Citi and IPA Invite Financial Capability Innovation

> Posted by Jeffrey Riecke, Communications Assistant, CFI

Financial capability is an increasingly hot topic in the financial inclusion world. When the Center for Financial Inclusion surveyed industry stakeholders on the Opportunities and Obstacles to financial inclusion, financial capability was the surprise number one on both lists. While all agree that client capability is needed, questions on how to build that capability still loom large. Thus it is good news that Citi Foundation and Innovations for Poverty Action have created a fund to spur innovation. The Citi IPA Financial Capability Research Fund was created to provide financing support to research projects aimed at improving the way low to moderate-income individuals manage their money.

The US$ 3.4 million fund will support research projects from teams of scholars and financial service practitioners that seek to innovate on and evaluate strategies that improve peoples’ ability to make informed and effective decisions about the management of their money. Citi and IPA encourage projects to focus on one of the following three categories:

  • Product tests. Compare the relative effectiveness of interventions and product features in achieving behavior change.
  • Product evaluations. Measure the impact of an intervention on the welfare of its users.
  • Multi-site product tests. Test the effectiveness of a product or intervention across different countries and settings.

The research projects should improve financial capability in financial services by addressing incentives for behavior change, product design, or product-linked financial education.

The Fund is accepting project entries from all countries except the United States, and is especially interested in projects from countries with emerging economies.

If you have a project, submit your expression of interest to IPA by October 19. A first round of ten winning applicants will be awarded grants in early January 2013 for a total of $1.7 million.

For more information, and to submit expressions of interest, visit the Innovations for Poverty Action website.

Image Credit: IPA

Have you read?

Financial Inclusion 2020: Are we out of our minds?!

Financial Capability: Not Many Answers, but Lots of Great Questions

Bridging the ‘Financial Capability Gap’ to Financial Inclusion