Reflections on FinEquity’s Fifth Year
Launched in November 2016, the FinEquity community of practice, convened by CGAP, has grown to become a recognized leader in engaging stakeholders on topics of women’s financial inclusion and economic empowerment. This year’s annual stock-taking of member composition and feedback shows areas where FinEquity has excelled, and where the community can focus its efforts in the coming year. As a community of practice, we aim to connect members for dialogue, facilitate knowledge capture and sharing, and ultimately influence industry outcomes for women’s empowerment through financial inclusion.
Who is in FinEquity?
An institutionally diverse community of stakeholders from around the world
FinEquity’s reach has grown to over 4,000 individuals as of August 2021. We have also become a more diverse community, spanning over 125 countries. We reach three quarters of these people via FinEquity’s global platform in English and one quarter via the Spanish-speaking platform for Latin America and the Caribbean, FinEquityALC. Our broadest reach is among individuals based in North America, Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean, with a growing presence in Europe and South Asia.
FinEquity prides itself on the institutional diversity of its members, as our intention is to break silos and learn from one another. The membership base is quite evenly spread across various types of organizations.
How are members leveraging FinEquity?
Enhanced connections, high-quality learning events, resources shared by community members
Members mostly engage with the community by participating in our learning events – particularly webinars - and 83 percent of respondents rated them highly. 85 percent of respondents to our annual survey indicated that through FinEquity events and resources, they have learned something new that they can use in their work programs.
“This [engagement] was very important to us – first, to get the feedback from the FinEquity community . . . second, to show we are asking the right kinds of questions in our field.”
Two thirds of respondents confirmed that FinEquity has contributed to enhancing their connections with colleagues. 30 percent indicated that it is too early for them to tell, indicating a need for more networking and sustained interactions early on when people sign up. Perhaps, in a year of virtual interactions, this challenge can be expected.
“It is always valuable to present to non-academic audiences to help us understand what aspects of the research stand out to different stakeholders.”
Non-profit foundations and independent consultants were the main respondents to our annual FinEquity member survey, followed by those working in advisory services and research. These represent the most active participants in FinEquity activities and consumers of FinEquity materials.
Collective action on key issues
Less than a year ago, FinEquity broadened its learning agenda and expanded engagement opportunities, based on consultations with members and deep-dive discussions with leading research and programmatic stakeholders. Our facilitators in Gender Transformative Solutions, Digitally Enabled Financial Inclusion and Impact Pathways continually validate their themes and approaches. The safe space established by the FinEquity community has allowed us to share our successes as well as our challenges, and thereby build the narrative of what is needed to advance women’s financial inclusion. 89 percent of survey respondents agreed that
“A powerful group of creative and committed professionals!”
FinEquity’s influence and that of its members is also expanding. A good example is the tremendous response and engagement in the Generation Equality Forum. FinEquity members serve as action coalition leaders, putting forward concrete action plans to reach financial equality for women and developing practical tools to help turn commitments into action. Another example that makes us very proud is FinEquity’s recently established Technical Advisory Committee, composed of strong advocates for women’s financial inclusion, thought leaders and technical experts who strengthen the voice and legitimacy of FinEquity as a community of practice. 91 percent of survey respondents believe that FinEquity is an influential community of practice in the field of women’s economic empowerment and women’s financial inclusion.
Our community, and the learnings generated by the connections forged through the community, continue to grow. FinEquity peer reviews, whereby publications or initiatives still in development benefit from the insights of select community members with expertise on the topic via coordinated feedback, have been popular and we hope that more of our members will benefit from them. Nearly 1,500 of you have joined our Dgroups forums in English and in Spanish, which provide a platform for direct member-to-member engagement and discussions. Continued sharing of your varied perspectives, experiences and resources will help strengthen the community bonds we seek. Cross-regional sharing and learning is set to grow in the coming year. Together, through our growing community connections, we will continue moving the agenda of women’s financial inclusion forward.
We welcome your recommendations and feedback at [email protected]
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