Delivering Financial Education in Africa: Reach Global’s Lessons Learned on Supporting the Delivery of Financial Education Under the UNCDF-YouthStart Programme

Challenges faced in integrating financial and non-financial services for youth

From 2011 to 2014, Reach Global served as technical assistance provider in non-financial services and financial education to YouthStart’s 10 financial service provider (FSP) partners in sub-Saharan Africa. This paper captures the primary challenges FSPs faced, their responses to these challenges, and lessons learned that may help other FSPs preparing to integrate financial and non-financial services for youth.

Key challenges faced by YouthStart FSPs include the following:

  • Providing the most essential content to support uptake and usage of financial services, given time and human resource constraints;
  • Developing and sustaining successful partnerships with youth serving organizations (YSOs);
  • Balancing essential information and actionable skills through simple, participatory methods and efficient delivery;
  • Harmonizing key financial education messages with financial product and service attributes;
  • Ensuring buy-in for non-financial services from all levels of FSP staff; and
  • Monitoring both the quality and quantity of non-financial services.

Recommendations for integrating financial and non-financial services include:

  • Focus on the most essential messages and experience-based learning;
  • Align financial education content with the products and services being offered to youth;
  • Design simple, picture-based toolkits that can be employed in multiple training contexts and delivery channels;
  • Define and document primary roles and responsibilities through a clear memorandum of understanding (MOU) before entering into a partnership with a YSO;
  • Explore a volunteer peer educator model;
  • Prioritize development of staff facilitation skills to ensure effective communication with youth learners;
  • Focus on the role of field staff in program development and outreach;
  • Hire a youth champion dedicated to the program; and
  • Build monitoring into the program model to measure quality and track progress.

About this Publication

By Massie, J., Mannell, L., Kline, S. , Glassford, S.