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Financial Inclusion Policy Guide
Category: Microcredit | By SDR, 4-Jun-2017 | Viewed 459  Comments 0 | Source William Smith, Lucy Scott and Andrew Shepherd (2015)
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Financial Inclusion Policy Guidelines
The objective of this policy guide is to provide policymakers and programme designers with an up-to-date view of what needs to be done to include the poorest people in financial services, and by doing so make a dent in their poverty. It does not attempt to be a comprehensive guide to pro-poor financial services; rather, it selects savings and insurance as two aspects of financial services that are most likely to build poor people's resilience in the face of the multiple risks they face - a necessary precursor to any investments they might make to get out of poverty. 

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Accelerated Poverty Fighters
The guide highlights four promising ways forward for policies and interventions that aim to include the poorest faster than would otherwise be the case - by linking informal and formal financial services, linking social protection with financial services, making maximum use of the digital revolution and promoting weather-based insurance. The guide does not cover credit and microfinance, on which there is already an ample literature, and where the evidence on impacts on the poor is mixed.

A brief analysis of panel household survey and other data tells us formal financial services (savings and insurance) - other than mobile phone-based payments - do not feature strongly in escaping poverty, or sustaining escapes. The overwhelming result is that chronically poor people and other poor or vulnerable people either do not have access to or do not use these formal financial services. There is thus a long way to go to financial inclusion that makes a direct impact on the eradication of poverty. 

The poor are increasingly making use of mobile phone-based payments systems to send and receive remittances, on the other hand, and this has a positive impact on resilience. Microfinance has taught us that credit can help people escape poverty or prevent them falling into poverty, but does not always do so - and that credit can also 'kill'. And that specific measures are needed to bring the poorest people to a position where they can make good use of credit. These mixed findings have led to today's much more rounded policy interest in financial services as a whole.

See full article: http://ragm.org/docs/Financial%20INclusion%20Policy%20Guide_288.pdf

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Chronic Poverty Advisory Network
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