven? 4
  5. 5. Community assets (health, safety, physical infrastructure) Good governance Government social programs (disaster risk reduction, safety nets) Institutional & cultural norms Macroeconomi c stability Context | Assumptions The Poor improve their wellbeing Financial resources RESILIENCE The poor are able to smooth consumption over time Physical capability OPPORTUNITY The poor seize opportunities & make welfare enhancing investments Income stability & growth WagesFirm growth Other transfers Management of HH expenses Assets & Liabilities Access to basic services (health, energy, WASH) Unpaid care work Nutrition Safety & Shelter Physical access Human capital Physical Mobility & Health Emerging theory of change Skills & Ability Positive self- perception, autonomy & self efficacy Knowledge Access to Info Emotional wellbeing Expectations for the future Access to education & training Norms around decision making, roles & bargaining power Social networks Norms around roles & asset ownership Norms around mobility & time use
  6. 6. Focusing in on resilience in the TOC 6 The Poor improve their wellbeing RESILIENCE The poor are able to smooth consumption over time OPPORTUNITY The poor seize opportunities & make welfare enhancing investments Save for the future Diversify income sources (including migration) Adopt risk mitigation practices Manage liquidity People are able to manage risks People are able to recover after a shock Draw down resources Draw on external support Migrate for recovery Rebuild assets & livelihoods Receive remittances from networks Receive gov’t transfers for losses People are prepared against risks Iterative and reinforcing relationship between building resilience and seizing opportunities.
  7. 7. Summary of key take-aways • Reset expectations based on evidence • Evidence supports building resilience and seizing opportunity as preconditions for wellbeing improvements • Resilience and opportunity are interconnected, not sequential • Individual-level wellbeing improvements are contingent on: • Individual actions/endowments • Household dynamics • Contextual and market conditions • Policymakers and donors should: • Invest in market-level solutions that reduce risk and create opportunities for poor people (ie, HH level financial services on their own are insufficient) • Scale FI efforts where evidence is already strong • Invest in FI research where there is a need to validate hypothesis & experiment with new segments or regions
  8. 8. Advancing financial inclusion to improve the lives of the poor www.cgap.org