Year in Review: Top Ten Publications of 2016

Date Published: 
Dec 2016

Presenting the Gateway's top picks for the year. What were your favorites?

Every year the Microfinance Gateway shares hundreds of new publications, announcements, trainings and events, and job listings. This year was no different - with 146 new publications produced in 2016, 30 feature articles on current topics in financial inclusion, 324 community announcements, and hundreds of events and job listings.

Here we have compiled some of the most highly recommended publications that have been added to the library this year. Take a moment to get caught up on the major topics in financial inclusion and research produced during 2016. Want to see the work of your organization here? Create a free account and contribute content to the Gateway library. Click here to get started!

1. Guidelines on Outcomes Management for Investors
Oct 2016, European Microfinance Platform (E-MFP), Social Performance Task Force

The 10th edition of the European Dialogue presents guidelines for integrating outcomes measurement into the operations of inclusive finance investors. The guidelines incorporate case studies from eight social investors, including two e-MFP members Oikocredit and Triple Jump.
Topics: Investment and Funding LandscapeSocial Performance Management

2. FinTech for Micro, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises: Creating Jobs at the Bottom of the Pyramid Through Financial and Digital Innovation
Oct 2016, ING

Is FinTech the answer for shifting from microfinance to job creation? This paper addresses this question and more:

  • Is FinTech the game changer for the traditional bricks and mortar bank model that excludes so many enterprises?
  • How can FinTech improve access to MSME finance and lower its cost?
  • What technologies look most promising?

Topics: Mobile BankingTechnology

3. Digital Financial Services and Risk Management Handbook
Sep 2016, International Finance Corporation (IFC), Mastercard Foundation.

This comprehensive guide to the risks associated with implementation of digital financial services (DFS) aims to:

  1. Clearly define and describe all types of risks that may be faced by financial service providers using digital financial services;
  2. Provide easy-to-use guidelines for conducting risk diagnostics, assessments, developing risk frameworks, and implementing risk management tools;
  3. Analyze how different types of financial institutions currently assess risk and implement risk management tools;
  4. Identify general lessons learned by financial service providers about DFS risk management that are relevant to other markets and organizations. 

Topics: Mobile BankingRisk Management

4. Fostering Resilience in the Middle East: A People Centered Approach to Risk Reduction
Sep 2016, The SEEP Network

This document explores the following three innovative approaches used by Vitas Group and Global Communities to successfully grow the financial inclusion sector in the Middle East over the last 20 years, despite the region’s persistent political and economic instability: 

  1. The development of community- and people-focused disaster management planning in Iraq;
  2. A relentless focus on customer relationships to support business continuity in Palestine;
  3. The use of long-term funding with political risk insurance to address capital constraints during times of instability in Lebanon.

Topics: Disasters and ConflictRisk Management

5. Research and Impacts of Digital Financial Services
Sep 2016, National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

This paper discusses the latest evidence on what works in financial inclusion. It further summarizes research on key financial market failures and on products and innovations that address specific mechanisms underlying them.
Topics: ImpactMobile Banking

6. Where Good Intentions Meet Good Business Practice: A Correlation Analysis of Social, Operational and Financial Performance in Microfinance
Aug 2016, MIX

Using data reported by 780 financial service providers during the 2014-2015 period, MIX conducted a regression analysis that explores the synergies and trade-offs between social, operational and financial performance. Statistically significant findings emerged mainly in five areas, namely - governance, women as a target market, poverty segmentation by target market, social responsibility towards staff, and borrower retention. 
Topics: Social Performance Management

7. Microfinance Credit and Operational Risk Management Tool Guides
Apr 2016, Accion

These tool guides were developed by Accion to explain key operational and credit risk management tools to mid-to-senior level managers of FSPs who are not directly in charge of risk management but who are responsible to manage the risks within their respective departments and units. The tool guides use clear and practical language to explain what each tool is, why it’s important, and the potential impact on bottom line results. 
Topic: Risk Management

8. Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals: The Role of Financial Inclusion
Apr 2016, CGAP

This working paper shows where and how financial services can help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by reviewing the research on the link between financial inclusion and development. It argues that, by moving away from cash and using digital payments to distribute social benefits and wages, governments can reduce costs and leakage, while at the same time advancing financial inclusion.
Topics: Financial InclusionPolicy

9. Policy Frameworks to Support Women's Financial Inclusion
Mar 2016, Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), Women's World Banking

This study (and its related case studies on Tanzania and Nigeria) looks at the efforts of policymakers and central bankers in different countries who are fine-tuning an enabling environment for the financial inclusion of women. Evidence has shown that policy measures to increase financial inclusion need to be country-specific, based on each country’s gender gap and unique challenges and opportunities. The policies featured in this paper are examples of promising policy solutions to advancing financial inclusion for women. 
Topics: Gender and Empowerment, Policy

10. My Turn to Speak: Voices of Microfinance Clients in Benin, Pakistan, Peru and Georgia
Feb 2016, The Smart Campaign

This synthesis report (and its related four individual country reports - Benin, Pakistan, Peru, Georgia) presents the voices of low-income individuals who shared their opinions, hopes, and struggles, as part of the Smart Campaign's Client Voices Project. This project aimed to test the assumptions behind the client protection principles, asking clients which aspects of their relationship with MFIs were most worrisome. 
Topic: Consumer Protection

Explore more publications in the Gateway library and let us know: What were your favorite publications this year? Follow us on Twitter and let us know your opinion: @MFGateway

In our year-end feature articles, the Microfinance Gateway looks back at 2016 to highlight the most popular or recommended publications for the year. 

Read the full set of Highlight Articles:

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