Asia

Can Mobile-Enabled Savings Products Bridge the Youth Financial Services Gap?

April 29, 2013
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Editor's note: This post was authored by Julia Arnold, a Research Fellow with the Global Assets Project, and originally appeared on the Center for Financial Inclusion's blog.

Many of the challenges to saving faced by the world’s poorest people were highlighted in the recent Washington Post article Microsavings Programs Build Wealth, Pennies at a Time.  Among others, the article articulated two especially salient points around microsavings: 1) we know the poor save, and 2) savings can help poor people withstand shocks to their income (such as unexpected medical emergencies or job loss) without going further into debt and poverty. However, low-income people tend to rely on informal methods of savings, often putting their money at risk of being lost, stolen, or ruined by floods or rodents. Having a safe, reliable place to save is both beneficial to and desired by the world’s poorest people. 

From Protection to Investment

  • By
  • Jamie M. Zimmerman,
  • Anjana Ravi,
  • Nicole Tosh,
  • New America Foundation
November 19, 2012

The way governments give aid to citizens in need has changed dramatically in recent years: the estimated number of government-to-person cash payments transferred electronically in 2012 has doubled from 2012 to 2009 — from 25 to 61 percent according to the data of countries examined by the Global Savings and Social Protection Initiative (GSSP).

Next Billion Big Idea Series: A 5 Billion Mobile Workforce

October 8, 2012
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This piece was originally posted on Next Billion as part of their Big Idea series on how businesses are using mobile applications.

This past month, in Armenia, Kenya, Nepal, South Africa, and Vietnam, the World Bank organized hackathons bringing together over 300 mobile phone technologists and entrepreneurs. The gatherings focused on leveraging the spread of mobile phones to three-quarters of the world to connect excluded populations to the digital economy.

Does Norway Hold Key to Solving South China Sea Dispute?

  • By
  • Parag Khanna,
  • New America Foundation
  • and John Gilman
November 13, 2012 |

The South China Sea has returned to the geopolitical spotlight, eclipsing the Taiwan Straits as the region's most volatile flashpoint.

But quite unlike the Taiwan or the associated Quemoy/Matsu dispute, the South China Sea's claimant nations are at least as interested in developing the region's economic potential as they are in asserting sovereignty and building military bases.

This opens a window to resolving the dispute in a way that looks beyond the traditional frame of sovereignty and towards a win-win economic benefit.

From Social Banking to Financial Inclusion: Understanding the Potential for Financial Services Innovation in India

  • By
  • Eric Tyler,
  • Anjana Ravi,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Sunil Bhat, Minakshi Ramji and Anjaneyulu Ballem (MicroSave)
October 29, 2012

When it comes to savings for the poor and financial inclusion efforts, India is a dynamic market ripe for innovation and experimentation. Its extensive web of financial service providers as well as the incidence of large-scale exclusion are contradictory features that also make it a market worth examining.

Investing in Girls

  • By
  • Jamie M. Zimmerman,
  • Nicole Tosh,
  • Jamie Holmes,
  • New America Foundation
October 11, 2012

Over the last decade, anti-poverty initiatives across the developing world have increasingly focused on gender-based strategies, and in particular, on achieving equality and empowerment through gender-focused program innovation. While important progress has been made in the last several years, men still outnumber women in paid employment in almost every region of the developing world, with more women working informally, and in more vulnerable employment positions, than men.

The New Silk Road is Made of Iron-And Stretches from Scotland to Singapore

  • By
  • Parag Khanna,
  • New America Foundation
September 30, 2012 |

At some point in the next 200 million years, according to Yale University scientists, the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates will collide at the North Pole. When they are eventually joined by Africa, the singular super-continent will re-emerge, reminiscent of the Pangea that existed hundreds of millions of years ago.

Why China’s Slowdown May Get Permanently Worse

  • By
  • Steve LeVine,
  • New America Foundation
September 27, 2012 |

For years, global economists have forecast a slowdown in China’s breakneck growth. Now that the deceleration is actually here, rich-world investors, companies and government officials, reliant on the Chinese juggernaut for their financial well-being, seem impatient for the revelry to resume, and are hoping that the Chinese government will follow up its stimulus of package of 2008-2009 with another generous injection of capital. (On Sept.

A Glitch in the Matrix

  • By
  • Barry C. Lynn,
  • New America Foundation
September 11, 2012 |

Economic interdependence among nations, Americans have long believed, is the surest and safest path both to a wide prosperity and a perpetual peace. If all nations jointly depend together on one vast "global" factory for many basic goods, so our thinking holds, no one state will ever dare disrupt the functioning of this "communalized" system.

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