Financial Inclusion seeks to make financial services accessible, at affordable costs, to all individuals and businesses regardless of their net worth and/or size. In this way financial inclusion supports broad-based participation of poor and marginalized groups in financial intermediation processes. Evidence shows financial inclusion, from both formal and informal services, has a positive impact on increasing household resilience to external shocks (several resources are noted below). This track will explore both proven and innovative strategies to develop resilience in financial systems, communities, and households; and will look at products, services, and technologies that help households and enterprises better mitigate risks associated with climate variability, illness and disease, political instability, and conflict.
The selection committee will be looking for sessions that illustrate financial inclusion’s contribution to resilience (not financial inclusion standalone) across a broad array of contexts. If desired, you may provide your definition of resilience at the forefront of your proposal submission to allow reviewers to contextualize it and further understand your approach. Financial services should be construed as all types of financial products and services including but not limited to cash transfers, remittances, payments, insurance, savings, credit, supply chain transactions, etc.
Fragile contexts characterized by weak governance, thin and aid-dependent markets, distortionary economic policies, and frequent exposure to a range of ecological, social and economic shocks create unique challenges for market systems development. Given the complexities of crises, strategies for building resilience must be tailored to the context, be it rapid or slow-onset crises, natural disasters, conflict, or forced migration. To respond effectively, humanitarian and development actors must continually adapt and pivot based on shifting circumstances. Similarly, the processes of innovative ideation – testing new or adapted solutions, and scaling those solutions – play a critical role in building resilience.
This track will focus on promising approaches that successfully use the potential of markets to build resilience in fragile settings. In this track, we will examine how public and private sector actors address systemic constraints that hinder access to and participation in markets. We will also explore how market engagement at the individual, household, and community level can build resilience for local populations and the local market system itself. Finally, we’ll learn how innovation, adaptation, shared value and social capital facilitate long term, durable solutions for resiliency.
Gender-based inequalities and social exclusion are key factors undermining people’s and community’s capacities to cope with and recover from shocks. There is growing evidence of the numerous ways in which women and men are distinctively vulnerable to displacement, climate change, economic downturns, illness and disease, and related stresses, as well as how they mobilize different capacities to build their resilience. Adopting a gender lens helps practitioners to develop a deeper understanding of the different experiences between men and women as well as to design better programmatic responses that take gendered social norms and access to resources into consideration.
This track will explore how gender relations – the relation of power between men and women – are a critical factor in women’s economic empowerment and influence resilience strategies at the household and community levels. The committee is interested in exploring gender approaches around: increasing investment in the face of risk; strategies for risk reduction; facilitating risk preparedness; and responding positively and proactively when a shock hits.
Over the past decade there has been a heightened focus on fostering resilience and a consolidation of perspectives within developing countries and fragile contexts. Yet there remains limited empirical evidence on how market systems, including private-sector approaches, support resilience capacities. As a community, humanitarian and development practitioners are still grappling with how to measure change, particularly systems-level change. Because resilience is a multi-faceted concept, understanding how systems-level change supports or negatively impacts resilience adds to this challenge.
Sessions in this track will illustrate how we use proven and emerging measures, methods, and evidence for strengthening the resilience of households, communities and market systems and how we empower people with data. The committee is interested both in new data and ways of measuring, as well as new uses or analysis for existing datasets. Because different definitions of resilience are used by different organizations, if desired, you may provide your definition of resilience at the forefront of your proposal submission to allow reviewers to contextualize it and better understand your proposal