13 Mar 2018
Learning Lab
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The fourth in the Learning Brief series, our latest research aims to help those working in agricultural finance better understand how to influence decision makers. This short brief and related infographic provide six core principles to effectively influence key stakeholders in agricultural finance.

Our 2016 state of the sector report estimates that formal financial institutions and value chain actors only meet one sixth of the USD 200 billion smallholder finance need. To address the gap, stakeholders in the rural and agricultural finance sector need to make bold strategic shifts, such as vastly expanding customer-centric financial services to smallholder farmers, pursuing progressive partnerships, and maintaining a sharp focus on smallholder farmers when scaling innovative models and technologies.

The Lab, in partnership with Dalberg Advisors, identified three stakeholder groups – including  (1) financial service providers, (2) agribusinesses, and (3) value chain innovators – whose strategic shifts would be particularly influential in addressing this gap. This brief and accompanying infographic outlines the six core principles that can help influence decision makers in each of these stakeholder groups in order to help close the smallholder financing gap and bring millions out of poverty. 

27 Feb 2018
The MasterCard Foundation

International Finance Corporation (IFC) supports institutions seeking to develop digital financial services (DFS) for the expansion of financial inclusion and is engaged in multiple projects across a range of markets through its portfolio of investments and advisory projects. As of 2017, through its work with The Mastercard Foundation and other partners, IFC works with DFS providers across Sub-Saharan Africa on expanding financial inclusion through digital products and services. Interactions with clients as well as the broader industry in the region and beyond have identified the need for a handbook on how to use the emerging field of data science to unlock value from the data emerging from these implementations.

Even though data analytics offers an opportunity for DFS providers to know their customers at a granular level and to use this knowledge to offer higher-quality services, many practitioners are yet to implement a systematic, data-driven approach in their operations and organizations. There are a few examples that have received a lot of attention due to their success in certain markets, such as the incorporation of alternative data in order to evaluate credit risk of new types of customers. However, the promise of data goes beyond one or two specific case applications. Common barriers to the application of data insights for DFS include a lack of knowledge, scarcity of skill and discomfort with an unfamiliar approach. This handbook seeks to provide an...

27 Feb 2018
The MasterCard Foundation
Smallholder finance

In 2016, the Mastercard Foundation and IFC’s Partnership for Financial Inclusion Program jointly published the Digital financial services and risk management handbook for any type of financial institution offering or planning to offer digital financial services, such as mobile money and agent banking. This includes microfinance institutions, banks, mobile network operators, or third party payment service providers. 

The handbook aims to help thes financial institutions understand the importance of and necessary steps to ensure their sustainability and reliability via the implementation of effective and responsible risk managementpractices.