Women queue up to receive welfare benefits in cash. The title "Improving Last-Mile Delivery of Financial Services and Welfare Programs" is seen in shades of olive green and white. The session is scheduled to take place on November 1, 2021 during Financial Inclusion Week. LEAD and FIW 2021 logos are seen on the top. Photos and profiles of speakers are on the right against a deep blue background.



Improving Last-Mile Delivery of Financial Services and Welfare Programs

Partners: The Center for Financial Inclusion (CFI) at Accion

Banking agents, often drawn from the communities they serve, have been instrumental in improving access to financial services among unbanked and underserved populations. Emerging evidence suggests that agent-led access to credit and savings options targeted toward women has a positive spillover effect on their decision-making power within the household, self-confidence, and asset ownership. Despite the growing network of agents operating in the developing world, this last-mile service delivery model is strife with demand and supply-side challenges.

LEAD anchored a global plenary session along with The Center for Financial Inclusion (CFI) at Accion for Financial Inclusion Week 2021 on November 1, 2021. In this panel, experts explored challenges around ensuring the sustainability of agent models. Drawing on LEAD’s work with business correspondents and women’s Self-Help Groups in rural India, and emerging insights from the Global South, the panel shared collective learnings within the context and highlighted promising approaches for improving scalability and creating thriving agent networks.


Moderator: Tanushree Bhan, Research Fellow, LEAD at Krea University 

Ignacio Mas, Independent Consultant 

Sonja Kelly, Director of Research & Advocacy, Women’s World Banking 

Anjini Kochar, Senior Research Scholar, Stanford University and Senior Research Fellow, 3ie

Anand Raman, Senior Financial Sector Specialist, CGAP



Watch the recording of the global plenary session here