A needs-based approach to financial inclusion measurement in Zimbabwe

A needs-based approach to financial inclusion measurement in Zimbabwe

June 28, 2018    

Financial inclusion is an important tool for enabling development and improving the lives of the poor across the globe. Up to now, most governments and organisations that seek to measure aspects of financial inclusion have focused either on access or uptake of formal financial services. While these measures are important, they do not reflect people’s financial needs and how people use both formal and informal financial services to meet these needs.

What is the i2i approach for financial inclusion measurement? 

To close this gap, insight2impact’s (i2i) measurement team developed measurement frameworks that gauge the financial needs of the users of financial services and the nature, patterns and outcomes of financial service usage by individuals to meet these needs. The i2i measurement approach therefore seeks to advance the use of data within financial inclusion through the application of a needs-based lens. The primary objective for developing the needs-based approach to measuring financial inclusion is to inform and facilitate the development of policies and business models that deliver financial services that meet the needs of consumers, especially those at the bottom of the pyramid.

The main objective of this study was to test the i2i needs-based measurement framework for financial service usage in Zimbabwe by assessing the financial inclusion landscape from a needs perspective. A further objective was to examine the nature and possible drivers of financial services usage in the Zimbabwean context, specifically as it relates to the formal credit market. The data used consisted of a demand-side survey specifically undertaken for this study and loan repayment data from a commercial credit bureau, XDS Zimbabwe.

The survey collected primary data on financial services engaged by consumers in five provinces of Zimbabwe (Harare, Bulawayo, Manicaland, Mashonaland West and Midlands), and the data was used to test the needs-based approach to financial inclusion assessment. The credit bureau data from XDS Zimbabwe was analysed to ascertain the borrowing behaviour of consumers, with a combined data set on a sample of consumers/respondents being used to determine the drivers for the borrowing and repayment patterns observed.


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insight2impact (i2ifacility) was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation. The programme was established and driven by Cenfri and Finmark Trust.

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