In three recent studies by IPA, researchers measured the impacts of offering savings accounts and delivering financial education to children and youth in Ghana and Uganda. These studies tested the effectiveness of different combinations of savings account designs and financial education or information campaigns. This note describes the design of the three programs that were tested and key impacts of each.
In all three evaluations, researchers observed positive short-term results from one or more of the tested interventions on savings behavior, savings attitudes, and income. Key results include the finding that strict restrictions on how savings can be spent may deter deposits; that encouraging children to save without providing social education may encourage them to work more at a young age; and that access to savings accounts and financial education may improve savings and earned income when offered together, but similar increases may be possible even when they are offered individually.