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Women Effect | Measuring how well we’re serving low income and underbanked women
December 22, 2016
Research, Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist Jaclyn Berfond was interviewed about Women’s World Banking’s Gender Performance Initiative, its development and how financial institutions can use this data to improve their service to low-income women.
Could You Tell Us Why And How The Gender Performance Indicators Were Developed?
The financial institutions we were working with [at the time of launch, all microfinance institutions] had an enormous database full of client information and transactional behaviour and weren’t using it at all. Many of these institutions were partnering with us because they have a mission to serve low income women yet didn’t really have a handle on how to work with their clients beyond reporting about borrowings.
We came up with well over a hundred indicators that we thought could be potentially interesting to look at. We knew that while these would be valuable, we needed to actually go in and look at the actual data to see: one, if it would actually yield meaningful information; and two, if it was actually feasible to proact.
The evolution of the gender performance indicators follows the trajectory of Women’s World Banking and over the past few years, we’ve really expanded to wider financial inclusion. The entire space has really expanded how we think about who serves the low income market. Ten years ago that was only microfinancial institutions, but today it’s banks, TelCos, digital financial services.