Digital Frontiers Institute and The Alliance of Digital Finance Associations recently hosted the second instalment of the annual Pathway to 17 Summit. Which focused on bringing together thought leaders, industry experts and practitioners working to solve complex issues and developing the capacity to support the achievement of the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
The 3-day summit focused on five thematic areas of achieving inclusive: digital finance, digital economies, payments, green economies and societies through gender equality with a particular lens on how these affect the Global South. It brought together 68 global industry experts and practitioners who provided expert opinions related to solutions to help achieve Sustainable Development Goals.
For those working towards their CDFP certification, this summit was a key resource to build capacity within Inclusive Finance and add to the design and implementation of strategies that can contribute to poverty alleviation using in-country context. There were several toolkits and frameworks that were shared that can assist in the achievement of specific goals, for example within Women’s Economic Empowerment through Financial Inclusion.
What stood out were the tools and resources shared by GRID IMPACT and Strategic Impact Advisors (SIA) with specific objectives for BMGF Programme Officers, their implementation partners as well as other players who are working towards progress on women’s economic empowerment (WEE). The goal of their research was to examine a set of barriers inhibiting women’s access and usage of financial services, determine which barriers are most resonant to different segments of women in different markets, and make recommendations about the kinds of interventions and programmes that might help remove, mitigate, or address these, barriers so women can have access to and use a range of financial services that will fit their needs. The ultimate goal is to remove barriers to women’s economic empowerment in the financial inclusion arena.
Two sessions within the Inclusive Finance stream focused on Key Design Principles as well as Creating Impactful Strategies through Customer Segmentation. Here are some of the project outputs discussed:
An evidence review of 35 barriers, resulting from a process of mapping barriers to customer segments in nine focus countries, and a presentation of the most relevant barriers for each market. This contextualized representation allows for a more targeted approach when considering what opportunities might most accelerate progress to achieving specific country goals for WEE.
A series of evidence-based interventions and programmes have shown success in addressing a range of barriers women face in accessing and using financial services. These exemplar interventions are tagged to the 35 barriers, as well as the focus countries, customer segments, and customer journey phases.
An introduction to a work-in-progress Diagnostic Tool to be used by FSP Team members and Implementation Partners to determine important barriers to WEE-FI in a specific market.
According to Global Findex 2021, the gender gap in account ownership in developing countries which had been persistent at 9 percentage (since 2011) has narrowed to 6 percentage points a decade later. I think we should pause and celebrate this little bit of positive news.