Wanza leads FSD Kenya’s economic inclusion work. Her motivation is ensuring that all Kenyans, especially women, have the agency and access to the resources that they need to effectively contribute to and optimally benefit from economic development. She has spent the last two decades facilitating financial inclusion for the lower segment of the market, which is either financially excluded or under-served, through various innovations. She is also the Gender lead at FSD Kenya, supporting the team in integrating gender into all programme activity.
The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed an additional two million Kenyans into poverty. Health shocks are particularly devastating for low-income households, most of which lack access to insurance and hardly save towards such eventualities due to a myriad of competing daily priorities.
People’s ability to participate within the more formalised markets which characterise the modern sector of an economy is often conditioned by the degree of access to the financial system. Exclusion from finance can result in exclusion from opportunities to participate productively in value chains.
In 2016 FSD Kenya branched outside our core financial inclusion remit to embark on a new pilot in Marsabit county where we sought to develop a more holistic approach to economic inclusion. The ambition was to deepen the value of finance in people’s lives, moving beyond financial access and use and investing in building capabilities and market linkages to enable finance to yield stronger impacts on livelihood resilience and growth. Our aim was to reach the extreme poor and especially women, who are not well served by the financial sector.
Health shocks have a debilitating impact, especially on low-income households. Such households often lack access to appropriate finance solutions such as insurance to cushion themselves against the related non-routine income expenditures.
This research seeks to unearth the financial needs and demands of urban female retail traders in Kenya by exploring how their financial needs are being met, through which instruments, and in turn, where the opportunities lie to drive improved or increased access to financial products.
Through its AfyaPoa range of products, Insurance for All (IFA) has been delivering affordable and relevant protection to underserved Kenyans in the informal sector for over two years. Intending to broaden its reach through new gig economy partnerships and strengthen and improve its products and distribution approaches, IFA, with support from FSD Kenya and research assistance from 17 Triggers, conducted a four-month research and design phase followed by a six-month pilot.
Restrictions introduced in March 2020 to control the spread of COVID-19 have had a devastating effect on rural livelihoods in Kenya.
In mid-July we interviewed a subset of FSD Kenya/CARE’s Building Livelihoods programme beneficiaries in Northern Kenya to understand the extent to which resources built up through the programme are supporting resilience of beneficiary households during COVID-19, and how these compare and interact with traditional pastoralist coping mechanisms.
Over the past four years, FSD Kenya’s Building Livelihoods programme in Northern Kenya has explored how extremely poor households can be transitioned out of poverty and into sustainable livelihoods through stronger engagements with markets.
A big question amidst the current COVID-19 has been, how are community-based finance models fairing?
Education presents an opportunity for poor households to break out of the poverty cycle in future. What are some of the interventions and finance solutions that have made a difference in education finance?
Education is the top priority for Kenyans according to FinAccess Household Survey 2019. Poor households particularly attach high value to educating their children.
FSD Kenya set out to explore ways of using finance to build livelihoods of poor households in Kitui. The survey identified indigenous poultry and pulses as the agriculture value chains with the greatest opportunity for low-income households.
Why FSAs are the preferred financial service providers in Kitui.
The popularity of graduation programmes as the means to ending extreme poverty is growing globally.