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Showing posts from June, 2016

Assisted models of Digital Finance – a Stepping Stone?

This is the second article in a series on the progress of digital financial services in Bangladesh. It draws on discussions held at a recent seminar on the subject, organized by BRAC’s Social Innovation Lab in Dhaka, in collaboration with a2i, and USAID’s mSTAR project implemented by FHI 360. IFMR LEAD was the Knowledge Partner for the event.
In the first part of this series, we highlighted gender gaps in access to mobile financial services and their usage among women in Bangladesh. In this article, we take a look at assisted models of digital finance such as over-the-counter transactions, and the reasons why they may be here to stay in the near future.  


The digital financial services (DFS) revolution is upon us, and the DFS landscape is a fast moving and exciting space. In South Asia, Bangladesh is at the forefront of the revolution.  Having been a pioneer in the microfinance revolution, Bangladesh is now leading the way forward in bringing digital, and particularly mobile financial s…

Revitalizing the Self-Help Group Movement in India

Growth of the self-help group movement in India has slowed in the past five years. How can challenges be overcome to improve and revitalize these programs? In this article, Misha Sharma and Shreya Chatterjee from our research team highlight findings from the midline evaluation of the Hand-in-Hand Self-Help Group Programme in Tamil Nadu - one of the first rigorous evaluations of the socio-economic impact of self-help groups on the lives of participating women. 

This article first appeared on the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) Blog. 
The self-help group movement in India began in the 1980s when several NGOs mobilized and organized poor communities in rural areas to provide formal channels for social and financial support. The program gained momentum with theNational Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) linking a small number of groups with banks.Called the Self-Help Group Bank Linkage Program (SBLP),the revolutionary initiative connected group members – many o…

Preliminary Findings from the KGFS Impact Evaluation Study

In this article, Iris Braun, Research Manager at IFMR LEAD, shares preliminary findings from an ongoing study by IFMR LEAD, Evidence for Policy Design at the Harvard Kennedy School and Duke University, on access to finance in rural Tamil Nadu. This article originally appeared on the IFMR Trust blog. 

Happy Birthday Pudhuaaru KGFS, and if we may say so as an objective evaluation team: Many happy returns (in every sense of the word)!Today marks the 8th anniversary ofPudhuaaru KGFS and it is laudable that it not only set itself a social purpose on top of business goals but also allowed the results towards this purpose being scrutinized independently and scientifically, almost from the start of its lifetime. As the initial results emerge from the large, randomized control trial that has been following the serviced areas and households over several years (KGFS: Impact Evaluation [IE]), there are clear indications that Pudhuaaru KGFS has more impact on its clients’ life than just any busines…