Better Data Can Mean Better Decisions For Financial Inclusion

19 April 2012
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Better financial inclusion data is critical to inform financial inclusion policy making and advance financial inclusion, globally and nationally. The G20 have shown commitment to the issue of financial inclusion by establishing Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (the GPFI) and the importance of improving data through the Sub-Group on Data and Measurement, currently led by Mexico, South Africa, and Australia.

We hope that every country is eventually able to take responsibility for the collection and monitoring of their own comprehensive set of financial inclusion indicators, with key ones being reported in a globally consistent manner and complemented by international data efforts. Then we can track national, regional and global performance towards achieving full financial inclusion.

The G20 GPFI Data and Measurement Group and its implementing partners, AFI, CGAP, IFC, and the World Bank, are proposing a G20 Basic Set of Financial Inclusion Indicators which aims to capture elements of access and usage of financial services, as well as the quality of products and delivery. The Basic Set builds on AFI’s Core Set of financial inclusion indicators and brings together existing robust global and national data efforts to create a balanced picture:

  • The Global Findex, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is a detailed survey of over 150,000 individuals, with the first set of data released today, offering a rich picture of financial inclusion around the world and an important benchmark for countries looking to improve financial inclusion. This interactive website allows users to disaggregate the data by gender, urban/rural etc.
     
  • The IMF’s Financial Access Survey collects annual supply side data provided by countries to the IMF. The most recent dataset will be available in September 2012. (This survey is consistent with CGAP’s prior work on tracking Financial Access).
     
  • The World Bank’s Enterprise Surveys is a demand side survey of enterprises conducted every 3-4 years in developing countries.


Of the five basic indicators in the proposed Basic Set, two are at the individual level and track formally banked adults and adults with credit from regulated institutions. Two are at the SME level and track formally banked enterprises and enterprises with an outstanding loan or line of credit from a regulated institution. The fifth indicator measures the reach of access points.

Proposed G20 Basic Financial Inclusion Indicators

National financial inclusion data is essential to setting country targets as part of a national strategy. And so this Basic Set complements a key priority for the Mexican G20 Presidency – the promotion of National Financial Inclusion Strategies.

The proposed G20 Basic Set also lays the foundation for a more comprehensive set of global financial inclusion indicators as there is still much more work needed to deepen the measurement of the state of financial inclusion, not least of on the quality dimension, alongside the access and usage dimensions. We look forward to our continuing engagement with a wide range of stakeholders as we seek to improve financial inclusion data for better financial inclusion policy making.

Comments

Submitted by Dr S Santhanam on
It is a great news for those concerned with Financial Inclusion or unreached poor. I just want to add that as a part of the Global Index suite of products offering access to data, the World Bank’s eAtlas of FI and the Little data on Financial Inclusion 2012 are two latest additions that will be useful for researchers and policy makers in designing strategies on FI. The World Bank link is: http://www.app.collinsindicate.com/worldbankatlas-fi/en The WB’s eAtlas of FI show users to map and graph dozens of FI indicators across economies. The Little Data book on FI 2012 provides country level indicators of FI summarised for adults and disaggregated characteristics such as gender, age etc.

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