CGAP Annual Report 2016

The landscape of financial inclusion is undergoing rapid change, holding out great promise for reaching the almost 2 billion people and 200 million businesses who lack access to formal financial services. At the global level, governments and development agencies have embraced financial inclusion as an enabler for achieving broader development agendas, giving significant momentum to the field of financial access. There is a steadily accumulating body of evidence that the ability to save, borrow, pay bills easily, and manage risk really does make a difference in enabling poor people to improve their lives. The evidence is also starting to show that financial inclusion has a multiplier effect in boosting overall economic output at the national level, making for a compelling case to embrace the drive of finance for all. It is a remarkable change from two decades ago when microcredit was a niche innovation targeting the extreme poor. Today access to and use of financial tools for all is integrated into mainstream development thinking and viewed as an achievable goal.

This annual report documents CGAP's progress and activities in Fiscal Year 2016. CGAP organizes its work around a five-year strategy that is designed to help build financial systems that work for the poor. We identify emerging challenges and opportunities, build the evidence base for potential solutions through research and demonstration projects, and we share lessons learned with financial service providers, mobile network operators, policy makers, regulators, and funders. Through each of these steps, we work in partnership with our key stakeholders and seek to scale up viable models for financial inclusion as a means to address poverty.

Fiscal Year 2016 was the third year of the current strategy, CGAP V, which sets out the following priorities:

  • Understand demand to effectively deliver for the poor.
  • Forward financial innovation for smallholder families.
  • Develop robust provider ecosystems.
  • Build and enable a protective policy environment globally.
  • Promote effective and responsible funding for financial inclusion.

We are implementing the CGAP V five-year strategy through eight initiatives:

  • Graduating the Poor
  • Financial Innovation for Smallholder Families
  • Customers at the Center
  • Digital Finance Frontiers
  • Inclusive Payment Systems
  • Protecting Customers
  • Global Policy Architecture
  • Guidance for Funders