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Charting the Customer Journey in the Digital Age

This post highlights a May 2019 report from The Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion exploring the three stages involved in digital transformation and provides examples of how innovative financial institutions are addressing its challenges with creative solutions for emerging customers.

Annotated Bibliography on Research Methods

This document offers an annotated bibliography of key resources on applied quantitative and qualitative research methods and ethics to give guidance for development practitioners and researchers working in resource-poor settings and with orphans and vulnerable children (OVC).

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.

Identifying Economic Status Indicators for Adolescent Girls in DREAMS Programs

The alarming gender and age disparity in the rate of new HIV infections in Sub-Saharan Africa has driven the development of new initiatives to address the needs of young women. One of these initiatives is DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored and Safe), a $385 million partnership to reduce HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women in 10 sub-Saharan African countries. DREAMS targets girls and young women aged 10-24 and their male sex partners.

Facilitating Behavior Change Through Market Systems Virtual Conference

Changing behaviors — especially multiple behaviors across market actors — can be challenging. Predictably, this means complex market systems are also difficult to transform. If we want to change individual behaviors across the market system to alleviate poverty, where do we even begin? On May 3, 2017, ACDI/VOCA’s virtual conference “Facilitating Behavior Change: Social and Behavior Change and Market Systems” introduced methodologies to these still rarely combined approaches.

Leveraging Reconstruction: Opportunities for Creating Good Jobs

Given the increasing incidence of disasters around the world, the recovery process must be leveraged for longer-term development gains. Two years after an earthquake displaced nearly 2.8 million people and shocked Nepal’s economy, the country still has a long way to go in its reconstruction process. At the same time, the country faces an endless loop of out-migration for low-paying and often exploitative work, with little meaningful development in communities of origin.

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.

Strengthening Financial Capabilities among Youth

ASPIRES supports the provision of financial capabilities training to thousands of young people in Kenya and South Africa, including approximately 50,000 adolescent girls and young women participating in DREAMS. Our participatory training program, developed with Save the Children, helps young people ages 14 to 24 link their dreams and goals to skills, knowledge, and attitudes related to responsible money management.

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.