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Guide to Increasing Women’s Financial Inclusion in Bangladesh through Digital Financial Services

This guide seeks to outline the barriers women in Bangladesh face with accessing financial services, and offers a resource for NGOs who are looking to include digital financial services (DFS) in their programming and for DFS providers who are looking to understand the segment better. Through design, deployment and education, organizations can better address women’s perceptions of and challenges with using DFS.

Extending Credit to Rural Farmers: Jashim’s Story

Jashim Uddin has been a beneficiary of USAID’s Rice Value Chains (RVC) project, which was led by IRRI Bangladesh, since 2015. He started full-time farming to support his family after completing his Master’s degree. This story shares his experience using mobile financial services, in particular a micro-credit product for farmers that he received through IFIC Bank. This is the twelfth in a series created by mSTAR/Bangladesh to show the tangible benefits of digital financial services on people's lives.

Workshop on Digital Payments for AIRN Members through Agent Banking

mSTAR/Bangladesh received a technical assistance request from the Agro-Inputs Retailers Network (AIRN), which is supported by USAID’s Agro-Inputs Project, in February 2017 to support them to explore DFS adoption among AIRN members. In connection with that request, mSTAR/B conducted two technical workshops for AIRN members in March 2017 about using agent banking for digital payments. Md. Ataur Rahman, mSTAR/B Team Lead, facilitated the workshop sessions.

Building the Skills of Youth to Engage in Employment, Entrepreneurship, and Education

Over the next decade, roughly one billion youth will enter the workforce. Young people, especially young women, who know how to find academic or vocational programs to expand their knowledge and skills, understand how to look for a job, are able to adapt to workplace dynamics, and are entrepreneurial will have the best chances of attaining sustainable livelihoods that enable them to avoid risky behaviors associated with HIV.

Skills-based, Participatory Training for HIV Risk Reduction Among Youth

To adopt healthy sexual behavior, young people need to have accurate information (key facts), opportunities to consider how this information applies to their lives (values and attitudes) and to feel good enough about themselves to think that they are worth looking after (self-esteem). They also need the skills to act on their new understanding, in a way that is consistent with their knowledge and values.

Increased Income Earning Opportunities: Bala’s Story

Kuber Chandra Bala is a fish farmer who had previously participated in trainings offered by USAID's Aquaculture for Income and Nutrition (AIN) project. In 2014, AIN began paying training incentives to farmers like Bala via mobile money. Bala soon started using his MFS account to make purchases and top up his mobile airtime, saving him time and money. With the time saved, he was able to engage in other income-earning opportunities. This is the tenth in a series created by mSTAR/Bangladesh to show the tangible benefits of digital financial services on people's lives.

Digital Financial Service Product Innovation #2 - IFIC Mobile Banking

The Feed the Future Bangladesh Rice Value Chain (RVC) project funded by USAID and implemented by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Bangladesh, is partnering with IFIC Bank Limited with support from mSTAR/Bangladesh to pilot a new agri-credit facility for farmers in Jessore and Satkhira districts. This learning document provides more details about this exciting DFS product innovation, including its benefits and the roles of those involved.

Digital Financial Service Product Innovation #1 - Bank Asia

USAID’s Agricultural Extension Support Activity (AESA), implemented by Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM) in partnership with CARE Bangladesh and mPower is piloting a new initiative entitled ‘Smallholders’ Access to Microfinance through Bank: A-card’ to provide smallholder farmers with agricultural lending. AESA is partnering with Bank Asia Limited and local microfinance institutions Society Development Committee (SDC), Grameen Jano Unnayan Sangstha (GJUS) and DAM Foundation for Economic Development (DFED) to test a micro-credit facility for farmers in Faridpur, Bhola, and Barguna districts.

Scaling Impact: Cambodia Ex-Post Assessment

LEO is researching a diversity of models that implementing agencies are using to solve the issue of linking smallholders to input and output markets. The research focuses on the principles and conditions that made these models effective.

Increasing Financial Independence through Mobile Money: Kallani's Story

Adopting mobile money does not only bring benefits to development organizations, but it can also bring about dramatic change in the personal and professional lives of staff and beneficiaries. This MM Experience tells the story of Kallani, a beneficiary farmer of USAID's Aquaculture for Income and Nutrition (AIN) program implemented by WorldFish. Kallani is now popularly known in her community as a mobile money champ. This is the sixth in a series created by mSTAR/Bangladesh to show the tangible benefits of mobile money on people's lives.

Mobile Money Snapshot: Department of Youth Development

This two-page publication details the experience of the Department of Youth Development (DYD) in Bangladesh in their transition from cash to mobile payments. It includes an overview of their activities, the types of transactions they transitioned to mobile, what that transition process entailed, and challenges and benefits associated with their transition. It also includes key takeaways from their experience so that others can apply DYD’s lessons learned to their own transition to digital payments.