Blog

Farming for data in Kenya: Thoughts from the first event in the #DataHacks4FI meet-up series in Naroibi

In Kenya, agriculture is the second largest contributor to GDP and the largest supporter of livelihoods. 75% of the labour force in Kenya is employed in agriculture and 33% of all adults derive their main source of income from it. But agriculture remains largely out of reach for the financial sector.

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A river gets full through its tributaries: Building mutually beneficial financial inclusion communities through data

The first language that l was exposed to as a child was Sotho/Tswana. My maternal grandfather had this saying as one of his favourites, “Noka etlatswa ke dinokana”, meaning (A river gets full through its tributaries for it to flow yearlong)

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Closing gaps, building bridges: Getting ready for the i2i and FSD Tanzania workshop on spatial data for business intelligence

Can the location of a platinum mine help financial service providers (FSPs) identify where to locate a bank branch or ATM? FSPs are increasingly using this type of geospatial (GIS) data to inform their business decisions. But the gap between what FSPs can do with GIS data, and what they are doing, is wider than expected.

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Good intentions: Why what you measure in financial inclusion is so important to the outcomes you achieve

Financial inclusion is increasingly recognised as a policy instrument to deliver on policy objectives such as welfare, health outcomes and food security. In fact, it is deemed so important that the recently published United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include equal access to financial services for all people as one of the goals to ending poverty.

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Big data for small policies: what does big data mean for microinsurance?

There are 24.2 million adults in Tanzania. About 15 million experienced an insurable event in 2013. Less than 3 million of those reported to have insurance and even less (200,000) actually used insurance to manage their risk. In other words, 14.8 million adults had to rely on other risk-coping mechanisms.

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Making New Markets for Financial Services Possible: KCB’s Experience with Data.

Financial service providers are becoming increasingly aware of the value of data for financial inclusion. Utilising data and drawing on the power of analytics enables financial service providers to better understand consumers, and thus create products that are more affordable, accessible and appropriate to the needs of the underserved.

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Talking about Data in the Land of a Thousand Hills: 4th MasterCard Foundation Symposium on Financial Inclusion

Data plays an integral role in all aspects of financial inclusion. Over the next two days it will feature prominently in deepening our understanding of consumers' needs and behavior at the 4th MasterCard Foundation Symposium on Financial Inclusion (SoFi) in Kigali, Rwanda.

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A balancing act using innovation to enhance financial inclusion whilst protecting personal data

Data has permeated all facets of our lives. It is more available and accessible than ever before. In just a few hours one person can create a multitude of data points from just one mobile device.

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Why a plastic bottle trumps a bank account

Patience, a restaurant owner in Goma in the eastern DRC, has a dream of owning her own land. She saves a modest 2000 Congolese Francs (just less than USD 2) every day. This is no small feat: it requires daily sacrifices and a lot of self-discipline. So she doesn’t tell her husband about her stash, as she fears that he may claim it for himself.

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It’s not you, it’s me

In recent decades, the number of global airline passengers has increased by nearly 400%, resulting in a rapid expansion in airline operators as well as air travel routes. Born from the need for a one-stop-shop for consumers to explore the best available routes and most cost effective options, a number of internet-based providers consolidated this information.

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“I’ll see you in court!”

See you in court? Unlikely. In recent times most law courts in Africa have not been suitable places to enforce or defend low-value retail credit contracts – the transactions costs associated with the legal process swamp the value of most claims. A lender usually only goes to court in order to establish a precedent or achieve a selective demonstration effect to encourage other defaulters to pay.

By guest author, David Porteous

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The many face survey

Traditionally, survey data was collected by fieldworkers trekking across the country, knocking on doors and filling in paper questionnaires. As it sounds, it is possibly the slowest way of collecting data. However, recent advances in technology and data collection methodologies are changing this. More and more organisations are collecting data using innovative approaches that provide faster responses and quicker access to survey data.

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This road will not get you there

This week I drove 600 km from Cape Town airport to my home and sheep farm in the rural Karoo. Whereas the drive was pleasant and gave me time to reflect on many things, the joy of driving was definitely not the purpose of this journey. Getting home to my family was the goal. I have realised that much of our difficulties in making headway with financial inclusion links back to this confusion between the road and the destination.

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Alternative Data 'Lends' a Hand

Worried about how to improve your credit score? At least you have one. The harsh reality is that credit bureaus do not have data on the vast majority of the world’s population. According to the World Bank, credit bureaus cover less than a third (30%) of the adult population in the entire world, and in Sub Saharan Africa, they only cover 6% of the adult population.

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Impact: if you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far…

They say that “if you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together.” This is how I feel about achieving an impact. I learnt this the hard way, having run five marathons in my lifetime while devoting a decade and a half of my career to trying to generate positive impact on people’s lives.

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Deepening measurement in financial inclusion

You manage what you measure and thus it is important to have a measurement framework that drives the right behaviour. Financial inclusion has strong established measurement frameworks dealing with access to and usage of financial services. (e.g. AFI’s access and usage indicators, FinDex’s formal account ownership indicator and FinScope’s access strand).

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Outliers: GIS data and improved investment planning for FSPs

More and more financial service providers (FSPs) are looking to data to inform investment decisions, such as “Where should we roll out financial service points?

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