The Retail and Finance Distribution (ReFinD) research initiative has awarded grants for three pilot studies to be conducted in three countries. This comes at the end of the first call for proposals which was issued during the project launch in June this year.
Announcing the awards to the media, Prof. Peter Quartey, Director of ISSER and Executive Director of ReFinD said, “the greatest landmark so far is that we have awarded three pilot grants which are being implemented in Ghana, Indonesia, and Bangladesh. We are undertaking these pilot studies on different aspects of digital financial inclusion and we are hopeful that these will bring results early enough for possible scaling up”.
He highlighted the commitment of ISSER to put in the hard work and to position itself as a hub for research on digital financial inclusion in Africa.
“This is not just a five-year project; the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant will also support scalability. Therefore, we are reaching out to the world and telling them ISSER is the place to choose if you want to do proper research on digital financial inclusion as well as any cutting-edge research on financial and socio-economic development.”
Retail finance distribution and vendor networks are necessary building blocks to a robust digital finance ecosystem, due to their ability to convert money between physical cash and digital currency and to serve as onboarding channels for a broader set of digital financial tools and services. Yet, rigorous quantitative work and evidence about the functioning and organization of vendor networks, retail vendor incentives and behavior, and interventions to expand network reach and density is limited, with many open research questions remaining.
The ReFinD research initiative, which is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), basically enables qualified research teams in Ghana and around the globe to conduct research and produce results that will promote financial inclusion among marginalized groups like women and people experiencing poverty. Read more on the project here.
Click here for the media report.