Platform Work and Financial Inclusion: How Can the Development Community Extend Finance for Gig Workers?

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  • Date: Thu, Aug 4, 2022, 9:00 - 10:15am
  • Location: Online
  • Event Type: Online
  • Organizations: USAID Private Sector Engagement (PSE) Hub, CGAP

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Woman with head covering holding and looking at a cell phone
The WeMUNIZE program, 2018 Digital Development Awards photo winner. Photo Credit: Photo: by KC Nwakalor for USAID / Digital Development Communications

The digital revolution is changing the way the world works—and in the process creating new opportunities for employment and financial inclusion. The gig economy and platforms (ride-hailing, delivery services, et. al) present ways to advance employment for youth and others—and engage otherwise marginalized groups into the formal economy.

All good...potentially. But how do we ensure that there is equity in the opportunities created and avoid the potential for exploitation? What are the financial needs of gig workers, and how can platforms be used to deliver (or design) financial services that improve their well-being? Most importantly—what do we know about how we as development practitioners can support positive outcomes? 

Join USAID's Private Sector Engagement (PSE) Hub on August 4 from 9:00 to 10:15 am EST for a webinar on platform work and financial inclusion, led by the USAID Digital Team in conjunction with the Consultative Group for the Poor (CGAP). Gayatri Vikram Murthy from CGAP will present an overview of how the 'platform economy' is shaping livelihoods and how financial service providers are reaching gig workers. USAID’s Paul Nelson will then lead a panel on the implications of this for the development community—with specific attention to what development programs can consider when approaching this space.


Related Blogs

"Financial Inclusion, the Gig Economy, and Digital Finance," Lawrence Camp explores how the emergence of platforms is changing the nature of the gig economy. 

"Financial Inclusion is Key to Fulfilling the Promise of Platform Work." CGAP's Gayatri Murthy discusses research on platform workers and sellers in five emerging markets and developing countries. 

"How can Embedded Financial Services Better Serve Platform Workers?" CGAP's Leena Datwani and Elizabeth Munee Kiamba shed light on the unique features and delivery mechanisms that platform-based financial services could offer platform workers. 

"Playing the Long Game: Women's Platform Work and Financial Services." CGAP's Rani Deshpande and Nisha Singh discuss how financial services could help women platform workers mitigate challenges related to work/life balance, safety and normative barriers.

"Can Platform Data Expand Access to Transformative Credit?" CGAP's Malika Anand writes about how digitizing microbusinesses and informal work can help low-income workers and businesses access more financial services and evaluate risks. 


Speakers

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Paul Nelson - mugshot or headshot

Paul Nelson
Senior Digital Finance Advisor, Acting Lead for the Digital Finance Team, USAID

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Gayatri Murthy Headshot

Gayatri Murthy
Financial Sector Specialist, CGAP

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María Paula Arregui headsho

Paula Arregui
Chief Operations Officer and Senior Vice President, Mercado Pago

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Urvashi Aneja headsho

Urvashi Aneja, PhD
Founding Director, Digital Futures Lab


Biographies 

Paul Nelson
Senior Digital Finance Advisor, Acting Lead for the Digital Finance Team, USAID

Paul Nelson is a Senior Digital Finance Advisor and the Acting Team Lead for Digital Finance at USAID. He also leads policy and regulatory work of USAID's Digital Finance team and manages projects on tech and financial inclusion. He manages the Digital Ecosystem Fund, a flagship initiative under USAID's Digital Strategy that has so far provided funding to activities led by USAID Missions in 14 countries. While at USAID, he has developed the Digital Finance Handbook, Primer on Blockchain, the FinTech Partnerships Playbook, Virtual Currency Brief, and the FinTech Partnerships Checklist. He has shaped a range of digital economy-related programs at USAID at both the HQ and field level, leads Agency work on crypto issues, works on digital issues affected by the PRC, and manages other activities w/ partners including the Better Than Cash Alliance, CGAP, and Digital Frontiers. He has been a fellow with the State Department on the ethical implications of artificial intelligence. Paul worked on community banking and entrepreneurship with the Peace Corps and co-founded a start-up. A licensed attorney, he has a J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School and degrees in architecture and economics from the University of Minnesota. 

Gayatri Murthy
Financial Sector Specialist, CGAP

Gayatri leads CGAP's work on platform worker livelihoods. She specializes in inclusive fintech and ensuring technological innovation in finance is correctly harnessed to solve the needs faced by underserved consumers and small businesses. She also specializes in training financial institutions to build customer-centric business models and has trained staff of financial institutions in workshops around the world. Before joining CGAP, Gayatri worked for 6 years in market research, including leading nationally representative surveys, impact evaluations, and qualitative studies on financial inclusion, education and civil society building, in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. She began her career at GiveIndia, a platform to promote efficient and effective giving in India. Gayatri has a Master’s degree in International Communication from the School of International Service at American University in Washington, D.C., and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, India. She is fluent in Hindi.

Paula Arregui
Chief Operations Officer and Senior Vice President, Mercado Pago

Paula Arregui majored in Business Administration and Public Accounting with Honors from the University of Buenos Aires. In addition, in 2017 she completed an Executive Program at Stanford University (United States), with a focus on Leadership and new trends in Business. Paula serves as Chief Operations Officer (COO) and Senior VP, where she leads the company's development strategy for all Latin America. After her incorporation to Mercado Libre in 2000, she has held various roles within the company. Initially, she has worked as Controller for Argentina, Uruguay and the United States. In 2003, Paula became the first employee of the Mercado Pago business unit, where she later faced new challenges as Director of Operations for the region. From 2011 to 2019, she also held the position of Product Vice President of Mercado Pago, a role in which she has had an active participation in the strategic definitions of product development for Latin America.

Urvashi Aneja, PhD
Founding Director, Digital Futures Lab

Urvashi Aneja is the founding director of Digital Futures Lab - a multidisciplinary research network that examines the complex interactions between technology and society in the global south. Her current work examines the ethics and governance of AI in the global south; digital public infrastructure and platforms for public service delivery; and labor rights and wellbeing. Her research has been cited in leading national and global media publications and she has served on expert committees constituted by the Indian government on artificial intelligence and frontier technologies.She is also a Fellow at Chatham House and a Non-Resident Fellow at the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai. From 2017 to 2021, Urvashi was the Founder and Director of Tandem Research, an interdisciplinary research collective working at the interface of technology, society and sustainability. Urvashi has eight years of teaching experience, as a Lecturer at St. Hilda's College at the University of Oxford and as an Associate Professor of International Relations at the OP Jindal Global University. Urvashi has a PhD from the Department of Political Science and International Affairs, University of Oxford, UK, and a BA in Philosophy and Literature from Utrecht University, The Netherlands.


This webinar is the next event in the Mobilizing Finance for Development (MF4D) series. The series explores how innovative financing solutions can be leveraged to address development challenges. 

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