29 April 2019
The Central Bank of Armenia (CBA) and the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) on April 29 kicked off a joint capacity building session designed to identify issues related to financial education and find solutions using behavioral insights.
Some 35 participants from 23 countries are attending the training session. By the end of the five days, they will have learnt how to apply behavioral economics to develop evidence-based policies, design tools to conduct qualitative and quantitative research (e.g. randomized controlled trial, focus groups, pre- and post-surveys) as well as design a tool to monitor and evaluate the impact of financial education interventions for financial inclusion.
Behavioral research can help improve financial consumer protection, underscoring the need for technical experts to understand how to harness tools and insights available in order to develop effective and consumer-centric policies.
CBA Deputy Governor Vakhtang Abrahamyan and AFI Head of Policy Programs and Regional Initiatives Eliki Boletawa delivered the welcome remarks, with Deputy Governor speaking of his institution’s close relationship with AFI.
“AFI is one of the best organized platforms specifically dedicated for sharing and learning amongst regulators,” he said. “When I need to know anything about what other regulators are doing on a specific topic, I always ask [my colleagues] who attend various AFI events, as they are updated about other regulators.”
CBA joined AFI in 2011 and has been an active member of the network, hosting three events in last two years.
Meanwhile, AFI’s Boletawa used his time on the podium to outline the relevance of capacity building sessions to addressing the challenges of financial inclusion.
“Behavioral research in consumer finance can help improve financial consumer protection and hinges on understanding the psychologies that affect how we make decisions, form intentions and whether or not we follow through with them,” he said.
He also noted the importance of the capacity building efforts as peer learning platforms.
“AFI trainings are designed to bring together policymakers, stakeholders and regulators from different jurisdictions representing a diverse and rich mix of talent, interest, opinions, knowledge and experiences to learn and share knowledge towards improving policy and regulatory developments and outcomes,” he added.
He ended his speech by thanking the CBA, Governor Arthur Javadyan and Deputy Governor Abrahamyan for co-hosting the event.
“There is a saying, one head is good, many heads are better,” Abrahamyan said. “There are a lot of new initiatives we are taking, and my team will be happy to share with you and we hope this exchange will be productive and useful both for you and us.”
AFI offers a broad spectrum of capacity building training that spans a joint learning program, member training, public-private dialogue training, peer advisory service and an online course to become a certified expert in financial inclusion policy (CEFI).