CGAP Seeks Partners Using Data to Drive Financial Inclusion


Deadline: November 1, 2021

CGAP is looking to partner with financial services providers (FSPs) and others involved in providing financial services (for example, platforms or retailers that offer financial services through partnerships or B2B players) that are using or would like to use data-driven approaches to expand or improve the way they serve poor people. We are open to partnering in two ways:

  1. By supporting the piloting of a new or improved product or operational model that leverages data
  2. By conducting research and developing a case study on a data-driven product or operational model that is already operational

We expect potential partners to benefit from the collaboration by gaining access to CGAP’s expertise and exposure through CGAP’s network of funders, donors and impact investors. CGAP can contribute expertise in a variety of areas depending on the project’s needs, through its staff, consultants or vendors. For example, CGAP could procure and cover the cost of a data scientist that could develop a data-driven credit scoring model or evaluate potential improvements to an existing one. CGAP could also cover the cost of customer research needed to design a new product or to evaluate the customer experience of an existing one. Selected providers would also be featured in CGAP publications and events, providing visibility to a broad audience (CGAP channels reach 500,000 unique users every year), including investors and funders in the financial inclusion space.

Through the partnerships, CGAP is interested in deepening our learning about how data can be more effectively leveraged to advance financial inclusion. Some of the key questions CGAP is looking to answer are: How can data enable business models that support financial inclusion? How can data enable financial products that support income-generating opportunities and resilience of low-income people? How can algorithms be used to advance financial inclusion? Information on impact, results, main challenges, key success factors, and lessons learned will be documented by CGAP and published across CGAP channels to help guide future innovation efforts in the sector. CGAP will not disclose information without the consent of the partners and will not publish or disclose sensitive competitive information.

Selection criteria for case studies and pilots

  1. Use of data in an innovative manner in the development and delivery of financial services.
  2. Inclusion of poor people as a significant part of the product’s customer base. We are particularly interested in products that address women’s inclusion but do not expect all partnerships to have a gender focus.
  3. Operations in low- and middle- income markets in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Latin America. Preference will be given to projects focused on Bangladesh, Brazil, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, Senegal, and South Africa, but we are open to partnerships in any low- or middle-income country.
  4. Willingness to share with CGAP (and publicly through CGAP publications) non-sensitive information either during case study research or during and after implementation of a pilot, including impact, results, main challenges, key success factors, and lessons learned during the pilot.
  5. Commitment to the project at the highest level within the organization. Willingness and ability of staff to conduct necessary work related to the partnership.

Additionally, only for pilots: readiness to start piloting within three months after being selected (pilot should run for no more than six months).


  • Submit expression of interest (EOI) form by November 1, 2021. Note: Applicants can submit either a project for a pilot and/or a case study in the EOI form.
  • An expert panel comprising of members from CGAP’s data project team will shortlist EOI submissions. Shortlisted applicants will be asked to submit a proposal.
  • The expert panel will select the final candidates and conduct informational calls to discuss potential project details.
  • If selected, CGAP will work with the partner to develop a general project definition, goals, model for collaboration, and terms of reference.

Please submit your EOI here. Feel free to contact Lusine Stepanyan ( with any questions.

About CGAP

The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) is a global partnership of more than 30 leading development organizations, investors and funders housed at the World Bank that works to advance the lives of poor people through financial inclusion. Using action-oriented research, we test, learn, and share knowledge intended to help build inclusive and responsible financial systems that move people out of poverty, protect their economic gains, and advance broader development goals. We research and experiment to achieve proof of concept and extract lessons that can be built to scale by our partners, who apply our insights in the marketplace. To learn more about CGAP, visit

About CGAP’s data project

There is emerging evidence that there are growing data pools on poor people, including women, that can be harnessed for financial services that expand economic opportunities. However, these data pools are not uniform across countries and customer segments, still limited in depth and breadth, and not easily accessible by those who can make use of them. This is due to multiple issues providers face: limited access to data, lack of data-related capabilities, limited incentives to reach downstream, limited infrastructure, and prohibitive legal and regulatory frameworks. Further, some existing data practices expose low-income customers to harm and further exclusion.

An opportunity exists to shape more effective use of data that expands the value of financial services while mitigating emerging risks that may harm or exclude the poor. The main objective of the data project is to catalyze data-enabled financial services that empower poor people, especially women, to generate income and build resilience while minimizing risks. The project’s aims to: deepen insights on the existing data trails of poor people that could be used to deliver better services; learn from and engage with financial service providers to expand their capabilities, access relevant data, and develop stronger business models; and learn from and influence data ecosystems that support responsible and productive data use in an inclusive way.