Starting from tomorrow, we plan to publish a series of blogs on the Centre for Microfinance's KGFS impact evaluation.
|A KGFS branch in Thanjavur district, Tamil Nadu (Photo Credit: Puneet Gupta)|
Here's a project summary: Together with partner organization IFMR Rural Channels, a rural financial services provider with presence in Tamil Nadu, Orissa and Uttarakhand, researchers aim to gain an in-depth understanding of the impact of provision of financial services, as delivered through the KGFS model, in rural Tamil Nadu. The KGFS model, developed and supported by IFMR Rural Finance, focuses on high quality origination through geographically-focused community financial institutions. It provides access to a broad range of products including (but not limited to) loans, savings, insurance and investment options to households using a customized wealth management approach focused on ensuring the suitability of products sold to each household’s unique financial situation.
Researchers will use a randomized controlled trial (RCT) approach that is built upon the randomised rollout of KGFS branches. For the first part of the intervention, KGFS branches are placed only in treatment) villages while the control villages receive no KGFS branch. Out of 160 proposed study sites, half will be assigned to treatment and half will be assigned to control. KGFS branches and banking activity will be withheld from villages in the control group for a minimum of twenty-four months, in order to provide researchers adequate opportunity to observe measurable effects of KGFS’ rural banking intervention in the treatment areas. The baseline survey covers approximately 6,800 households in the experimental area; 3,400 of which are households in the treatment group and the remainder 3,400 households in the control group.
The results of such a study could help shape the development of financial instrumets targeted at rural households and inform policy on financial inclusion in India and abroad. Given its scale, this is the largest Rural Finance impact evaluation in India.
Look out for our upcoming posts!