Jeanette Thomas

Jeanette Thomas is the founder of Developing Stories, a video production company specializing on developing and emerging economies.

Formerly the head of Knowledge, Web, and Communications for CGAP, Jeanette produces and directs documentaries about development projects around the world, including films that have been featured at the Clinton Global Initiative and at G-20 meetings, and Microfinance Now, an interview series with leaders talking about development issues worldwide available as a podcast on iTunes.

In 2005 she created the CGAP Photo Contest, an annual photography contest drawing thousands of entries from all regions of the world each year. The Contest has been featured at the World Bank Annual Meetings, and the World Economic Forum, and in exhibitions all around the world including Spain, India, London, New York, Mexico City, and Beijing.

In 2003–2004, Thomas produced and directed a series of films for the World Bank on development projects in Egypt, Morocco, and West Bank and Gaza. Before that she was news editor and senior producer in the BBC’s Washington Bureau. She started her 11-year tenure at the BBC in London, producing radio documentaries and Start the Week with Melvyn Bragg , BBC Radio 4’s longest-running discussion program. She moved into TV news with Newsnight in 1999, and spent five years covering North America for BBC News, including the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections, the 9/11 airline attacks, earthquakes in El Salvador, the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, and the economic crash and elections in Argentina.

Jeanette has a master’s degree and Ph.D. in English literature from Oxford University. She speaks English, French, and rudimentary Spanish. She returned to Washington, D.C. in 2009 after two years based in Jerusalem.

By Jeanette Thomas


Re-Banking the De-Banked in Mexico

Earlier this year CGAP, in partnership with Bancomer, commissioned, the non-profit arm of the California firm known for its human-centered design methodology, to create a savings product that would meet the needs of low income Mexicans.

Regulation Spurs Innovation in the Philippines

More and more policymakers are now recognizing that financial exclusion is a risk to political stability and impedes economic advancement, and that financial inclusion measures can complement, not undermine, financial stability, financial integrity, and consumer protection.

Savers, Planners, and Entrepreneurs

Mexico has 27 million households. Twenty-two million of them are middle and low income. Even though banks reach them physically, almost none of these people choose to use bank accounts to manage their money. Watch this eight-minute video in which Xavier faz talks with five low income Mexicans about their day-to-day money management strategies.

Mobile Banking Ekosystem in India

Mobile banking is just one of the reasons India is a place to watch for innovations in financial inclusion. This short film profiles one such innovation, Eko, to see how businesses chasing the fortune at the base of the pyramid are serving the needs of poor customers in India.

The Biggest Social Experiment on the Planet

Millions of Indians—day laborers, beggars, office workers, rich and poor—are lining up to give their fingerprints to register for a government-issued ID. For many, it’s the first time they will have a formal ID.