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Global Assets Project

Archives: Global Assets Project Policy Papers

Beyond the Buzz

  • By
  • Jamie M. Zimmerman,
  • Julia Arnold,
  • Elizabeth Carls,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Lex Nowak and Vinay Rao (Global Assets Project)
September 12, 2013

Although low-income youth in the developing world tend to lead relatively complex financial lives, many do so without access to the financial tools and knowledge that might benefit them. Increasing their financial inclusion—or the access and capabilities necessary to use appropriate, typically formal, financial products and services—could help low-income youth better navigate the financial landscape and ultimately contribute to their economic empowerment.

From Protection to Investment

  • By
  • Jamie M. Zimmerman,
  • Anjana Ravi,
  • Nicole Tosh,
  • New America Foundation
November 19, 2012

The way governments give aid to citizens in need has changed dramatically in recent years: the estimated number of government-to-person cash payments transferred electronically in 2012 has doubled from 2012 to 2009 — from 25 to 61 percent according to the data of countries examined by the Global Savings and Social Protection Initiative (GSSP).

From Social Banking to Financial Inclusion: Understanding the Potential for Financial Services Innovation in India

  • By
  • Eric Tyler,
  • Anjana Ravi,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Sunil Bhat, Minakshi Ramji and Anjaneyulu Ballem (MicroSave)
October 29, 2012

When it comes to savings for the poor and financial inclusion efforts, India is a dynamic market ripe for innovation and experimentation. Its extensive web of financial service providers as well as the incidence of large-scale exclusion are contradictory features that also make it a market worth examining.

Investing in Girls

  • By
  • Jamie M. Zimmerman,
  • Nicole Tosh,
  • Jamie Holmes,
  • New America Foundation
October 11, 2012

Over the last decade, anti-poverty initiatives across the developing world have increasingly focused on gender-based strategies, and in particular, on achieving equality and empowerment through gender-focused program innovation. While important progress has been made in the last several years, men still outnumber women in paid employment in almost every region of the developing world, with more women working informally, and in more vulnerable employment positions, than men.

Creating Creatures of Habit

  • By
  • Payal Pathak,
  • New America Foundation
July 26, 2012

Youth savings accounts are emerging as a potential poverty reduction and youth development tool, with initial evidence indicating that children and youth who save in accounts earlier in life begin to think positively about their futures. Researchers have observed asset effects, or as the YouthSave Consortium defined the term in a 2010 publication, the “economic, social, behavioral, and psychological impacts of asset ownership,” in a number of studies. For example, qualitative findings from the SEED (Saving for Education, Entrepreneurship, and Downpayment) Initiative, a national demonstration of 1,171 child development accounts in the United States, showed that, in addition to gaining financial savings, participants had higher self-esteem, hopes for the future, financial knowledge, and security.

Enhancing the Impact of Cash Transfers

  • By
  • Vishnu Sridharan,
  • New America Foundation
July 6, 2012

One of the most successful tools in the fight against poverty, one that has attracted increasing attention over the past decade, is social protection via cash transfers. In fact, the New America Foundation’s Global Savings and Social Protection Database – which focuses on Latin America, Africa, East and Asia – has identified over 90 cash-transfer programs in 45 countries, with over a half billion beneficiaries. As the Chronic Poverty Research Centre puts it, “social protection is critical in preventing descent into chronic poverty and reducing the depth of poverty...

Savings for the Poor in Kenya

  • By
  • Anjana Ravi,
  • Eric Tyler,
  • New America Foundation
May 23, 2012

Kenya’s financial market has caught the world’s attention. The rise of mobile money in Kenya has become the interest of financial inclusion experts, the excitement of mobile network operators, and an opportunity for financial institutions to rethink their products and services. However, the implications and transformative impact of mobile money and other related innovations in the financial landscape are often much less examined and understood.

Savings for the Poor in the Philippines

  • By
  • Anjana Ravi,
  • Eric Tyler,
  • Jamie M. Zimmerman,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Johan N. Diaz, Jesila M. Ledesma, Jaspreet Singh
September 28, 2011

As part of building the stock of knowledge for the Savings for the Poor Innovation and Knowledge Network (SPINNAKER), the Global Assets Project partnered with MicroSave to conduct the first exploratory savings landscape country study. The goal of the study was to not only capture the range of savings products for the poor and identify opportunities for further innovative development, but also to help develop data gathering instruments and approaches and identify gaps for future research.

Accelerating Financial Capability Among Youth

  • By
  • Payal Pathak,
  • Jamie Holmes,
  • Jamie M. Zimmerman,
  • New America Foundation
June 25, 2011

This paper argues that common definitions of financial capability understate the role of psychological barriers to establishing sound financial behaviors, namely savings habits. Drawing on insights from psychology and behavioral economics, we explore these missing psychological variables in the standard financial capability equation and suggest mechanisms, or nudges, to overcome those barriers to accelerate financial capability among low-income youth.

Frequently Asked Questions About Youth Savings Accounts

  • By
  • Jamie M. Zimmerman,
  • Payal Pathak,
  • New America Foundation
May 31, 2011

As development analysts and practitioners increasingly look to savings as a potential tool to spur development and financial inclusion among low-income youth in developing countries, this FAQ is meant to provide a basic overview of a relatively new area of inquiry and practice: youth savings accounts (YSAs).

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