Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals: The Role of Financial Inclusion
In 2015, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, along with a new set of development goals that are collectively called the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). While the SDGs do not explicitly target financial inclusion, greater access to financial services is a key enabler for many of them.
This working paper shows where and how financial services can help achieve the SDGs by reviewing the research on the link between financial inclusion and development. It holds the opinion 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.
The evidence base discussed in this paper helps to inform policy makers and donors in identifying opportunities for further investment. It suggests that continued investment in research can help to build out the evidence on new opportunities— such as digital payments—and its impact on households and broader economies.