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Mobile Financial Services

A Ugandan Refugee Camp Hosts Potential for Financial Inclusion

August 05, 2019 by Lauren Henricks, Executive Vice President, Grameen Foundation

The Bidi Bidi refugee camp, in northwestern Uganda, is the largest refugee settlement in the country, and the second-largest refugee camp in the world, hosting 220,000 refugees who have fled the devastation and humanitarian crisis of the protracted civil war in South Sudan. In contrast to long-established refugee settlements elsewhere in the country, the inhabitants of Bidi Bidi are newcomers: all of them have arrived since the 2016 “July Crisis” in South Sudan.

Because of the long-term stability, favorable policy and social environment, and freedom of movement in Uganda, the majority of refugees in more established camps are either already engaging in small businesses or would like to start one (a recent World Bank study cited that 72 percent of refugees are operating some sort of micro or agri-business.) But at Bidi Bidi, the relationships and arrangements among people that create an active economy have not had time to develop, and economic activity remains low. These refugees arrived with literally just the clothes on their back and the few assets they could carry, and are to a greater extent than most refugees in Uganda, still struggling to establish themselves and supplement the limited support NGOs and the UN can provide.

Philippines WomenLink report

WomenLink Phase 1 pilot tested a digital literacy and financial education program based on SMS (short message system). Messages delivered to women’s phones were designed to deliver simple but actionable information to deepen women’s understanding of Digital Financial Services in an effort to galvanize uptake by new customers and drive greater usage by current ones.

Sindhu: A woman empowered through financial services

October 19, 2018

Grameen Foundation in India is training poor women in digital and financial literacy so they can launch microenterprises that extend financial services to their neighbors. The program is breaking barriers of caste and access, as seen in the story of Sindhu, the first Grameen Mitra. 

Usability of Digital Financial Services in the Philippines

In the Philippines, where women have the role of managing household finances and allocating budget among family needs, digital financial services (DFS) represent a huge opportunity for expanding financial inclusion among low-income women. This new study from Grameen Foundation examines why DFS use continues at low levels among poor Filipino women, the challenges they face, and strategies to overcome them.

Building Resilience in Burkina Faso: Impact Study Endline Results

Building Resilience in Burkina Faso (BRB) takes a multi-sectoral approach to improving household resilience and food security and features the innovative use of community-based women’s savings groups as a platform for providing an integrated package of agricultural, nutrition, financial services, and women’s empowerment programming to help thousands of savings group members overcome many of the geographic, cultural, social, and economic constraints that hamper their resilience in the face of shocks and disasters.

Data-Driven Agriculture: The future of smallholder farmer data management and use

In 2018, Grameen Foundation authored a landscape assessment on the use for data in support of smallholder farmers and agricultural development. This infographic summarizes a few of the main findings, and can serve as a launching pad for those considering how to harness the power of big data and digital technology for agricultural innovation. For a related blog, "Big Data and Smallholder Farmers," click here.

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