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Our Independent Research Objectives (IROs)


We’ve developed a set of IROs, which seek to translate our mission statement into a set of questions that allow stakeholders and donors to more proactively engage with our research areas.  

In determining our IROs, we ask ourselves: What role can the financial sector and financial services play in improving societal outcomes and reducing inequity in the 21st century?

In answering this question, we unpack:

  • What is the role of the financial sector and financial services in society?
  • How best can financial services improve people’s lives?
  • How can the financial system change to improve the role of financial services in society?

In turn, these inform our yearly objectives to build up our knowledge base through our research programmes and projects.

These research objectives reflect the areas we are exploring for that year, in line with the questions noted above. We then aim to inform these objectives throughout the year and share our findings with our stakeholders through a variety of knowledge products.

Our IROs are informed by our research areas and include:

Financial inclusion measurement  (2018)

  • How do people meet their financial needs?
  • What can we learn from combining supply-side and demand-side data to understand people’s usage patterns relative to needs?
  • What needs and usage-based indicators can help policymakers advance financial inclusion?
  • How should we measure the usage and impact of digital financial services?

Client insights (2018)

  • Which sources of data are most viable and scalable for financial inclusion?
  • What are the best data sources and tools for designing and delivering financial services for youth and women?
  • What is the most appropriate data sharing approach (API) between FSP and tech companies?
  • What is the potential for African Digital Platforms to facilitate the provision of financial services?

Risk (2018)

  • How can insurance better contribute to inclusive growth? What are the opportunities and barriers at each stage of market development?
  • What is the contribution, opportunities and barriers of insurance to enable business resilience and productive risk-taking?
  • What is the contribution, opportunities and barriers of insurance to mobilise and allocate capital for inclusive growth?
  • What is the role of technology to drive consumer behaviour for improved use of insurance?
  • What is the role of technology to shape business incentives for improved use of insurance?
  • How can regulation, regulators and policymakers enable responsible innovation?

Remittances (2017)

  • What is/are (a) sustainable national payment system approach(es) for small and developing countries?
  • Is there a business and development case for formalising diaspora cross-border remittances?
  • What is the role of technology in enabling low-cost, cross-border payments?

Financial Integrity (2017)

  • What is the relationship between illicit flows and economic growth?
  • What is the relationship between public and private governance structures and illicit flows?
  • What is the relationship between AML/CFT and illicit flows?

InnoLab (2017)

  • How is technology reducing the delivery cost of financial services?
  • What behavioural factors drive financial services uptake and use?
  • How can regulators and businesses partner for more effective conduct regulation?