FinDev Guide

Top Ten Blog Posts of 2021

What were your favorite blog posts from the past year?
Red chili processing, Bangladesh.

In 2021, over 40 FinDev community members contributed to our blog, covering a wide range of interesting topics within financial inclusion, from consumer protection to housing finance to mobile money. We explored the concept of financial health over a series of five blog posts and a FinDev Guide. We interviewed fintech founders, MFI leaders and investors. And we continued reporting on how the COVID-19 pandemic was affecting the sector. 

From March 2020 to September 2021, our FinDev COVID-19 Update provided a biweekly round-up of the most relevant knowledge resources for financial inclusion and microfinance. While the pandemic continues to impact our lives, it is no longer the singular focus and the most popular blog posts from the past year reflect this trend. Whereas in 2020 all ten of the top ten FinDev Gateway Blog posts were about the pandemic, in 2021, we have just three, and only one is entirely focused on it. 

Instead, the most read blog posts of 2021 discussed new tech trends, big ideas and lessons learned. Two of the top ten were FinDev Guides which provide a list of key resources on an important topic, in this case women's financial inclusion and financial consumer protection in the digital era. Check out our top blogs and catch up on your reading to start the new year!

The most-read blog posts of 2021
Photo credit: Habitat for Humanity International / Annalise Kaylor.

Emerging Tech-Based Financing Models in Affordable Housing

Our most popular blog from 2021 looks at four different business models which have the potential to help expand access to safe, secure and affordable housing, analyzing which have greater value for customers and which for financial service providers.

Bamboo handicraft maker, Indonesia. Photo by Giri Wijayanto, 2015 CGAP Photo Contest.

Why Human-Centered Design (HCD) Doesn’t Always Work for International Development

Coming in at number two, we have a blog post which takes a critical look at the implementation of human-centered design, an approach which has become very popular among development practitioners. But the author argues that not every organization or problem is suited for this method.

Mango market, Bangladesh. Photo by M Yousuf Thushar, 2011 CGAP Photo Contest.

Going Digital Is Not Enough to Reach Scale

Our third most popular post from 2021 is another provocative one. It argues that radical organizational change - in the form of self-management - is needed to solve microfinance’s optimization problem. 

Govinda Raut

What the Pandemic Taught Us About Savings

In this FinDev interview, the winner of the 2020 European Microfinance Award - Muktinath Bikas Bank in Nepal - shares their experience with savings from before and during the pandemic. 

Textile weaving, Thailand. Photo by Eakarin Ekartchariyawong, 2016 CGAP Photo Contest.

FinDev Guide to Women’s Financial Inclusion and Economic Empowerment

This FinDev Guide provides a curated list of key resources from FinEquity, the women’s financial inclusion community of practice convened by CGAP. 

Mobile money agent in Kenya. CGAP Photo (Geoffrey Isaboke via Communication for Development Ltd)

The Resilience of Mobile Money in Sub-Saharan Africa

Quick responses by providers and regulators in the region helped mobile money keep growing despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Support for agent networks and more flexible on-boarding practices were key.

Maxime Borgogno

One Year On: What a Year of Surveys Tell Us About COVID-19 and Microfinance

2020 was a historic year that demonstrated the resilience of the microfinance sector. Maxime Borgogno of Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation shares why most MFIs they surveyed remain optimistic about the future.

Using solar-powered light from a pay-as-you-go kit, Mali. Photo by Communication for Development Ltd.

How a New Set of Metrics Is Poised to Transform PAYGo Solar

The PAYGo PERFORM Key Performance Indicators offer a pathway to growth and maturity for the off-grid solar industry.

Pouring coffee, Ethiopia. Photo by Goran Jovic, 2014 CGAP Photo Contest.

How an Ethiopian MFI Has Kept Its Focus on Savings in the Face of Great Challenges

Teshome Dayesso, co-founder and CEO of Buusaa Gonofaa, discusses his MFI's savings journey and the challenges they have faced over the past year due to the pandemic and political uncertainty.

Mobile money agent, Kenya. Photo by Communication for Development Ltd.

Guide to Financial Consumer Protection in the Digital Era

Consumer risks are increasing with the growth of digital finance and the COVID-19 pandemic. The resources in this FinDev Guide share good practices, solutions and tools to ensure that consumers achieve positive outcomes in their financial journey.  

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