Competitive Fund on Financial Capability
Access to financial services is improving across the world, thanks to technological innovations and the expanded operations of microfinance providers. However, financial capability, or the ability to make informed decisions about the use and management of one’s money, has not kept pace with these advances. This "financial capability gap" threatens the progress of financial inclusion for low- and moderate-income individuals across the world.
The competitive fund seeks to incubate, develop, and rigorously study products and product-linked interventions to improve the financial capability of the poor. The focal research areas of the fund are (1) product-linked financial education; (2) incentives for behavior change and use of financial services; and (3) product design as a way to encourage appropriate use of financial instruments. Applications must be presented by teams consisting of at least one researcher and one implementing financial service provider.
Previous funding rounds (now closed)
Second Funding Round
The Citi IPA Financial Capability Research Fund awarded a total of $375,000 to three randomized evaluations in its second competitive funding round (Jun 2013 – Jan 2014). This competitive round of funding for the Citi IPA Financial Capability Research Fund was conducted jointly with the third competitive round of the Yale Savings and Payment Research Fund. Successful applications passed through two stages of evaluation and selection. The first was an Expression of Interest application, for which the two funds received 96 applications and invited 19 to submit full proposals. The 19 full proposals submitted were then vetted and evaluated by the Financial Inclusion Program’s Executive Committee.
In addition, in June 2013, the fund awarded approximately $80,000 in the form of seven research planning grants to support new partnerships between researchers and practitioners as part of its matchmaking program.
First Funding Round
The Citi IPA Fianancial Capability Research Fund awarded approximately $750,000 to five randomized evaluations in its first funding round (June 2012 - February 2013). Successful applications passed through two stages of evaluation and selection. The first was an Expression of Interest application, for which the fund received 65 applications and invited about half to submit full proposals. The 31 full proposals submitted were then vetted and evaluated by the Financial Inclusion Program’s Executive Committee.
An additional $70,000 was awarded to six promising applicant teams to further develop their proposals. Of the latter, five teams were formed during the fund's matchmaking program to facilitate new partnerships between researchers and practitioners.
- Financial Inclusion Program
- Peace & Recovery Program
- Small and Medium Enterprise
- Social Protection Program