Deena Burjorjee

Deena Burjorjee has over 20 years of experience working on access to finance issues, with a focus on women’s financial inclusion, responsible finance, and market systems facilitation. Ms. Burjorjee is a Middle East and North Africa expert. She has worked in the region since 1997, where she has managed projects and advised governments and donor agencies on policy reform to promote inclusive financial sector development and facilitated national consultative processes in Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, Palestine, and Tunisia.

Ms. Burjorjee was co-facilitator of CGAP’s Women’s Financial Inclusion Community of Practice, where she led the Data and Measurement Working Group. She has authored numerous papers on access to finance topics related to gender, refugees, and market systems development, and she has produced technical guides to support the capacity development of member-based associations.

She has a Master’s of International Affairs from Columbia University. She has taught courses and workshops on microfinance at the university’s Graduate School for International and Public Affairs. She was a technical adviser and program manager at the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Capital Development Fund in 1997–2006.

By Deena Burjorjee


New Insights on Women’s Mobile Phone Ownership

New data show that 81 percent of women worldwide own a mobile phone. Although large gender gaps in mobile phone ownership persist in certain countries, mobile phones are more ubiquitous among women than are financial accounts.

Women’s Financial Inclusion: What the Gallup World Poll Tells Us

Gallup data shows that 81 percent of women worldwide own a mobile phone. Yet regions with high ownership rates have some of the lowest rates of women's financial inclusion.

Social Norms Change for Women’s Financial Inclusion

Social norms can have a profound impact on financial inclusion for women because they can limit women’s ability to work outside the home, engage with male agents, or even own a phone. Knowing exactly how norms apply is critical for closing the gender financial inclusion gap.

Setting the Stage for a Market Systems Approach

A market systems approach to financial inclusion seeks to identify the root causes that prevent low-income people from accessing and using financial services. The program diagnostic process should be designed and implemented through a systems lens.

Nine Pieces of Guidance for Funders of Financial Inclusion

CGAP's revised guidelines for financial inclusion funders reflect a shift from an institution-building approach to inclusive finance to one that is rooted in the complexities of broader market systems.