December 2017

In this Issue

From the Editor

Dear RFILC members,

We are thrilled to bring to your attention a new publication on index insurance titled “Remote sensing for index insurance. Findings and lessons learned for smallholder agriculture”. This publication highlights the project on “Improving Agricultural Risk Management in Sub-Saharan Africa: Remote Sensing for Index Insurance” that was carried out by the Weather Risk Management Facility (WRMF). It explores ways to overcome issues on the ground by using remote sensing data for index insurance. It also describes different remote sensing options and opportunities available for index insurance. As a way forward, it recommends further investments in research and development, supplementary ground data, and capacity-building.

The second highlight of this month is a new Better Than Cash Alliance report on The Role of Digital Payments in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security endorsed by Finance Ministers of the economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). This report examines how a shift to digital payments can provide powerful solutions to help countries improve agricultural productivity and ensure food security, thus raising incomes, reducing hunger, and driving financial inclusion. The paper aims to help economies begin and accelerate their shift to digital payments in their agriculture sector. The information and recommendations herein are designed to assist countries in fulfilling their commitments towards Sustainable Development Goal #2: “End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture” through digital payments.

The third and final highlight of this month is a recent publication on Bringing E-money to the poor: successes and failures”. This study aims to identify countries that have demonstrated notable success in applying new e-money technologies and innovative thinking in providing first entry points into the financial system for the poor and vulnerable population segments. Case studies were used to emphasize detailed contextual analysis of certain critical conditions and their relationships to the success or failure of these interventions. Although new technologies and innovative methodologies in the finance industry are numerous, the study narrowly focuses on e-money initiatives such as mobile money, interoperable and multifunctional automated teller machines (ATMs), and prepaid debit cards for social grant programs as the first entry points to financial inclusion. It documents innovative uses of technology in the form of digital financial services operating within a balanced regulatory environment that can be key to improving financial inclusion.

With best regards,
The RFILC editorial team

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The Rural Finance and Investment Learning Centre is a part of the CABFIN Partnership Project which aims to promote and facilitate capacity building in rural finance. The concerns of rural finance are to ensure that people living in rural areas have access to financial services such as deposit and money transfer facilities, insurance and loan products. Effective use of these services can help to improve livelihoods and reduce rural poverty. The following CABFIN Partners have provided financial support to the RFILC: