Globally, considerable progress has been in bridging gaps in access to financial services for the underserved. Notwithstanding these strides, there is growing recognition that for inclusion to deliver on its mandate, it is imperative to enable enhanced financial literacy, capability, and freedom among the most vulnerable segments of society. The ecosystem needs to shift its approach from a product-based lens to improving the financial health of communities and creating opportunities to fulfil their aspirations. The COVID-19 pandemic was an inflexion point and has further reiterated the need to focus on holistic financial health. What does financial health look like for diverse segments of the population? What lessons can we draw from the experience of developed and emerging nations in measuring financial health?
LEAD was part of a panel discussion titled ‘Democratisation of Financial Health – Learnings from Emerging and Developed Nations’ at the Global Inclusive Finance India Summit 2023 in Delhi. The session led by UNCDF, unpacked different dimensions of financial health – from financial planning and savings and how the concept can be democratised. Panellists shared insights on developing a common approach for measurement and discussed practical considerations in developing measures suited for different geographies, segments and contexts.
The panel featured leading policymakers and experts including:
- Amit Arora, Rural Development Finance Specialist, World Bank
- Shweta Pereira, Senior Director, ACCION
- Leena Datwani, Financial Sector Specialist, CGAP
- Udit Kariwala, Chief Financial Officer, Vastu Housing Finance Corporation Limited
- Moderator: Sabina Yasmin, Senior Research Fellow, LEAD at Krea University
A report on measuring financial health in low and middle-income countries was also released by Sharon Buteau, Executive Director, LEAD at Krea University and Rakhi Sahay, Partnerships and Innovations – Financial Health, United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF). More details are forthcoming.