nep-fle New Economics Papers
on Financial Literacy and Education
Issue of 2022‒05‒23
two papers chosen by

  1. The State of Digital Financial Services in Francophone West Africa By Jenny Aker; David Carroll
  2. Forsa pilot program and evaluation plan By El Shabrawy, Atef; Gilligan, Daniel O.; Kurdi, Sikandra; Palloni, Giordano; Yassa, Basma

  1. By: Jenny Aker (Tufts University [Medford]); David Carroll (Tufts University [Medford])
    Abstract: The introduction of digital financial services (DFS) offers new opportunities to reduce the transaction costs associated with money transfers. Over the past decade, the number of DFS deployments has increased substantially, with over 300 deployments worldwide as of 2020. While there is substantial potential for such services to address the constraints to financial inclusion, especially in West Africa, widespread adoption and usage of these services remains relatively concentrated in particular markets. Economic research shows promise in terms of DFS increasing access to money transfers, smoothing consumption and reducing poverty in the long-term, but few studies have more sustained impacts. This can, in part, be explained by the agent network in several countries and the regulatory framework. We conclude by providing recommendations for the further growth of mobile money in West Africa.
    Keywords: West Africa,Digital Financial Services (DFS),Mobile money,Financial inclusion,Agents,Interoperability
    Date: 2022–04–07
  2. By: El Shabrawy, Atef; Gilligan, Daniel O.; Kurdi, Sikandra; Palloni, Giordano; Yassa, Basma
    Abstract: Forsa, which means “Opportunity†in Arabic, is a new economic inclusion program of the government of the Arab Republic of Egypt. Implemented by the Ministry of Social Solidarity, the program aims to graduate beneficiaries of the national cash transfer program, the Takaful & Karama Program (TKP), from being dependent on transfers from TKP to economic self-reliance by enabling them to engage in wage employment or sustainable economic enterprises. The most recent World Bank Economic Inclusion report (Andrews et al. 2021) highlights a recent increase globally in such graduation or economic inclusion programs, which now reach around 92 million beneficiaries from 20 million households across more than 75 countries. This rapid growth is raising demand for evidence on best practices in graduation program implementation. Egypt’s experience with Forsa can contribute to such guidance.
    Keywords: EGYPT, ARAB COUNTRIES, MIDDLE EAST, NORTH AFRICA, AFRICA, economic integration, economics, programmes, models, assets, remuneration, randomized controlled trials
    Date: 2022

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