Case Study

The Impact of Integrated Financial Services for Young People in Mali: A Comprehensive Research Report for the Freedom from Hunger Advanced Integrated Microfinance for Youth Project

Understanding the impact of an integrated savings program designed for youth in Mali
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This case study evaluates the performance of Freedom from Hunger’s Advancing Integrated Microfinance for Youth (AIM Youth) initiative which combined financial education and individual savings account services for youth in Mali. It seeks to provide an understanding of the degree to which the initiative influenced food security, economic and civic engagement, socio-financial capability, ability to deal with life-cycle events, self-confidence and empowerment, social capital, knowledge, and attitudes in money management among participants. Some of the key findings include:

  • Participating youth report higher amounts in total savings, including higher value of livestock;
  • Savings goals for both boys and girls evolved over time, moving away from clothing towards more productive goals, such as saving for livestock, emergencies, and their trousseaus;
  • Youth highly appreciated the financial education and thought it was valuable to help them plan for the future, to be less wasteful, and to manage their money better;
  • Not having money to save and migration are the biggest challenges to accessing and using the financial services;
  • Age and gender may account for differences in needs and economic activities but they do not necessarily translate into different benefits from the financial services.

About this Publication

By Gash, M.