Getting Smart About Financial Inclusion: Lessons from the SmartAid Index

Evaluating the efficacy of the SmartAid Index after using it for eight years

This focus note discusses the lessons learned from the use of the SmartAid Index, a tool launched by CGAP in 2007 to measure and improve the effectiveness of funders in supporting financial inclusion. The index focuses on funders’ internal management systems, building on the simple premise that better management systems lead to better projects. The note tries to assess whether the use of the index has triggered change among funders and also evaluates the upcoming challenges that funders might face in light of evolutions in financial inclusion and the broader aid architecture. It covers the following sections in detail:

  • Potential of using indices to change practices with a focus on the evolution of the SmartAid Index;
  • Lessons from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), and other participating funders;
  • Common drivers of change among all funders including leadership of internal champions, top management commitment, and learning from peers and colleagues;
  • Lessons for funders to help them be better prepared and easily adapt to a continuously evolving financial inclusion environment.

About this Publication

By El-Zoghbi, M. , Scola, B.