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Financial Inclusion
Strategy Peer Learning
Group(FISPLG)

Financial Inclusion
Strategy Peer Learning
Group(FISPLG)

Financial inclusion strategies (FIS) are comprehensive public documents that systematically accelerate a country’s level of financial inclusion. Typically, national financial inclusion strategies (NFIS) include analysis on a country’s current financial inclusion status and constraints, measurable goals, how and when that country proposes to reach these goals, and how the progress and achievements of the NFIS will be assessed.

A national financial inclusion strategy (NFIS) is a comprehensive public document formulated at the national level to systematically accelerate the level of financial inclusion in a particular country. Typically, an NFIS will include an analysis of the current status and constraints on financial inclusion, a measurable financial inclusion goal, how the country proposes to reach this goal and by when, and how it would assess the progress and achievements of the NFIS.” An NFIS is developed through a broad consultative process involving, among others, public and private sector stakeholders engaged in financial sector development.

It is not surprising that NFIS have gained traction in recent years, since the logic appears simple: greater financial inclusion promises more inclusive growth and development, while national strategies have the potential to accelerate financial inclusion. Empirical evidence appears to support this position. For example, the South Africa Financial Sector Charter helped increase the percentage of banked adults from 46% to 64% in four years, and six million basic bank accounts (Mzansi accounts) were opened. In the United Kingdom, a Financial Inclusion Task Force contributed to halving the number of unbanked adults through a variety of policy measures. Reinforcing this evidence, the World Bank recently reported that countries that have launched an NFIS have achieved much higher levels of financial inclusion than other countries in recent years. The evidence from countries such as Brazil, Malaysia, Namibia and Tanzania support this assertion. Analysis carried out by AFI and Bank Negara Malaysia has also reaffirmed the positive impact of NFIS.

The growing number of NFIS across all regions shows the influence of knowledge and peer learning on strategy development. However, it is important to note that practices tend to change over time based on how much knowledge is shared through mechanisms such as peer learning, and the extent to which this knowledge is applied in the strategy formulation process. As analysed in the FISPLG publication National Financial Inclusion Strategies: Current State of Practice, assessing the current state of practice of NFIS has other limitations, as well. First, there is no systematic database in place with general data on NFIS or on the specific practices different countries have adopted. Even the scattered data that is available relates mainly to the formulation of national strategies, while very little data is available on implementation and progress monitoring and evaluation. Second, there is no consensus on what should legitimately be included in an NFIS. For example, some countries tend to include macroeconomic development strategies even though these may not significantly or strategically address the core issues of financial inclusion.

NFIS are developed through broad consultative processes involving, among others, public and private sector stakeholders engaged in financial sector development. The growing number of NFIS across all regions shows the influence of knowledge and peer learning on strategy development.

Global trends in financial inclusion strategies include emerging issues such as climate change and marginalized groups. In addition to women, other groups that need to be considered when building national financial inclusion include youth, forcibly displaced persons and people with disabilities.

Fundamental and emerging topics under FIS are explored in-depth through AFI’s Financial Inclusion Strategies Working Group (FISPLG).

As a response to the Denarau Action Plan of 2016, which was revised in September 2022, AFI members have committed to work towards increasing women’s financial inclusion, including setting specific targets on women’s FI. Integrating gender considerations into National Financial Inclusion Strategies is essential in enhancing women financial inclusion and ensuring diversity within member institutions.

FIS commitments are being implemented to ensure that national coordination is driving financial inclusion programs effectively.

PRIMARY THEMATIC AREA 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023

Financial Inclusion Strategy
Maya Declaration Targets 27 33 41 44 48 63 63 81 86 90 103 127
Completed 19 22 27 29 30 31 31 35 38 43 48 55
In Progress 8 11 14 15 18 32 32 46 47 47 55 72
Completion Rate 70% 67% 66% 66% 63% 49% 49.2% 43% 44% 48% 47% 43.31%

 

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AFI’s Financial Inclusion Strategy Peer Learning Group (FISPLG)

Policymakers in the AFI network have reached a consensus that National Financial Inclusion Strategies (NFIS) are essential in coordinating financial inclusion policies and ensuring they are based on sound data and the impacts are robustly monitored. AFI’s Financial Inclusion Strategy (FIS) Peer Learning Group promotes the development, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of national financial inclusion strategies.

