Accelerating USAID's Health Goals
Digital financial services (DFS) provide health programs with opportunities to accelerate progress toward global health goals and outcomes. By leveraging DFS, United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) global health program managers can improve health systems performance and support programmatic outcomes such as financial protection for vulnerable groups, delivery of essential health services, improved reach to marginalized communities, and increased health service demand and responsiveness.
Vulnerable households, communities, and countries face many challenges to better health and economic outcomes. Barriers to health, education, and livelihoods must be managed or overcome to identify pathways to resilience and prosperity. USAID defines resilience as “the ability of people, households, communities, countries, and systems to mitigate, adapt to, and recover from shocks and stresses in a manner that reduces chronic vulnerability and facilitates inclusive growth.” Simply, resilience is the ability of households, communities, and countries to manage and adapt to adversity without compromising their well-being. Research identifies sources of resilience that transcend sectors, underscoring the importance of a holistic approach to programming. Financial inclusion is one such source of resilience. It is defined as a state where individuals and businesses have access to useful and affordable financial products and services—transactions, payments, remittances, savings, credit, and insurance—that meet their needs, delivered in a responsible and sustainable way. Financial services contribute to resilience through investments that build assets that households and communities draw on in times of need. They also help speed recovery.