Case Studies: Improving Access to Financial Services

The Center for Global Development (CGD) was awarded a two-year grant from the Tinker Foundation in 2009 for a series of country case studies that examine efforts to improve financial services for poor and marginalized communities.  In so doing, CGD hopes to encourage evidence-based planning among policy makers that attempt to address the persistence of poverty in Latin America.  The Foundation's grant provided funding for the studies of Brazil and Mexico, which have recently been completed and released.  Brought together with reports on India, Kenya, Peru and South Africa, the Center is developing recommendations and best practices to inform future efforts throughout the region.  

From the Center for Global Development...

Designing financial products that meet the needs of the poor and the middle class and creating the policy environment in which financial institutions can flourish is a core development challenge.  Such efforts are on the rise but have tended to be scatter-shot, based on intuition and belief rather than empirical evidence. Realizing this knowledge gap, CGD launched a research program directed by senior fellow Liliana Rojas-Suarez that aims to identify good practices, pre-conditions, and obstacles for improving financial inclusion. The project includes six case studies that apply a common analytical framework produced by a CGD Task Force entitled “Policy Principles for Expanding Financial Access”.  Case study countries – Brazil, India, Kenya, Mexico, Peru, and South Africa – were selected because they are innovation leaders and because of the variety of financial products to improve access that they offered simultaneously.

Read the case study of Mexico (pdf)

Read the case study of Brazil (pdf)


Visit the CGD website to read more about their research and access other country reports.