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Remittances as a Driver of Women's Financial Inclusion in the Mekong Region

UNCDF research has shown that remittances are a high-volume driver for women’s financial inclusion, especially when accessed through digital channels. Although the rapid development of formal remittance markets in the Mekong region has been documented, few studies have examined informal remittance channels or disaggregated data by sex.

As a result, the relationships between international remittances and women’s financial inclusion remain little understood. This study explores both formal and informal international remittance markets in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Viet Nam and identifies innovative solutions to cross-border payments and tailored financial products that advance women’s financial inclusion. The paper generates insights from country-wide MAP-FinScope surveys and customer field interviews, and incorporates feedback from the region’s key remittance service providers through surveys and in-depth interviews.

The study finds that there is a need to formalize, digitize and customize products to better fit the needs of women recipients and form stronger linkages between international remittances and other financial services. Transitioning migrants from using informal to formal remittance products can potentially add an additional US$6–17 billion to the formal remittance market, which in turn can further unlock a more inclusive financial market. Providers identified several innovative solutions, including strengthening digital delivery channels, launching mobile wallet apps and developing remittance-linked savings, as the starting point for product bundling. Such product innovations could be accomplished within the prevailing regulations, although providers felt that clearer regulatory guidelines with regards to partnership models and non-bank institutions could further accelerate product innovation.
 

The State of Microinsurance 2017

The State of Microinsurance is the Microinsurance Network's annual journal providing insurance industry, experts and practitioners operating in the inclusive insurance space with key insights on the latest developments in microinsurance.

The 2017 edition takes a closer look at microinsurance solutions for climate change, focussing on pioneering ideas in the way microinsurance is being designed and offered, and highlighting key lessons learned from a range of different programmes and initiatives.

Articles include insights on designing natural hazard microinsurance products, mobile-based applications, the role of insurance in assisting agriculture value chain players in adapting to climate change, an integrated agricultural and health insurance approach, facilitating private sector responses to climate risk in the developing world, risk reduction, as well as regulatory and supervisory challenges of index-based insurance.

The journal features a debate on the impact of climate change on microinsurance for smallholder farmers, and several interviews with authoritative voices from the field. It uncovers key aspects of microinsurance pilot programmes as a tool for climate change adaptation and mitigation in Bangladesh, India, Burundi, Kenya, Mali, Senegal and Central America, as well as lessons learnt from a selection of ongoing initiatives such as the Climate Insurance Fund, the R4 Rural Resilience Initiative, and the Agriculture and Climate Risk Enterprise (ACRE).

Authors include experts from the World Food Programme, IFAD, BlueOrchard Finance, FADQDI, Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation, GIZ, World Bank Group, Wageningen University, ILO’s Impact Insurance Facility, MiCRO, Micro Insurance Academy, HDFC ERGO, Green Delta Insurance, A2ii, IRA Kenya, and NIC Ghana.

Annual Impact Investor Survey 2017

The GIIN’s 2017 Annual Impact Investor Survey is based on an analysis of the activities of 209 of the world’s leading impact investing organizations, including fund managers, foundations, banks, development finance institutions, family offices, pension funds, and insurance companies. Survey respondents collectively manage nearly USD 114 billion in impact assets, a figure which serves as the best-available “floor” for the size of the impact investing market.

In its seventh edition, this state of the market report presents investors’ perspectives on key issues important to the impact investing industry, as well as analysis of their investment activity, asset allocations by geography, sector, and investment instrument, impact measurement practice, and performance. For the first time, the GIIN also examined investor perspectives on current market topics, such as market segmentation, the role of below-market-rate capital in impact investing, the entry of large-scale financial firms into the market, and impact investing in public equities. New topics also include investors’ commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
 

Innovative Finance in Africa Review

This review is a showcase of the outstanding models and practices that make up the innovative finance ecosystem across Africa. It builds on the Centre's two previous Reviews, i.e. the Health Innovator's Review and the South African Education Innovator's Review.

As the innovative finance ecosystem has evolved over the past decade, there have been many breakthroughs in the design and implementation of innovative finance. Over the last five years, the Bertha Centre's Innovative Finance Initiative has worked with social finance experts across the world and partnered with governments, enterprises and investors to research, incubate and test promising innovative finance models and vehicles across Africa.
 
This review emphasises the outstanding work that is being done across the Innovative Finance space in Africa, it shines a spotlight on the key drivers in the creation of, innovative financing strategies and new business models.