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> Posted by Center Staff
The FI2020 Global Forum in London gets underway this Sunday with a pre-Forum side meeting on financial inclusion for persons with disabilities (PWDs). This client-centric start feels like a fitting precursor for an event to expand financial inclusion.
Financial inclusion requires that financial services meet the unique needs of all clients, especially the needs of the most underserved and vulnerable client groups. Sessions throughout the Forum reflect this key tenet. In addition, there are side meetings on the Financial Capability Roadmap and the Consumer Protection Roadmap, focused on moving these roadmap principles and recommendations to action. These and the other three financial inclusion roadmaps were developed through a consultative process that collected and incorporated the perspectives of specific client groups.
Among Forum participants are representatives of various client segments – such as PWDs, women, the elderly, youth, rural populations, and migrants – to help raise awareness of their unique needs and assets. Here’s a collection of pertinent statistics for financial inclusion on these client segments:
- 1.8 billion of the world’s population is between the ages of 10 and 24
- 87 percent of youth are concentrated in the developing world
- About half the world’s youth report being economically active
- 38 percent of young adults have an account compared to over 54 percent of older adults
- In 1950, globally, 1 in 20 people were elderly. By 2050, it will be 1 in 5.
- In 2000, only 6 percent of people in less developed countries were over 65 years old. By 2050, that number will grow to 20 percent.
> Posted by Center Staff
The Financial Inclusion 2020 Global Forum is a few days away! Kicking off with side sessions this Sunday the 27th on persons with disabilities and the Microfinance CEO Working Group, the landmark event for expanding global financial inclusion is almost here.
Taking place on October 28-30 in London, the event will convene approximately 300 leaders in financial inclusion, spanning sectors and industries, in a collaborative environment where they can map the action agenda for achieving financial inclusion by the year 2020. Participants include key players from the financial sector, technology providers and the corporate sector, international non-profits, and public policymakers. For the full list of attendees, click here.
The Forum agenda includes an assortment of session types, with a number of opportunities for participant engagement. In one roundtable breakout session, participants will discuss how to take the Roadmap recommendations from ideas to action, identifying priorities for implementation. Other sessions include a Forum-opening discussion on factors that put financial inclusion by 2020 within reach, a plenary on mobile money and spurring innovation, a presentation on the forthcoming CFI report Opportunities & Obstacles in Peru, and a fireside chat and Q&A with Ajay Banga and Michael Schlein, CEO’s of MasterCard and Accion. For the full agenda, click here.
Along with Banga and Schlein, Forum speakers include Cherie Blair, Founder of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, CEO of Access Bank, Nick Hughes, Founder of M-PESA and M-KOPA, Duvvuri Subbarao, former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, and Bindu Ananth, President of IMFR Trust. For the full speakers list, which includes a handful of newly confirmed speakers, click here.
> Posted by Jeffrey Riecke, Communications Assistant, CFI
The following post is comprised of research from three Credit Suisse Virtual Volunteers, Vipin Gupta, Kajal Shah, and Jennifer Hughes.
Most persons with disabilities (PWDs) don’t have an account at a formal financial institution. In India, 5 – 6 percent of the population (roughly 66 million) are estimated to have a disability, and three-quarters of Indian PWDs live in rural areas where access to banking services is limited. In India on the whole, about 35 percent of the adult population has a formal bank account. In Mexico, about 10 percent of households have at least one member with a disability, and about 27 percent of the country’s adult population has an account at a formal financial institution. These two countries present huge financial inclusion opportunities for PWDs. Encouragingly, significant PWD inclusion in-roads in both are underway.
In India, low financial inclusion incidence among PWDs is connected with poverty and unemployment. A meager 0.14 percent of PWDs in India hold regular jobs. This employment statistic stands in spite of efforts from the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) mandating that 3 percent of government jobs be reserved for PWDs, and incentivizing private employers to ensure that at least 5 percent of their workforce is comprised of PWDs. The same low fulfillment of positions reserved for PWDs has been seen in several of the government’s rural employment schemes. In a study examining labor-intensive agricultural occupations in India, it was found that the majority of PWDs were not chosen by potential employers, and that PWDs in rural areas mostly depend on non-agriculture-based-self-employment as a means of livelihood. For these individuals and others pursuing self-employment, a lack of adequate capital can be a critical roadblock to earning a livelihood.
There are a multitude of factors contributing to this situation, including low education (only half of Indian PWDs have any formal education), inability to afford health treatments, un-inclusive employment settings, un-inclusive surroundings, prejudice against PWDs, lack of awareness of support programs and other resources, and geographic remoteness to banking, education, employment, training, and rehabilitation facilities. Nearly any of these factors are enough to pose large, or in some cases insurmountable, challenges to accessing formal financial services. When combined, the task of accessing traditional avenues of financing can be overwhelming. For many PWDs, the only viable source of financing is money from friends and family, but in lower-income rural areas even that is difficult to come by.
Other challenges that stand in the way of greater inclusion of PWDs in India include lack of a standardized method for defining and evaluating disability, and lack of up-to-date data.
> Posted by Center Staff
After months of planning, the Financial Inclusion 2020 Global Forum, October 28-30 in London, is coming into view. We’ve shared a few rounds of Forum updates here on the blog over the past weeks (see here and here), and we’re happy to report that more exciting new speakers have been confirmed, and more side sessions have cropped up. Here are the new speakers:
- Luis Gallegos, Permanent Representative of Ecuador to the U.N. Office at Geneva
- Bill Sheedy, Global Executive, Corporate Strategy, M&A, Government Relations and Europe, Visa, Inc.
- Edward Effah, Managing Director, Fidelity Bank
- Alexia Latortue, Assistant Deputy Secretary for International Development Policy, U.S. Treasury
- Carlos Lopez Moctezuma, Global Director for Financial Inclusion, BBVA
- Jean-Claude Masangu, Former Governor, Banque Centrale du Congo
- Bindu Ananth, President, IMFR Trust
- Nachiket Mor, Chair, Reserve Bank of India Committee on Comprehensive Financial Services for Small Businesses and Low-Income Households
- Tony Goland, Director, McKinsey & Company
- Isaac Awuondo, Group Managing Director, CBA
- Gino Picasso, CEO, GloboKasNet
Complimenting the core agenda, there are a number of side sessions convening before and after the Forum. As we’ve mentioned, there will be two special side meetings on financial inclusion for persons with disabilities held before the Forum, the evening of October 27 and the morning of October 28. The event of the 28th, which is open to Forum participants and the public, is a panel of international experts that includes Luis Gallegos.
> Posted by Center Staff
When was the last time you visited the FI2020 Global Forum webpage? Whether you’re a frequent visitor or it’s been some time, we’re pleased to share a batch of freshly confirmed speakers and side meetings at the landmark financial inclusion event, October 28-30 in London. Here are the new speakers:
- Michel Losembe, CEO, Banque Internationale pour L’Afrique du Congo (BIAC); President of the Association of Congolese Banks
- Sian Williams, Head of Financial Inclusion, Toynbee Hall
- Faisel Rahman, Managing Director, FairFinance
- Kamal Quadir, CEO, bKash
- Mark Hookey, Founder, Demyst.Data
- Arjuna Costa, Investment Partner, Omidyar Network
- Michel Khalaf, President, EMEA MetLife, Inc.
- Elly Ohene-Adu, Head of Banking Department, Bank of Ghana
- Oscar Graham, General Director of the Financial Markets and Provisional Funds Division, Ministry of Finance and Economics, Peru
- Mariela Zaldivar, Manager of Products and Client Services, SBS Peru
- Richard Eldridge, Co-Founder and Asia CEO, Lenddo
- Jojo Malolos, Managing Director, Cignifi
In our last Global Forum update post we announced two special side meetings on financial inclusion for persons with disabilities (PWDs) that will be held before the Forum, the evening of October 27 and the morning of October 28. As we indicated, the two sessions will convene disability inclusion leaders to discuss the importance of closing the financial services accessibility gap for this largely unbanked group, and challenges and solutions for doing so.
