> Posted by Center Staff

This edition of top picks features posts highlighting initiatives to optimize smallholder finance data collection and usage, efforts to improve youth financial capability, and insights on how mobile money services can effectively reach women.

To better provide financing for the 450 million smallholder farmers around the world, there’s a big opportunity in developing shared knowledge bases and coordinated learning agendas for this topic area. A new post on the CGAP blog shares the work of Dalberg Global Development Advisors and the Initiative for Smallholder Finance to ascertain the state of the smallholder financing knowledge base and put in place a number of complementary tools so that those addressing this financing gap can work together, repurpose what others have already learned, and build off of the field’s scarce resources to drive it forward. The post highlights a smallholder impact literature wiki, an interactive map of smallholder finance tools, a framework for data collection that includes a shared learning agenda, and new briefings offering supply and demand side insights as well as indications of where data is lacking.

How can children and youth become financially capable adults? A new post on the Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) blog examines interventions that have been conducted to improve the financial capability and well-being of the younger client segment. In Uganda, a country with one of the highest primary school drop-out rates in the world, 81 percent of parents with children who have dropped out cite financial constraints as the reason. Youth finance to keep kids in school and support their overall betterment is not a new item on the financial inclusion and development agendas, and so efforts to date to improve capability have been varied and even tested in combination. The IPA post discusses promising results that have arisen from financial education and savings initiatives, and important next steps.

In Papua New Guinea, where roughly 15 percent of the population has access to formal financial services, the MiCash mobile money service boasts an impressively high gender balance among its clients: 38 percent are women. The service was launched by Nationwide Microbank in 2012 and has been met with relatively high uptake among the population. GSMA’s Mobile Money for the Unbanked blog is producing a series of posts that build on their recently released report Reaching Half of the Market: Women and Mobile Money, outlining takeaways from mobile money services that have been effective in reaching women. This week’s post on MiCash in Papua New Guinea includes insights on financial literacy, outreach, and partnerships.

Image credit: Ianf