Data has a fundamental role in establishing a common understanding of the current state of financial inclusion. It can be used by regulators, policymakers, and financial services providers in all policymaking processes: diagnosis of the state of financial inclusion, designing appropriate policies, setting financial inclusion targets, monitoring and evaluation which provide a feedback loop to adjust targets and initiate policy reforms. The main stages for measuring financial inclusion are:
1) Country specific definition of financial inclusion
2) Identification of data needs and data gaps
3) Data gathering
4) Data analysis, usage for decision-making process and dissemination
Country-level data on financial inclusion inform the national policymaking processes and are more detailed than global-level data, e.g. due to disaggregation by administrative units. Global-level data on financial inclusion are mostly used for country-to-country comparisons as well as for assessing trends on financial access around the world. Harmonization of definitions and standardization of data collection methodologies are necessary to generate useful global-level data and benchmarks.
There are numerous freely available international databases relevant for financial inclusion. The most comprehensive global supply-side data source include the Financial Access Survey (FAS) of the IMF with supply-side data reported by Financial Policymakers and Regulators, and from the demand-side at a global scale the Global Findex of the World Bank collecting data from national surveys each 3 years in more than 144 jurisdictions as well as the World Bank Enterprise Surveys collects relevant financial inclusion data and indicators at a global scale. Several initiatives aim to reach a consensus on standardising basic indicators of financial inclusion, notably the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI), the OECD SME indicators, as well as the AFI Core Set and 2nd Tier financial inclusion indicators developed by the AFI Financial Inclusion Data Working Group. The main target of these initiatives is to offer a benchmark of common and basic indicators to be considered for measuring financial inclusion and to encourage countries to supplement the basic indicators for the country specific context.
Once the definition of financial inclusion is clear, it is easier to determine what kind of data is needed to measure the current state of financial inclusion, track changes over time and impacts of inclusion. Financial inclusion is a multidimensional concept. Each country is unique and should determine its own definition given the specific characteristics of the country and its financial sector. Although there is no common definition for financial inclusion there is a consensus on the basic dimensions that must be considered for measuring financial inclusion: financial inclusion indicators measure various aspects of access, usage, quality and impact. In addition, they consider specific target groups, especially SMEs, women and other vulnerable groups.
The proper application of good data is paramount to promoting evidence-based financial inclusion policy. Financial inclusion measurement is more than just numbers and statistics. FID is ultimately about people and how best to understand and communicate their financial needs and design appropriate products and services.
There is an increasing availability of high-quality supply and demand-side data within AFI members. The AFI data portal shows that over 40% of AFI members have undertaken at least one national demand-side survey within the last 3 years. These data, combined with the application of new innovative analytical and diagnostic tools and techniques has enabled policymakers and regulators to gain insights to the financial needs and behaviour of previously unserved populations, and develop targeted policy solutions.
The proper application of good data is paramount to promoting evidence-based financial inclusion policies. FID policies are not an end in itself but tools designed to allow policymakers and regulators take better informed decision-making in the different policy dimensions related to financial inclusion.
Parallel global trends include: national data frameworks and financial inclusion indicators and indices; a proper data segmentation including sex-disaggregated data, activity, age and location; measuring quality and social impact; innovative measurement tools and frameworks including the use of RegTech and Big Data; Regulatory Risk Assessments; Data reporting and dissemination; Monitoring and Evaluation principles and tools.
Fundamental and emerging topics under financial inclusion data (FID) are explored in-depth through AFI’s Financial Inclusion Data Working Group (FIDWG).
The collection and analysis of sex-disaggregated data is essential to bridging the financial inclusion gender gap, as it can both inform evidence-based financial inclusion policymaking and track the effectiveness of efforts to address barriers faced by women. Increasingly members are segmenting data to understand key aspects related to gender-led policies, and disseminate indicators to inform regulators, policymakers, and market implementors about important gaps financially impacting women in different contexts and the identify actions to reduce them.
