After ten years of research in Kenya, we at FSD are beginning to have a relatively detailed understanding of how financial behaviour, needs, interpersonal relationships, and financial products interact.
From the start, we focused our research on the poorer, less-well served groups in society. These are the most vulnerable, who not only stand to benefit most, but are also most likely to be excluded from Kenya’s rapid development unless action is taken.
The financial lives of poor Kenyans are unbelievably complex, as demonstrated by the Kenya Financial Diaries but we strongly believe that understanding key to making financial products that work for them, and, ultimately, help to lift them out of poverty.
As Europe reels from a refugee crisis on a scale not seen since the Second World War, extraordinary tales of good will and human kindness are emerging: Greek restaurant owners turning their carparks and canteens into refugee camps; Czechs providing makeshift water stations and giving out clothes to refugees walking to Austria; the German police meeting refugees off the train with teddy bears and blankets.
These acts of kindness surround us everyday, but often go unnoticed. We decided to review our detailed and still very much relevant 2014 study on the importance of social networks in Kenya, which outlines some equally remarkable facts on how Kenyans support each other. Read it and feel proud to be Kenyan!
Here are some highlights: