Jul 07, 2021

e-MFP’s English-language Financial Inclusion Compass 2021 publication launched, examining current trends, future focus areas, challenges, role changes – and how to ‘build back better’

e-MFP is delighted to publish the English language version of the Financial Inclusion Compass 2021­ – the fourth in a series to collate sector opinions on emerging short, medium, and long-term trends in the financial inclusion sector. The survey on which this paper is based was open in May 2021, giving practitioners, investors, donors, researchers and support service providers the opportunity to evaluate and describe the importance of various current Trends, rate and give opinions on New Areas of Focus, and provide open-comment qualitative input on the expected (and hoped-for) direction of financial inclusion progress.

But clearly the sector has undergone immense changes and pressures since early 2020, and so the 2021 survey also builds on 2020’s special edition Covid-19 Financial Inclusion Compass to ask how the pandemic has changed stakeholders’ roles and priorities. To do so, a special section of the survey invited respondents’ insights about the perceived impact of the pandemic, the changing roles of various stakeholders, and opportunities for “building back better”.

The results are fascinating – from the rapid emergence client resilience and women’s empowerment as the most important current trends, to the number 1 spot for SME Finance among future areas of focus.  And the 125 respondents from 39 countries submitted tens of thousands of words on the challenges being faced, the lessons they’ve learned, and what they would like to see change in the future.

The last year has upended the financial inclusion sector. The challenges have been immense, and the full scale of the cost – to families, businesses, institutions – is not yet known. The crisis, of course, is not at all yet over. But at e-MFP we firmly believe in trying to understand what’s going on and what it all means for the present and the short, medium, and long-term future for financial inclusion. So we at e-MFP are very pleased to present this unique perspective on where financial inclusion stakeholders see the sector going, and stay tuned too for the publication of French and Spanish versions of the publication early in the autumn.

- Read the Financial Inclusion Compass 2021 -

- Watch 'Where do we go now?' webinar launch recording -

Compass photo: Denise Jans via Unsplash
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