Proyecto Capital
Financial inclusion opportunities in Latin America and the Caribbean
A woman who saves is a life that changes lifes.

InShort 63

Given that the project Haku Wiñay is in the final stage of its first expansion phase, after carrying out the corresponding pilot test, Proyecto Capital decided to undertake a qualitative study. This study sought to explore, selectively, the results achieved and the lessons that arise from the aforementioned financial abilities promotion component.

In order to write this InShort, the last version of the qualitative study’s final report was used, after it had been debated and had received feedback from peers at MIDIS and FONCODES. This InShort contains the main outcomes of the study mentioned above. The study started with a review of the main training materials prepared in FONCODES. Then, three districts where the project is executed were visited and their outcomes compared. In each of the visited locations, the project’s users were interviewed (savings accounts holders and non-holders) as well as the personnel in charge of executing the project. This amounts to a total of 78 individual interviews, a part from one interview held in the Foncodes’ headquarters in Lima.

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Portada - InShort 62 Chris Boyd

Ahorro para Todos (Savings for Everybody) is an ongoing project financed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and implemented by the microfinance institution Financiera Confianza. This project seeks to test a financial education package and provide poor rural women with a savings account—looking to properly include this sector of the population into the formal financial system—within the framework of a business model. 

This inshort summarizes lessons stemming from the Ahorro para Todos project in the region of Apurimac, from the project’s proposal, regarding its scope, the financial education materials and the form of intervention in the host communities. 

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Portada - InShort 61

Upon request of the Ministry of Education of Peru (MINEDU), the Instituto de Estudios Peruanos prepared the document “Reflections and Recommendations for the Design of an Economic and Financial Education Strategy for the Republic of Peru” as part of Proyecto CapitalThe document provides the MINEDU with policy recommendations in order to co-lead, within the framework of the Multi-Sectorial Commission for Financial Inclusion (Comisión Multisectorial de Inclusión Financiera – CMIF, in Spanish), the development of a national economic and financial education strategy. This strategy is aligned with the basic education curricula adopted in June 2016, and seeks to guide and enhance the articulation of efforts among the different institutions and organizations working in this field. 

This policy brief is a summary of the above-mentioned document and it aims at providing the reader with basic knowledge about: a) the main characteristics of economic and financial literacy strategies around the world; and b) the factors that should be considered for the development of an economic and financial literacy strategy in Peru, with a particular emphasis on citizenship education as well as on the implementation of actions that would support/ serve the implementation of the economic and financial literacy strategy. Subsequently, this document identifies some policy challenges and proposes a series of ideas to promote the discussion on inter-sectorial and inter-institutional articulation, with an aim to ensure the adoption and implementation of a legitimate, effective and contextualized economic and financial literacy strategy that is sustainable over time. Finally, this document proposes a road map to advance the development of that strategy, considering the guidelines provided in the document “Reflections and Recommendations for the Design of an Economic and Financial Education Strategy for the Republic of Peru”. 

 

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As a result of globalization and technological development, all over the world, financial services are experiencing a fast-paced and wide-scoped growth. In Peru, these services have also been developed in both the banking sector and in companies within the real sector (e.g.: technological entrepreneurships) has recently started to develop financial services as well. These new forms, agents and channels through which financial services are being provided generate greater financial inclusion, something that governments can take advantage of

In order to further develop such financial services, the government’s involvement —especially that of regulatory entities—is highly important. Eficient regulatory schemes that focus on the risks associated to these services are the only way to ensure a formal and eficient growth that reaches the population not yet served by the financial system.

This InShort aims to show how regulation plays a fundamental role in the development of new and inclusive financial services in Peru. It also underscores the importance of aligning regulation with the objectives that the State needs to accomplish in order to promote the growth of financial services and financial inclusion, independently of the provider offering the service. In order to achieve this, this InShort will present, first, the scope and types of inclusive financial services that have been developed around the world in general, and in Peru in particular. Then, it will put forward general and specific criteria that should be taken into account when developing suitable regulation for financial services in Peru. Finally, as a conclusion, it will present the text’s key ideas. 

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INFO Proyecto Capital - On the road to financial inclusion

The evidence built in recent years, through various pilot projects and initiatives with governments and the private sector, shows the evolution of financial inclusion in access and use, and its contribution to overcoming poverty.

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So far, different governmental and non-governmental agencies have developed finan­cial orientation programs. Some programs seek to improve financial knowledge; others, to promote financial inclusion and/or deliver costumer protection tools. While it is true that most of the institutions claim to carry out activities that aim at providing financial education or at promoting a financial cultu­re, only some of them carry out activities that the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) categorizes as fi­nancial education. Therefore, it is necessary to reach a common definition of what is un­derstood by financial education as well as to establish what to educate financially consists of, in order to be able to create a strategy for promoting financial education.

In this context, in 2012, the Mesa de Educación Financiera-MEF (Board for Financial Education) was created thanks to the coalition of twelve institutions that look to promote the debate on financial inclusion in Chile. The objective of the board is to “contribute to people acquiring a better understanding of financial concepts and products so that they can make informed decisions, evaluating risks and opportunities”.1 Also, the MEF sought to promote a National Financial Education Strategy with a scope wider than that of the programs currently being developed in the country. Since the beginning, the MEF has had the support of the Instituto de Estudios Peruanos - IEP (Institute of Peruvian Studies), the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the Ford Foundation, through Proyecto Capital (Capital Project).

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In over seven years, Proyecto Capital has developed 17 financial education programs in 10 Latin American countries, linking each financial education program to social protection programs. The implementation of financial education programs has been possible thanks to alliances formed with governments, in order to actively incorporate political authorities and financial institutions’ officials. Successful experiences have led governments in various countries to include financial education components in their social programs. Such experiences have allowed to capitalize on valuable lessons that make visible the importance of promoting financial inclusion by working directly with excluded populations and at the same time with the sectors in charge of offering financial services. Both interventions, with the population and with financial institutions, aim to bring the financial system closer to the population as well to promote the use of financial products in order to reduce vulnerability among this groups of the population, ultimately stimulating development and wellbeing.

This InShort reviews Proyecto Capital’s different financial education experiences in order to underscore their main achievements and gather the core lessons that derive from these experiences, after over seven years working in the promotion of financial inclusion of vulnerable populations. Likewise this document proposes new challenges and some guidelines that should be followed when developing and implementing public policies in order to continue and improve the process of mainstreaming financial inclusion among social protection policies targeting the most vulnerable populations in Latin America.

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