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Applying the RIA Lite Methodology: An Example from Pakistan

There is growing interest in understanding the impact of regulatory changes on financial inclusion. While a regulatory impact assessment (RIA) has become an integral part of law making in many OECD countries, it is still a relatively new concept in emerging and development economies and there is little precedence of conducting an RIA on regulatory changes that have a specific focus on advancing financial inclusion.

This study looks at Pakistan’s nearly decade-old experience with regulating digital financial services (referred in the local context as branchless banking) as a test case for the RIA Lite methodology, which combines elements of analyzing supply- and demand-side data, reviewing relevant legal documents, and interviewing experts from the central bank and from the industry.

CGAP is a global partnership of more than 30 leading development organizations that works to advance the lives of poor people through financial inclusion. Using action-oriented research, we test, learn and share knowledge intended to help build inclusive and responsible financial systems that move people out of poverty, protect their economic gains and advance broader development goals. We research and experiment to achieve proof of concept and extract lessons that can be built to scale by our partners, who apply our insights in the marketplace.