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.
Using Innovative Strategies to Build Resilient Savings Groups
Chaired by Catholic Relief Services
If savings groups are a great model for sustainable empowerment, why do so many lose engagement and dissolve after the initial project ends? This session will explore compelling new evidence from three innovative models challenging this trend. These solutions leverage the power of mobile apps, social entrepreneurs and trusted community networks in creative ways that build resilience at the group and community level. NGOs using these approaches have seen increases in group engagement, member motivation and group ROI long after the funded project ends. Speakers will share lessons on how to get started, what works and what doesn't.
Leveraging Financial Services to Build Resilience and Accelerate Post-Disaster Recovery
Chaired by World Vision
In this session, speakers will demonstrate how post-disaster recovery microfinance enabled rapid recovery to build resilient livelihoods for over 27,700 families and more than 100,000 people affected by disasters without doing any harm. With case studies from both slow-onset and rapid-onset disasters in the Philippines, Kenya, Malawi, Zambia, Myanmar and Ecuador, we will show how recovery lending can be affordable and not lead to over indebtedness of clients.
The experience from Sierra Leone and Sri Lanka will showcase how Savings for Transformation (S4T) groups and digitization has empowered vulnerable families, particularly women and persons with disabilities, to better withstand shocks and rebuild their lives in the aftermath of disasters.
Supporting Customer Resilience through Product Design and Delivery
Chaired by Itad
Join this session to hear about innovations from partners of the MasterCard Savings Learning Lab. Speakers will quote four examples of financial service providers from Cote D'Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria (Access Advans, LAPO, FCMB) that prioritize customer resilience when approaching product development and delivery. We will identify financial products, services and engagement strateies designed to increase low-income families' resilience to shocks including insecurity, climate and seasonality. Panelists will also inform the audience on research and strategies that have enabled families to move forward and pinpoint early signs to determine impact of these products.
How Financial Inclusion Can Build Resilience
Chaired by RTI
Accessing financial services is the key to building resilience and enabling people to accumulate savings, access insurance and/or borrow money. At one end of the spectrum, financial assistance programs have focused on developing savings groups while at the other end of the spectrum, programs have helped banks increase access to lending and insurance products. Many practitioners are now asking about what defines the middle of the spectrum and when they should use specific financial services. This session will discuss the prerequisites for a range of market-based financial services and how financial inclusion can build resilience across different regions, including the Sahel.
The Business Case for Financial Services in Conflict and Post-Conflict Areas
Chaired by Chemonics
Can there be a business case for reaching rural, remote clients with formal financial services - even for a commercial bank? Can financial service providers maintain and grow portfolios in protracted crises where flare-ups mean drastic fulctuations in client risk profiles? The answer to both of these questions is "Yes, and..." To find out what comes after "and" join us for a lively discussion on how development, non-profit, and for-profit financial sector practitioners have been providing and encouraging formal financial services to some of the most vulnerable and remote business from Colombia to the West Bank - and how you can too.