Evidence suggests that microloans often fail to improve outcomes for borrowers, but providing micro-enterprises with larger loans may be more effective in helping them grow, while increasing business opportunities for microfinance lenders and reducing poverty.

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Mobile financial services have become the main channel of financial inclusion, especially in low-income countries. However, consumer protection failures in the sector remain common.

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Evidence from multiple contexts suggests that the Graduation Approach, which provides holistic livelihood support for ultra-poor households, has lasting positive impacts on a range of outcomes. However, graduation programs are relatively expensive because of the intense level of support they offer. The costs pose a challenge for governments that want to implement the approach at scale.

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As migration patterns change, further evidence of the impact of regulatory programs in developing countries is needed. In Colombia, researchers are evaluating the impact of a temporary working and residence permit program for Venezuelan migrants. Outcomes to be studied include labor indicators, health, and integration measures. Results show that the permit program had significant positive effects on employment, welfare, and resilience for migrants.

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Displaced migrants who settle in new countries may encounter numerous barriers to accessing host country programs that could potentially provide helpful relief and accommodation for them. These barriers include low awareness of the program, distrust in the government, and registration bottlenecks. In Colombia, Venezuelan migrants face these barriers when registering for a migrant regularization program that grants them access to labor markets and social services.

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COVID-19 forced students across the world to move from in-person to remote schooling, presenting particularly acute challenges for children in low- and middle-income countries living in households with limited resources and internet access.

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The price of digital financial services (DFS) can be an obstacle to its adoption and regular use, particularly in low-and-middle income countries (LMIC). In Bangladesh Innovations for Poverty Actions (IPA) is developing a transaction cost index (TCI) to measure the monetary and non-monetary costs of conducting DFS transactions. IPA researchers will test four methods to determine the most cost-effective way to accurately calculate real transaction costs.

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The price of digital financial services (DFS) can be an obstacle to its adoption and regular use, particularly in low-and-middle income countries (LMIC). In Tanzania Innovations for Poverty Actions (IPA) is developing a transaction cost index (TCI) to measure the monetary and non-monetary costs of conducting DFS transactions. IPA researchers will test four methods to determine the most cost-effective way to accurately calculate real transaction costs.

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The price of digital financial services (DFS) can be an obstacle to its adoption and regular use, particularly in low-and-middle income countries (LMIC). In Uganda Innovations for Poverty Actions (IPA) is developing a transaction cost index (TCI) to measure the monetary and non-monetary costs of conducting DFS transactions. IPA researchers will test four methods to determine the most cost-effective way to accurately calculate real transaction costs.

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Digital tools have enabled people around the world to access banking and financial services. The rise of these technologies, however, has been accompanied by an increase in fraud risks, which are often difficult to measure due to consumer underreporting or unawareness. In Kenya, researchers conducted a research project to measure individuals’ level of scam identification ability, asking participants to classify example messages as fraudulent or genuine.

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Widespread adoption of social distancing can help communities and countries slow the spread of COVID-19.

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Refugees and asylum seekers often struggle to find jobs in their host countries, even when they have unrestricted right to work. This is especially true in low-income countries, home to the majority of the displaced populations in the world.

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The high prevalence of digital financial fraud makes it difficult for businesses to distinguish between real communications from digital service providers and fraudulent communication. This can lead to a lack of trust in digital financial services.

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Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) may be an effective mental health approach for people living in poverty, who are especially vulnerable to mental distress and face unique demands on their mental “bandwidth.” Researchers worked with Innovations for Poverty Action and the University of Ghana Medical School to design, implement, and conduct a randomized evaluation of the impacts of a group CBT curriculum on low-income individuals in rural Ghana.

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Slums and poor neighborhoods around the world are occupied by powerful criminal organizations that increasingly recruit young people. What factors lead people to join these groups, and how can governments prevent recruitment?

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Fraud in mobile banking can be difficult to detect, and consumers often do not know they were targeted until after the transaction occurred. This can lead to consumer distrust of mobile banking services, particularly for consumers who have a higher chance of experiencing fraud, like women. In Ghana, researchers are measuring the impact of fraud recognition and avoidance training on encouraging female microfinance consumers to take up mobile banking services.

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Third-party fraud poses a significant threat to the healthy expansion of digital financial services and the financial health of consumers. In Uganda, researchers are conducting data analysis using customer service data and social media to identify risk factors associated with fraud. Based on the results, the research team will design fraud prevention messages aimed at vulnerable populations.

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Third-party fraud poses a significant threat to the healthy expansion of digital financial services and the financial health of consumers. In Uganda, researchers are conducting data analysis using customer service data and social media to identify risk factors associated with fraud. Based on the results, the research team will design fraud prevention messages aimed at vulnerable populations.

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Disputes over mobile money transactions between consumers and service providers often go unresolved. This may hurt consumers, prevent them from paying their bills, and reduce their trust in providers. As such, the lack of resolution can discourage consumers from adopting potentially advantageous mobile accounts. In Uganda, researchers are designing an intervention offering free legal consultation to mobile money consumers to help resolve disputes with service providers.

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