Beyond Financial Inclusion: Financial Health as a Global Framework
Financial health is a model for assessing how well one’s daily financial systems help build resilience from shocks and create opportunities to pursue one’s dreams. Whether rural or urban, in countries both developed and developing, individuals share a common aspiration for financial health.
In 2015, the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) created the framework and definition of financial health, originally designed for use and applicability in the United States. Over the course of 2016, teams from the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion (CFI), the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI), and Dalberg’s Design Impact Group (DIG) worked to understand the necessary adaptations such a model would require across borders, as well as the opportunities and use cases for such a framework.
The global financial health framework consists of six primary indicators, used to measure consumer financial health. A consumer in the developing world is financially healthy when he or she:
- Balances income and expenses;
- Builds and maintains reserves;
- Manages existing debts and has access to potential resources;
- Plans and prioritizes;
- Manages and recovers from financial shocks;
- Uses an effective range of financial tools.
This report presents results of the efforts taken by the researchers, finding that the core financial health framework resonates with consumers, practitioners, providers, and funders both in the U.S. and in the developing world.