64
Member
Institutions
58
Countries
137
Policy
Changes
28
Knowledge
Products

Chair

Mohanad Salous, Palestine Monetary Authority

Co-Chair I

Aishath Asna Hamdi, Maldives Monetary Authority

Co-Chair II

Vacant

Gender Focal Point

Haneen Almuhaisen, Central Bank of Jordan

FISPLG provides practical support to countries that have made commitments under the Maya Declaration and to the G20 through its Financial Inclusion Peer Learning Program.

  • Facilitate peer learning on the different approaches to strategy development and implementation across the network;
  • Provide a platform for peer reviews of draft strategies and action plans;
  • Develop joint guidance on aspects of national strategy formulation and implementation; and
  • Support the capacity of members to develop and implement financial inclusion strategies, including through connections to expert stakeholders.

Budgeting and Resources for NFIS

This Guideline Note uses the “Tanzania’s Implementation Support Guide (2023-2028)” for National Financial Inclusion Strategies (NFIS) as a basis to provide guidance to AFI members who struggle to implement their NFIS due to limited budgets. This guide specifically addresses this challenge by highlighting the importance of financial resources and providing insights on securing and managing them effectively. It outlines the different forms of support available, emphasizes stakeholder engagement throughout the process, and establishes a clear coordination and monitoring mechanism to track progress. Ultimately, this knowledge product seeks to empower countries to overcome budget hurdles and achieve successful NFIS implementation through efficient resource allocation and prioritization.

Beyond Access: Towards a Future-Proof Sustainable National Financial Inclusion Strategy

The distinction between a traditional and a sustainable National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) lies in their respective goals and approaches. Traditional NFIS primarily focuses on providing basic access to financial services, often falling short in considering long-term impact and sustainability. In contrast, a sustainable NFIS goes beyond immediate access, incorporating principles of responsible finance, environmental considerations, and social impact, aiming for enduring resilience against future challenges.

To accommodate this evolving concept, a comprehensive framework is essential. This framework involves understanding the current landscape of NFIS initiatives, identifying key components of sustainability, showcasing successful case studies, addressing challenges, emphasizing stakeholder engagement, providing a robust measurement framework for impact, offering actionable insights for implementation, and promoting continuous learning. By structuring the knowledge product in an accessible manner and staying updated on emerging trends, it can serve as a valuable resource for policymakers, financial institutions, and other stakeholders interested in adopting and promoting sustainable NFIS.

2024

2023

2022

2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2013

  • Bank of Uganda
    NFIS of Uganda (Mid-Term Review)
  • Central Bank of The Gambia
    Peer review of first NFIS of The Gambia
  • Ministry of Finance, Eswatini
    NFIS of Eswatini (Mid-Term Review)
  • Ministry of Finance, Eswatini
    Review of their Financial Inclusion Bill
  • Central Bank of Sao Tome e Principe
  • Peer review of first NFIS of Sao Tome e Principe
  • Central Bank of Egypt
    Review of the State of Financial Inclusion Report draft report
  • Palestine Monetary Authority
    Review of Palestine’s NFIS
  • Bank of Uganda
    Review of Uganda’s NFIS
  • Bank of Zambia
    Review of Zambia’s NFIS
  • Bank of Zambia
    Review of NFIS lII (Updated Draft I)
  • Ministry of Finance Eswatini
    Review draft of Eswatini’s NFIS
  • Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
  • Central Bank of Solomon Islands
  • Banco de Moçambique
    Review NFIS of Mozambique
  • Superintendence of Banking Peru
    Review NFIS of the Republic of Peru
  • Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas
    Review NFIS of the Philippines
  • Madagascar
    Country’s proposal for developing a NFIS and associated roadmap documents
  • Palestine
    Country’s proposal for developing a NFIS and associated roadmap documents
  • Superintendencia & Central Bank
    Country’s proposal for developing a NFIS and associated roadmap documents
  • Ecuador
    Country’s proposal for developing a NFIS and associated roadmap documents
  • Banque de la République d’Haïti
    Country’s proposal for developing a NFIS and associated roadmap documents
  • Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan
    Country’s proposal for a NFIS document
  • Central Bank of Liberia
    NFIS of Liberia
  • Da Afghanistan Bank
    NFIS of Afghanistan
  • Reserve Bank of Fiji
    NFIS (2022-2030)
  • Bank of Sierra Leone
    NFIS (2022-2025) 
  • Central Bank of the Gambia
    NFIS (2022-2025)
  • Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
    NFIS (2022-2026)
  • Central Bank of Comoros
    NFIS Concept Note Peer Review
  • Centrale Bank van Suriname
    NFIES (2023-2027) Peer Review
  • Bank of Uganda
    NFIS (2023-2026) Peer Review
  • Bank of Tanzania
    NFIS (2023-2028) Peer Review
  • Central Bank van Suriname
    “Wet Financiele Inclusie” Peer Review
  • Banco Nacional de Mozambique
    NFIS End-of-Term Evaluation + NFIS (2024-2030) Peer Review
  • Ministry of Finance Eswatini
    NFIS (2023-2028) Peer Review
  • Banque Centrale de Mauritanie
    NFIS (2023-2028) Peer Review