> Posted by Center Staff
The U.N.’s Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ict) is conducting a survey for financial services providers on the practices of their institutions in implementing services that are accessible for older persons and persons with disabilities (PWDs).
Older persons are the fastest growing age group globally. In 1950, 1 in 20 people worldwide was elderly. By 2050 it will be 1 in 5. PWDs are among the largest of vulnerable groups in the world. It’s estimated that about 15 percent of the global population has some sort of disability. To achieve full inclusion, it’s essential that financial services providers offer products and services that are accessible to these client segments.
The survey targets current practices of respondents’ organizations, as well as future services plans for these two client groups. Collected information will contribute to G3ict’s larger effort to design and share resources on service options for banks to effectively serve these underbanked groups.
> Posted by Center Staff
The FI2020 Global Forum in London is fast approaching. As we get closer to October 28, keep an eye on this blog as we’ll be posting periodically to share new event developments. Today, we’re excited to announce a number of newly confirmed speakers and agenda items. Here are the new speakers:
- Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, CEO and Group Managing Director, Access Bank Plc
- Tilman Ehrbeck, CEO, CGAP
- Nick Hughes, Director of Strategy, M-Kopa
- Gregory Keough, CEO, Mobile Financial Services
- Andrea Levere, President, CFED
- Imelda Nicolas, Chairperson of the Commission on the Filipinos Overseas
- Martyn Parker, Chairman, Global Partnerships, Swiss Re
- Duvvuri Subbarao, Former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India
> Posted by Jimena Vallejos, Project Coordinator, Fundación Paraguaya
Non-discrimination is embedded in the fifth Client Protection Principle, Fair and Respectful Treatment of Clients. A microfinance institution (MFI) may work, knowingly or not, with clients that have particular disabilities or conditions. In order for MFIs to operate without discrimination, it’s essential that they are inclusive of persons with disabilities and that they offer services that account for these clients’ unique needs. Fundación Paraguaya (FP) is an MFI that operates in Asunción, Paraguay and employs an impressive non-discrimination policy and code of ethics, fully taking into account those with disabilities and physical conditions. These documents can be viewed on the Smart Campaign website:
Fundación Paraguaya and CFI are working together on a specific project, “Non-Discrimination: Making Microfinance Institutions Disability Inclusive and Smart Campaign Certifiable,” establishing and testing guidelines for a model comprehensive non-discrimination policy. As part of the project, Thomas Meriaux and Caroline Cervera from Handicap International are currently visiting Fundación Paraguaya to provide trainings on disability inclusion for clients and employees at the MFI. We recently spoke with Thomas about his visit, and he told us about an incident that brought it all home.
> Posted by Josh Goldstein aka Mr. Provocative
Economic inclusion for persons with disabilities (PWDs) is more possible than ever because of technological innovations that can transform the workplace, by making it accessible for persons with different kinds of disabilities. Screen reading software for the blind is just one example. Furthermore, there are some twenty-first century jobs that may perfectly fit the skill set of certain PWDs.
One recent stellar example of PWDs entering the workforce in a new way was reported by Emma Jacobs of the Financial Times on June 7. She spotlights the achievement of Thornkil Sonne, a Danish businessman (and Ashoka Fellow) who supplies autistic recruits to the IT industry and has shown that people with autism routinely demonstrate superior skills compared to their non-autistic peers. Many persons with autism (but by no means all) excel at data entry, software programming, and other technical tasks. This has persuaded SAP, the profit-driven German business software company to recruit 110 autistic employees to test its software products.
Globally, there are millions of vacant jobs in IT. So this could just be the beginning! Such employment opportunities that capitalize on the strengths of the differently-abled to such a degree that they are actually preferred candidates for certain positions in a competitive marketplace is truly extraordinary, even revolutionary, and is something we can all celebrate. But there is a dark side to technological innovations that may doom PWDs just as new opportunities and new acceptance appear on the horizon.