Wilson and Krystalli discuss financial inclusion for refugees

March 2017

Visiting Fellow Kim Wilson and Humanitarian Evidence Program Manager Roxanne Krystalli have co-authored a new essay on tailoring financial inclusion approaches to refugees’ needs and the challenges they face during displacement. The essay first appeared on the Institute for Business in the Global Context. Krystalli and Wilson write: 

This paper is an editorial essay, whose insights are informed by a study on the financial journeys of refugees conducted in Greece, Jordan, Turkey, and Denmark in July and August 20162. […] We begin by providing a brief overview of financial inclusion and the “digital/formal” trends. We then proceed to discuss some particularities of displacement that affect refugees’ interaction with financial inclusion tools and systems. For each of these, we identify questions for the financial inclusion community to consider as it reflects on engagement with refugee populations.

Ultimately, this paper strays from formal financial inclusion frameworks which tend to delimit financial inclusion in terms of integrating customers into an existing digital or formal (hereon “digital/formal”) financial infrastructure. We instead examine the financial tasks that refugees and displaced populations must perform in order to survive. We then explore the environments in which refugees must perform these tasks, and finally attempt to define more relevant parameters of inclusion.

 

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