Pathways to Development: Evidence from YouthSave (Event Resources)

  • Date Posted: October 8, 2015
  • Authors: Rani Deshpande, Tricia Williams
  • Document Types: Tool, Other
  • Donor Type: Other US Government Agency

Can low-income teens build savings – and does it matter for their futures?  Since 2010, YouthSave has been investigating these questions through partnerships with banks and research institutions in Colombia, Ghana, Kenya, and Nepal.  Over the last three years, more than 130,000 young people have opened savings accounts under the project, accumulating almost $1 million. 

On October 9, researchers and practitioners from YouthSave and other practitioners, donors, and policy-making bodies came together to share their insights on youth savings. They discussed what YouthSave learned about how to provide scalable saving mechanisms to low-income youth and what this means for the practice of youth development and financial inclusion. 

The discussion covered new research, including the findings of YouthSave’s Savings Demand Assessment – an analysis of demographic and transaction patterns from 70,000 YouthSave accounts – and the results of a longitudinal experimental impact study in Ghana, which is the largest in the youth asset-building field to date. The panelists also explored what these findings mean for donors, policymakers, and practitioners in related fields, based on what has been learned and what remains to be understood.