Digital Financial Inclusion Toolkit

In 2023, the UNDP Accelerator Labs decided to take stock of the work that its global network of 91 Labs, covering 115 countries, was doing in the area of finance. This work turned out to span the entire globe and to be highly diverse. Yet one commonality stood out: over two-thirds of the Labs that were doing finance-related work of any kind focused on financial inclusion. What’s more, the vast majority of the network’s efforts toward financial inclusion, in turn, relied on the use of digital tools. Emerging from this work is a unique take on digital financial inclusion. First, the Labs have learned that digital tools are most inclusive when they are designed to support existing (good) practices and local knowledge. These practices tend to be local (like traditional practices of community saving), or at least to have a local aspect (like local languages). This learning stands in contrast to the globalizing tendencies of fintech, and of finance in general. As the Accelerator Labs move to contribute more deliberately to UNDP’s R&D function, we offer the experience accumulated by our network of labs in the form of this toolkit: a collection of documented resources. It is meant to inspire would-be champions of digital financial inclusion. Even more, the intent is to empower them by offering ready-made resources that can be reused after adapting them to a new context.

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