FinDev Blog

Top Ten Publications of 2022

What was the FinDev community reading over the past year?
Fishing nets being thrown at sunset.

In 2022, we published over 400 publications on FinDev Gateway in EnglishFrenchSpanish and Arabic. These publications were shared by many of you as members of the FinDev community. Thank you for sharing your work with the broader financial inclusion community, contributing your knowledge and learnings towards advancing financial inclusion around the world. 

The past year saw increasing interest in central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), with publications from AFI and the Bank for International Settlements and the World Bank exploring how CBDCs can support financial inclusion as more governments consider this option. Consumer protection was another important issue, with new toolkits on using digital credit transaction data for market monitoring and building cyber resilience. Other topics included the implications of artificial intelligence in financial inclusion, the impact of interoperable payment systems, supporting low-income women to keep saving and women entrepreneurs to digitize, selling insurance through agent networks and much more.

A major event of 2022 was the release of the latest edition of the Global Findex Database, which had been delayed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and which provides key statistics on financial services use and access. This World Bank report, along with other broad financial inclusion sector surveys including 60 Decibels' social performance survey of 18,000 microfinance clients and the annual Financial Inclusion Compass, made the top ten list. Also in the top ten are three case studies on digital financial services, papers analyzing the role of fintech, and studies on agricultural insurance, savings and financial health. 

The list below shares the publications which received the most downloads in 2022, giving us a sense of what FinDev community members were reading last year. But keep in mind that the number of downloads can depend on many factors, including the publication date, whether there was an event or blog post associated with the publication and whether the authors and publishers promoted it widely.

Informed Design: A Case Study Series (WomenSave)

Good design can mean the difference between a woman using digital financial services (DFS) or not. This case study on an organization in Uganda was the first in a series examining how research findings have translated into design that has eased and encouraged women’s use of DFS.

Fintech: Financial Inclusion or Exclusion?

This paper examines the role of fintech in financial inclusion, finding that greater use of fintech is significantly associated with a narrowing of the class divide and rural divide but has no impact on the gender divide. 

Platform-Based Business Models and Financial Inclusion

Three types of digital platforms are expanding in financial services: (i) fintech entrants; (ii) big tech firms; and (iii) increasingly, incumbent financial institutions with platform-based business models. This paper assesses how these models can affect financial inclusion, competition, financial stability and consumer protection.

Innovations and Emerging Trends In Agricultural Insurance for Smallholder Farmers – An Update

This report provides an update on the state of agricultural insurance in 32 low and middle income countries, and the policies, technologies, and innovations currently shaping it.

Informed Design: A Case Study Series (UNCDF/WMBL)

This case study examines Women's Micro Bank Limited and UNCDF's design of a branchless banking solution, the Mama Bank Access Point initiative, which serves unbanked women in rural Papua New Guinea. 

60 Decibels Microfinance Index

This publication is the world’s first microfinance social performance report grounded in customer voices, featuring 72 microfinance organizations that serve a total of 25 million clients in 41 countries across the globe.

TymeBank Case Study: The Customer Impact of Inclusive Digital Banking

This research aims to shed light on the potential of digital banks to deepen financial inclusion in a way that improves the lives of low-income customers.

The Global Findex Database: Financial Inclusion, Digital Payments, and Resilience in the Age of COVID-19

This edition of the Global Findex database contains updated indicators on access to and use of formal and informal financial services and digital payments, and offers insights into the behaviors that enable financial resilience.

Savings and Financial Health

This meta-study explores findings from the savings literature that relate to the key elements used to define financial health, and explores whether they indicate that savings contribute to financial health.

The Financial Inclusion Compass 2022

This publication is based on a survey (May and June 2022), giving practitioners, funders, researchers, and support service providers the opportunity to evaluate and describe the importance of various current trends as well as rate and opine on future priority areas.

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