Member institutions are increasingly making Maya Declaration commitments that fall under FID’s mandate. As of 2020, 116 commitments have been set that aim to improve the measurements and indicators for assessing financial inclusion. Form these 57 percent have already been completed.
|PRIMARY THEMATIC AREA||2012||2013||2014||2015||2016||2017||2018||2019||2020||2021||2022|
Financial Inclusion Data
|Maya Declaration Targets||20||40||48||49||64||79||86||111||106||108||111|
AFI’s Financial Inclusion Data Working Group (FIDWG)
A platform dedicated to promoting and sharing practical knowledge and recommendations on financial inclusion measurements including core set indicators, measurement methodologies, policy models and other good practices by AFI member institutions.
FIDWG aims to develop a common framework for measuring financial inclusion and sharing lessons learned on topics such as target setting, quantitative and qualitative measurement methodologies, and data analysis and dissemination to better inform policymaking and changes in regulation. Members actively promote the use and adoption of a framework within the AFI network at the international level.
View the FinNeeds toolkit, a measurement framework by insight2impact. This toolkit outlines the FinNeeds indicators to track and discusses the data sources and measurement approaches relevant for each element, as well as how to analyze the data for policy-ready insights.
Mary Musombo Katepa
Chahrazade El Alaoui, Bank Al-Maghrib
Rita Kayibanda, National Bank of Rwanda
Gender Focal Point
Sesilia Nekwaya, Bank of Namibia
Gender Focal Point
Dr. Settor Amediku, Bank of Ghana
• Gender Inclusive Finance Data Subgroup:
Since 2016 when the Alliance for Financial Inclusion Network subscribed to the Denarau Action Plan to advancing gender inclusive finance and women’s financial inclusion, the Financial Inclusion Data Working Group focused on supporting the measurement of women financial inclusion and the gender gap in terms of access and usage of financial services to identify barriers and opportunities for policymaker, regulators, and the industry to enhance women financial inclusion. This has been done through supporting the collection, analysis, use and dissemination of sex-disaggregated data from the demand and the supply-sides. For instance, more recently, though the 2021 Global Findex has showed positive progress in terms of women financial inclusion and reduction of the women financial gender gap, the global data has also revealed a persistent lag in terms of women’s financial inclusion and an increase in the gender gap in some regions and countries.
Hence, the FIDWG GIF Subgroup has been persistent in identifying and sharing best practices to ensure a better and more generalized financial sex-disaggregated data collection, especially from the supply-side data perspective allowing to identify potential barriers and opportunities to favor WFI. Currently, the FID Gender Subgroup has been involved with the Gender Inclusive Finance team in AFI to review a GIF mapping exercise including statistical and regulatory research including various AFI member institutions to identify key factors including policy and regulatory policies that are positively correlated with an increase on women financial inclusion and a reduction of the corresponding financial inclusion gender gap.
Planned activity: Review and endorsement of the GIF Mapping projects.
Inclusive Green Finance Subgroup:
An increasing number of AFI members voiced interest in scaling up peer learning on ways to develop and implement financial inclusion policies that also have positive environmental outcomes.
This momentum culminated in September 2017 with the launch of the Sharm El Sheikh Accord on Financial Inclusion, Climate Change and Green Finance, endorsed by an overwhelming 94% of the AFI membership. The Accord commits AFI members to work together and with partners to identify, understand and implement financial inclusion policy solutions that also have positive outcomes for the environment, focusing on communities that are most vulnerable to climate change. As a preliminary step, FIDWG members agreed to work on an effort to define the key measurements from the demand and the supply-sides on the specific aspects related to ‘inclusive green finance’ and the 4Ps (provision, promotion, prevention, and protection) determining what and how should policymakers and other stakeholders measure its impact, and the role of climate data in financial regulation and policy making.
Planned activity: Special Report on Measuring Inclusive Green Finance. Published November 2022. Adoption phase of the knowledge product.
RegTech Taskforce (jointly with DFSWG and GSPWG):
Regulatory Technology (RegTech and Supervisory Technology (SupTech) including the automation and data-driven analysis of internal control systems (compliance, risk management, audit) and internal and external reporting are now essential tools allowing both authorities and regulated institutions to lower the costs of regulatory compliance and increase the quality of information for timely policy decision-making. FIDWG is focusing in identifying the adoption and adaptation of applicable and appropriate RegTech or SupTech solutions and processes, methods, and tools for regulatory reporting, compliance, and mandated regulatory objectives including financial inclusion related policies.
