It is hard to believe it has been more than a year since the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in Kenya, forcing us to make many unanticipated adjustments about the way we worked.
Most significantly, we had to shift to remote working. One year down the line, I am immensely proud of our team for staying the course so far and maintaining our momentum despite the disruption of COVID-19.
The financial services for the poor, or more specifically financial inclusion, industry has realised in the recent past that more and better information about its target client-base is essential to delivering services effectively.
This is the third blog in a series about Financial Service Associations (FSAs) and their potential for growth and customer value creation based on an FSD Kenya commissioned survey by BFA. Read the first blog here: Financial services associations: an imperfect solution and the second blog here: FSA asset financing: when paying more yields more.
FSD Kenya commissioned Oxford Policy Management (OPM) to conduct an in-depth impact assessment of their savings groups programmes which were undertaken in collaboration with two international non-governmental organisations, CARE and Catholic Relief Services (CRS).
Banking remains the largest sub-sector by assets and the most systemically significant in Kenya’s financial services sector. Developments, especially those enabled by technology, have brought a sizeable number of new, mostly poorer and vulnerable first-time consumers into the market.
Financial services associations (FSAs) are rural community-level member based semi-informal financial institutions, that are a hybrid of savings and credit cooperative organizations (SACCOs) and microfinance institutions (MFIs).
Our first blog in this series discussed the Hunger Safety Net Programme and savings groups (SGs), for which we’ve also sought to use market based approaches. Part Two, discusses the use of a market based approach in graduation programmes.
In an effort to understand the real needs of the people, our seventh ‘Field Friday’ exercise took us to Karagita in Naivasha. We set out to gather insights on which financial services people use and which ones they trust most.
I spent a week in Kenya, courtesy of Financial Sector Deepening, an initiative of a number of aid agencies, including Britain’s Department for International Development, the Swedish government, and the Gates Foundation.
In order to understand the take‐up, use, and impacts of M‐PESA in Kenya, US based Principal Investigators William Jack (Georgetown) and Tavneet Suri (MIT Sloan School of Management) conducted a set of five surveys across Kenya, starting in yearly between 2008 and 2011, with a fifth survey conducted in 2014 to look at the longer-term impacts of M-PESA.
Just what is finance for?
On Wednesday 8th February 2017, John Kay met with 18 financial sector industry leaders to discuss this question and the future of finance in Kenya.
Over 250 policymakers, industry players, regulators, lecturers, students, financial sector analysts, development practitioners and other guests gathered at the National Museum’s Louis Leakey Auditorium on Thursday 9th February 2017 for the 3rd FSD Kenya annual lecture on financial inclusion.