Data: Enabling Country-led Actions to Address Financial Inclusion

19 April 2013

Last year, the G20 leaders strengthened their commitment to measuring global and national financial inclusion efforts by endorsing a ‘G20 Basic Set of Financial Inclusion Indicators’ at the Los Cabos summit. Since then, the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion’s (GPFI) Data and Measurement Sub-Group, in collaboration with our Implementing Partners Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), CGAP, IFC and the World Bank, has developed an online data portal showcasing the G20 Basic Set of Financial Inclusion Indicators. On April 21, the GPFI and its Implementing Partners will launch the Basic Set portal at the World Bank/IMF Spring meetings.

The Basic Set was designed to capture key access and usage dimensions of financial inclusion. Both supply and demand-side data sources, covering more than 150 countries, have been used to populate the Basic Set indicators.

The Basic Set builds on AFI’s Core Set of Financial Inclusion Indicators, which were designed by policy makers from developing countries. It is our hope that the Basic Set will facilitate evidence-based discussions about financial inclusion at the country level. Of course, the ultimate goal is that countries collect their own data, taking into account their unique contexts and priorities in the realm of financial inclusion and development.

By way of example, a brief examination into the dimensions of financial inclusion in Rwanda demonstrates the broad scope of the new data portal. A quick click from the homepage will take the user to the Rwanda data portal where the user is greeted by several headline statistics as well as graphs comparing financial inclusion in Rwanda to that in other Sub-Saharan African and low-income countries. The user will quickly learn that 33 percent of adults in Rwanda have an account at a formal financial institution, 44 percent of small- and medium-sized enterprises have an outstanding loan or line of credit, and that there are 13.6 commercial bank branches per 1000 sq km. And that is just the tip of the iceberg. Users can dig deeper into other financial inclusion statistics for Rwanda, learn about the methodology behind each indicator, read summary notes on the data, or download the complete dataset. Users of the Basic Set portal can also view and download indicators by region or income group.

We know that financial inclusion has many dimensions not yet covered by the Basic Set, which is why the GPFI Data and Measurement Sub-Group is currently working to expand the Basic Set to provide a more complete picture of the financial inclusion landscape, including the important dimension of quality. The expanded Basic Set will improve our understanding of the regulatory, institutional, and enabling environments within which financial services are provided and used.

The Basic Set is a strong first step towards providing a holistic picture of the state of financial inclusion. The GPFI data portal is meant to motivate and supplement national efforts, not act as a substitute. We strongly believe that country-owned data is critical to the effective development and implementation of financial inclusion strategies. We are excited for the launch of this new data resource and we look forward to hearing your feedback about how we can continue to support and motivate efforts to improve the financial inclusion data landscape.

Read more about the GPFI Data and Measurement Group

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