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Posts Tagged ‘financial inclusion’
GIM Releases New Case on Livelihood and Financial Inclusion in Rural India

About the author

With over eighteen years of work experience spanning sectors and development issues, Dr. Bimal Arora is associated with several organisations, including the UNDP and UNRISD and is on the Advisory Board of CSR International, UK. After spending six years in the UK, researching and consulting on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Inclusive Business Models, Bimal returned to India in 2009. Bimal has published several case studies on CSR and Inclusive Business Models. He is currently working on a book entitled ‘The Political Economy of Corporate Responsibility in India’ for publication by Chandos Publishing (Oxford). Bimal did his Master’s from the London School of Economics (LSE) and PhD from the Nottingham University Business School, UK (The International Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility (ICCSR).

About the case study

Bhartiya Samruddhi Finance Limited (BSFL) offers livelihood related products and services through the strategic concept of “Livelihood Triad” that comprises livelihood financial services (credit, savings, and insurance), agricultural and business development services, and institutional development services for low-income and poor groups. At present, BSFL has a customer base of approximately one million, half of whom are women, with 90% concentrated in rural areas. BSFL’s financial viability is proving to be attractive for investors: in 2009-2010, it had a Return on Assets of 3.9% and a Return on Equity of 32.7%. BSFL plans to expand its base to ten million by 2014 covering both urban and rural areas.

To download the BASIX case study from the GIM database, please click here.

 
United Nations Inter-Agency Meeting on Inclusive Finance for Development (NYC, March 2011)

A United Nations Inter-Agency Meeting on Inclusive Finance for Development was held in New York on March 22, 2011. The meeting was opened by a keynote speech from UNDP Administrator Helen Clark and Her Royal Highness Princess Máxima of the Netherlands, United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development.

The meeting was attended by 18 UN agencies and entities, including the Executive Office of the Secretary-General (EOSG), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), the UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the UN Office of the Special Advisor on Africa (UNOSAA), the Office of the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA), UNWomen, the World Health Organization, and the World Food Programme.

The objectives of the meeting was to arrive at a shared understanding of how a common UN agenda on financial inclusion can advance the UN agencies’ respective mandates, and to commit to mutual exchange and in-country and global collaboration through established mechanisms. Some of the themes discussed during the meeting included: microfinance and SME finance, remittances, G2P and Conditional-Cash Transfers (including in emergency situations), as well as access to finance for clean energy, education, health care, housing, etc.

As Ms. Helen Clark mentioned, “appropriate financial services can enable employment-generating businesses to grow, and families to bridge tough times and strengthen livelihoods. Expanding access to financial products can also bring people and businesses into formal financial systems – making their assets available, in turn, for productive investments. In both ways, financial inclusion can enable inclusive growth – and thus help countries accelerate progress toward the MDGs.”

The GIM Initiative has documented 17 case studies of financial inclusion so far and is currently collaborating with the New America Foundation and other partners to leverage its business model analysis and produce additional research on expanding financial inclusion, particularly through social protection cash transfers (click here to learn more).

 
A Third Way for Official Development Assistance

Savings and Conditional Cash Transfers to the Poor

GIM is pleased to announce its new UNDP publication together with the New America Foundation. ‘A Third Way for Official Development Assistance: Savings and Conditional Cash Transfers to the poor’ was written by Henry JackelenJamie Zimmerman, Jamie Holmes, Suba Sivakumaran and Sahba Sobhani and was launched last week, together with an accompanying op-ed called Money to the Poor in Slate magazine at the Future Tense event at the New America Foundation. (Full webcast here.)

How can aid be reformed to create greater impact on the poor and reduce corruption and inefficiency? What can be done to stimulate the demand by the poor for better schools, health services and financial services and products? How can we create a more accountable and transparent system that is able to track aid, target the poor better and empower them to make their own decisions?

This paper explores the conceptual and practical case for a simple yet radical idea: improve ODA’s efficiency and effectiveness by directing ODA funds toward account-linked cash transfer programs. In effect, this would enable the creation of bank accounts for aid recipients around the world and then leverage those accounts to a) deliver aid or make other transfers and b) create additional opportunities to enhance human capital and asset building. This would address the renewed emphasis on more meaningful, measurable outputs of aid and fulfill a critical need of the poor, with tools that provide a safe and secure place to save, manage resources, and build wealth over the long-term.

Click here to download the full report. A full webcast of the panel discussion in which Henry Jackelen participated along with Jamie Zimmerman, moderated by the editor of Slate, David Plotz can be found here. Please share, discuss and send your thoughts and feedback!