FinDev Guide

Top Ten Blog Posts of 2023

What were our readers most interested in last year?
Hands holding a bunch of limes over several baskets full of limes.

In 2023, more than 50 community members contributed to the FinDev Blog to share their ideas and lessons learned on a wide range of topics related to financial inclusion. Our blog contributors came from a diverse set of organizations, from MFIs to global policymakers, and represented all regions of the world.

We heard from microfinance practitioners about their work transforming gender norms in Pakistan, designing financial solutions for women smallholders in sub-Saharan Africa and improving land ownership for cocoa farmers in Cote d'Ivoire. We heard from Central Bank directors on their experiences with chatbots and other consumer protection measures in the Philippines, and with advancing women's financial inclusion in Nigeria. We learned from researchers about how mobile money interoperability can affect financial inclusion, what lessons have been learned so far on implementing central bank digital currencies, and the results of a new consumer protection index for digital finance. And we heard from investors on gender diversity and measuring impact.

And for the first time, we featured a series of video interviews with participants at different financial inclusion conferences we attended in 2023, including the X Central American and Caribbean Microfinance Conference, 2023 African Microfinance Week (SAM) and European Microfinance Week 2023.

Looking at the top ten most read blog posts, it is interesting to note that the number one blog posts from both this year and last year were on the same topic of agent gender. Indeed, this topic remained popular in 2023, with posts exploring solutions for improving women agents' livelihoods, bringing agent banking to rural women's groups in India, and recruiting and retaining women agents. Of course, the role of gender in financial inclusion continues to be a key focus as well (join/follow FinEquity for much more on this topic), with seven blog posts in the top ten exploring different aspects of women's experiences with financial inclusion, including an introduction to the concept of economic violence and what FSPs can do about it. And with the growing number of refugees and forcibly displaced people (FDPs) in the world, financial inclusion for these populations is an area of increasing importance, featured in a blog post from UNHCR on their learnings, as well as an interview with the coordinator of the Community of Practice on Financial Inclusion for FDPs.

2023 brought us an abundance of interesting ideas and experiences which were shared on our blog, and we invite you to join our growing community of blog writers by sharing your thoughts. Below, check out the most popular blog posts from the past year.

The most-read blog posts of 2023

Smiling woman sitting down next to a black goat, India.

Agent Gender Matters, but How to Recruit and Retain Women Agents?

For the second year in a row, our most popular blog post of the year focuses on the importance of agents' gender, this time looking at the practical side - sharing strategies for overcoming the many obstacles to onboarding female agents.

Three Rwandan women smallholder farmers with their arms around each other, smiling.

How to Design Client-Centric Financial Solutions for Women Smallholders

The second most popular blog post of 2023 discusses five lessons that BRAC International Microfinance learned from their experience designing and testing tailor-made agri-credit solutions in Rwanda, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Two women signing on a journal with their thumb, India.

Bringing Agent Banking to Rural Women’s Self-Help Groups in India

Coming in at number three, this blog post explains how a new technical solution called Dual Authentication is benefiting informal collectives and agent networks.

Graphic displaying a scale with a woman in her store on one side and a family reading on the other.

What Is Economic Violence and What Can Financial Service Providers Do About It?

This blog post argues that, while it may seem that economic violence could be outside the purview of financial service providers, it is important for the financial inclusion sector to understand and acknowledge this issue.

Farmers in China selling vegetables and oranges with motorcycles, green trees and misty mountains behind them.

Financial Health as a Consumer Journey

The deep value of a financial health framework is to enable financial service providers and regulators to step into customers' shoes and design products and policies that accompany and support them on their pathway to financial well-being.

Young man smiling and holding a mobile phone, sitting down in a shop in Nigeria.

Is Fintech Always Inclusive?

An IMF working paper looks at who fintech is helping and who it is leaving behind, using cross-country and emerging fintech data to see if fintech use is associated with narrowing class, rural and gender divides.

Two women conducting a financial transaction in a shop surrounded by colorful fabrics

Applying a Gender Lens to Digital Remittances

Digital remittances can form a gateway to better financial health and inclusion for migrants and their families. Yet one key factor influencing remittance behavior is often overlooked: gender.

Venezuelan Bolivar banknotes displayed in a shop, Pamplona, Colombia.

Financial Inclusion for Refugees and Migrants in Latin America

Five lessons from the IFC and UNHCR joint initiative that are key in advancing financial inclusion for refugees and migrants.

African woman holding baby in field with clouds behind her.

Coping Strategies of Financially Distressed Households

Which clients are most likely to draw down savings, borrow or sell off assets to deal with reduced income? This data can help MFIs find ways to make savings products easier to access, use and afford.

Woman wearing headscarf by water faucet in Niger.

FinDev Guide to Women's Financial Inclusion

This Guide features a curated selection of research and blogs on women's financial inclusion, from gender lens investing to financial diaries of women traders.

Editor's note: The list of top ten blogs for 2023 includes blogs from the last month of 2022 because they had not been published long enough to be considered for the 2022 top ten list.

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