 

  • Banco Central de Reserva de El Salvador
  • Banco Central de São Tomé e Príncipe
  • Banco de Moçambique
  • Banco Nacional de Angola
  • Banco Central del Paraguay
  • Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
  • Bangladesh Bank
  • Bank Al-Maghrib
  • Bank Negara Malaysia
  • Bank of Papua New Guinea
  • Bank of Sierra Leone
  • Bank of Tanzania
  • Bank of Uganda
  • Bank of Zambia
  • Banque Centrale de Tunisie
  • Banque Centrale des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (BCEAO)
  • Banque Centrale des Comores
  • Banque Centrale du Congo
  • Banque de la République d’Haiti
  • Banque de la République du Burundi
  • Central Bank of Armenia
  • Central Bank of Egypt
  • Central Bank of Eswatini
  • Central Bank of Iraq
  • Central Bank of Jordan
  • Central Bank of Lesotho
  • Central Bank of Liberia
  • Central Bank of Nigeria
  • Central Bank of Samoa
  • Central Bank of Sudan
  • Central Bank of Sri Lanka
  • Central Bank of the Bahamas
  • Central Bank of The Gambia
  • Central Bank of the Republic of Uzbekistan
  • Centrale Bank van Suriname
  • Comisión Nacional Bancaria y de Valores de México (CNBV)
  • Comisión Nacional de Bancos y Seguros de Honduras
  • Direction Générale du Trésor, Ministère de l’Economie et des Finances, Madagascar
  • Financial Regulatory Commission of Mongolia
  • Maldives Monetary Authority
  • Microcredit Regulatory Authority of Bangladesh
  • Ministère des Finances et du Budget du Sénégal
  • Ministry of Finance – Eswatini
  • Ministry of Finance and Economic Development Zimbabwe
  • Ministry of Finance and National Planning Zambia
  • National Bank of Cambodia
  • National Bank of Rwanda
  • National Bank of Tajikistan
  • National Reserve Bank of Tonga
  • Nepal Rastra Bank
  • Palestine Monetary Authority
  • People’s Bank of China
  • Reserve Bank of Fiji
  • Reserve Bank of Malawi
  • Reserve Bank of Vanuatu
  • Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
  • Superintendencia de Bancos de la República Dominicana
  • Superintendencia de la Economía Popular y Solidaria de Ecuador
  • Superintendencia General de Entidades Financieras de Costa Rica (SUGEF)
  2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Events 1st: Abuja, Nigeria 2nd: Bangkok, Thailand
3rd: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
54th: Nadi, Fiji
5th: Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago
6th: Manila, Philippines
7th: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
8th: Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
9th: Nadi, Fiji
10th: Dushanbe, Tajikistan
11th: Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
12th: Siem Reap, Cambodia
13th: Sochi, Russia
14th: Livingstone, Zambia
15th: Kigali, Rwanda
16th: Virtual Meeting
17th: Virtual Meeting
18th: Virtual Meeting
19th: Virtual Meeting
Member Institutions 13 26 40 51 59 60 53 53 58 53
Knowledge Products
(aggregate)
0 1 1 2 3 9 11 13 14 23
Policy Changes
(aggregate)
3 5 8 17 29 51 54 78 97 TBD
Peer Reviews
(aggregate)
0 0 6 9 12 17 18 18 20 TBD

Videos

10 Years of the Financial Inclusion Strategy Peer Learning Group (FISPLG), Mohanad Salous, Palestine Monetary Authority

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Financial Inclusion Strategy Peer Learning Group (FISPLG) Technical Virtual Meeting discussed the importance of integrating youth and forcibly displaced people in a national financial inclusion strategy followed by country-specific member testimonies and Q&A.

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Financial Inclusion Strategy Peer Learning Group (FISPLG) Webinar on “Addressing the Impact of COVID-19 on Gender Savings Groups” includes discussions on the concept of Gender Savings Groups (GSG), their advantages and disadvantages, the effects of COVID-19 on GSG and measures that can be taken to mitigate these effects. The webinar concludes with participants exploring why COVID-19 policy responses need to be financially inclusive and gender-sensitive.

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