Over the past few decades, public funding for financial inclusion has helped to build an industry that now attracts private funding, both international and local. By 2020, funder commitments to financial inclusion had reached a historic high of $58 billion.
Yet, today many funders have begun to reorganize their work in relation to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to articulate ways in which they can better leverage the private sector. Because many funders face competing pressures both in terms of capacity and the funding to deliver on the SDGs, there is an increasing risk of loss of focus on and visibility of financial inclusion and that the deep technical expertise required to build inclusive financial systems will be diluted. On the other hand, this is an opportunity to harness financial inclusion as an enabler of other development goals and to work across different sectors to achieve outcomes that address the needs of a variety of stakeholders.
Understanding how the financial inclusion sector is evolving is challenging for donors and investors alike. What role can they play in an increasingly complex landscape? What market needs should they be focusing on? How should they go about it?
Through its research, CGAP aims to support and influence donors and investors navigating through these trends, adapting their practices to be more responsive to market needs and contributing to responsible market development for poor people.