Planned Activity: Guideline Note on Regtech for Financial Inclusion data by 2023
According to the UNSGSA, the definition or concept of Financial Health is “the extent to which a person or family can smoothly manage their current financial obligations and have confidence in their financial future”. This concept has gained global attention and interest from development institutions, policymakers and financial service providers as an overall goal or objective to promote among society, households, and individuals. The concept linked with financial inclusion, financial capabilities and other developmental policies is currently being analyzed by FIDWG to identify and define practical and consistent measurements and indicators for financial inclusion policymakers and regulators.
Planned deliverable: Special Report on Measuring Financial Health
SME Financial Inclusion Data
FIDWG jointly with SMEFWG formulated and published the MSME data Policy Framework as a critical aspect to measure and track MSME finance policies from the financial inclusion perspective. The Subgroup is now focusing on identifying used cases and case studies to test and use the policy framework in benefit of SME policy formulation and implementation. An adoption phase for this important workstream is being implemented by the FIDWG Subgroup with the aim to test and adapt these measurements and indicators and then promote a wide adoption of them.
Planned deliverable: MSME data Policy Framework, published December 2021. Adoption phase.
AFI Data Portal Task Team
The AFI Data Portal is one of the core dissemination tools adopted by the AFI Network since 2018 and a task team in FIDWG is currently reviewing and providing recommendations for a more effective reporting and adoption of the AFI financial inclusion indicators. The objective is to ensure the AFI Data Portal is a window reflecting the AFI member institutions financial inclusion policy journey.
Planned deliverable: Enhancement of the AFI Data Portal financial inclusion indicators reporting
|Events||1st: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2nd: Bali, Indonesia
|3th: Lima, Peru
4th: Riviera Maya, Mexico
|5th: Livingstone, Zambia
6th: Cape Town, South Africa
|7th: Manila, Philippines
8th: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
|9th: Casablanca, Morocco
10th: Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago
|11th: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
12th: Maputo, Mozambique
|13th: San Salvador, El Savador
14th: Nadi, Fiji
|15th: Dushanbe, Tajikistan
16th: Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
|17th: Merida, Mexico
18th: Sochi, Russia
|19th: Cairo, Egypt
20th: Kigali, Rwanda
|21th: Virtual Meeting
22th: Virtual Meeting
|23th: Virtual Meeting
24th: Virtual Meeting
In this webinar, the speakers are highlighting key steps in designing and developing a demand-side survey: how to identify the key objectives, streamline the indicators/questions to be defined and included in questionnaires, the validation of the structure and language of the instruments, and how should the end-resulted be used for analysis and effective policy decision-making.
Financial inclusion demand-side data and specifically face-to-face demand-side surveys are considered one of the key tools to measure access, usage, and quality of services from a user’s perspective. These tools are flexible instruments that allow to measure specific characteristics, perceptions, and preferences from the financial services and products (FSP) user’s perspective.
They can capture critical information from partially and unserved markets. More recently, additional policy needs have been identified to be measured by these instruments: access, usage, quality of services, but also Micro and SME finance aspects, individual financial needs, the gender angle of financial inclusion, resilience and adaptation processes in climate emergency responses, and additional nuances linked to digital financial services and financial technology.
In this webinar, the speakers are highlighting the main objectives, characteristics, advantages, and limitations of demand-side surveys. The webinar explained how policymakers can use surveys to inform their policies while taking advantage of other measurement tools. The tools are both from the supply and the demand side and complement the overview of the financial inclusion landscape for timely decision-making.
Financial inclusion demand-side data and specifically face-to-face demand-side surveys are considered one of the key tools to measure access, usage, and quality of services from a user’s perspective. These tools are flexible instruments that allow measuring specific characteristics, perceptions, and preferences from the financial services and products (FSP) user’s perspective. They can capture critical information from partially and unserved markets. More recently, additional policy needs have been identified to be measured by these instruments: access, usage, quality of services, but also Micro and SME finance aspects, individual financial needs, the gender angle of financial inclusion, resilience and adaptation processes in climate emergency responses, and additional nuances linked to digital financial services and financial technology.