AFI’s impact on financial inclusion: Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) System

AFI has developed a unique Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) System that meets a variety of expectations and aspirations of both our members and funding partners. Our recent publication “Measuring the Impact of a Global Network on Financial Inclusion: AFI’s M&E System,” explains why its distinctive approach to M&E is vital to enhancing transparency and accountability, developing evidence for policymaking, lobbying and advocacy, and strengthening capacity.

The publication tells AFI’s M&E story, the organization’s successes and innovative solutions to financial inclusion challenges. It shows the M&E challenges unique to global networks and policy reform efforts, lessons, results and also the wider impacts of AFI’s work as captured by its M&E system.

AFI’s M&E System aims to measure the extent to which AFI members have the capacity to formulate financial inclusion policies and make commitments to implement financial inclusion policies. The system also aims to measure AFI’s impact on the global financial inclusion policy agenda and it is an effective and sustainable organization.  

In a global policy network, this means designing an M&E Strategy that allows AFI to improve its internal efficiency and effectiveness, demonstrate that it is delivering on its commitments primarily to its members but also to donors and other stakeholders. The M&E Strategy also tracks the level of engagement of member institutions in AFI’s global network, and assesses AFI’s influence and contribution to policy and regulatory reform in member countries and on the global financial inclusion agenda.

As a learning organization, AFI routinely asks what makes financial inclusion policies effective, what conditions are necessary to create them and how it can best support these conditions. The organization uses the Member Needs Assessment (MNA) Survey, an annual survey of individuals from AFI member institutions.

In 2016, for instance, about 260 individuals representing 79 institutions in 67 countries participated in the survey. As an organization, AFI received 83 percent satisfaction rating, showing the AFI Data Portal as AFI’s most used service. The survey revealed that the organization’s top three best known services are the AFI Working Groups (85 percent), the Global Policy Forum (80 percent) and the Maya Declaration (78 percent). The survey also revealed that member engagement in the AFI Network, as measured by uptake of services, increased by 15 percentage points.

The 2014 Global Findex survey shows that the number of banked adults grew significantly between 2011 and 2014. Based on Findex data, it is estimated that the AFI network has contributed to banking more than 327 million adults. AFI members have pioneered successful financial policy reforms in 62 countries and as of February 2017, over 260 tangible policy and regulatory changes have been implemented because of AFI’s support.

Combining linear and non-linear methods allowed AFI’s M&E to generated rich qualitative, quantitative and anecdotal evidence about the practical impact of the innovative financial inclusion policies which the AFI network has been developing and implementing. AFI continues to track its progress and measures its impact on the ground, while demonstrating that it is an effective policy-driving network.