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  • Blog post

    Clarence Blay: ‘Ghana has 140,000 mobile money agents versus 1,300 bank branches’

    The most famous mobile payments system in Africa, MPesa, allows users to make payments by sending text messages from simple mobile phones, not necessarily smart ones. The idea has started a new wave of mobile payments and transfers in the continent, and governments are taking steps to help this ingenious solution usher in a new era of financial inclusion for their...

    20 Nov 2017 | Helena Vieira

  • Blog post

    Overcoming barriers to women’s mobility in Pakistan

    Expanding transport networks, scheduling services, providing reliable transport in peri-urban areas, improving the design of women’s-only services, educating drivers and conductors on sexual harassment, and improving public safety improve mobility. Social norms against women coming into close contact with unrelated men, and the discomfort, social stigma, and fear of...

    17 Nov 2017 | Fizzah Sajjad, Katherine Vyborny, Ghulam Abbas Anjum, Erica Field

  • Blog post

    Microfinance in Bangladesh: Flexibility, growth and client type

    Increased loan flexibility for clients with a good credit history improves client satisfaction and socio-economic status. It also attracts highly productive entrepreneurs who want to expand their business to take a loan, making this approach a win-win. Microfinance has been heralded as an effective pro-poor policy instrument to ease the problem of credit rationing....

    15 Nov 2017 | Selim Gulesci, Andreas Madestam, Marianna Battaglia

  • Blog post

    Factors determining rural-urban market linkages in India

    Bihar is enjoying increased rural-urban connectivity thanks to infrastructure improvements, fueling demand for goods, services and jobs. The factors influencing market linkages include sourcing inputs, catering to rural consumers, and access to public services. Jhanjharpur, India We were wandering down the main market of Jhanjharpur, a small town in North Bihar in India,...

    14 Nov 2017 | Alakh Sharma, Shreya Sarwagi, Nandita Gupta, Abhay Kumar

  • Blog post

    Forced devaluation of rupee: a recipe for disaster

    There is broad agreement that the rupee is overvalued, with estimates of overvaluation ranging from 20-40 per cent. There are, however, two opposing views on how to deal with the problem: One, devaluation and two, administrative measures, i.e., export subsidies and regulatory duties on imports. The argument of the anti-devaluation group is that devaluation has never...

    10 Nov 2017 | Naved Hamid, Azka Sarosh Mir

  • Blog post

    Transport and job accessibility: Towards a competitive and inclusive Accra

    A working age individual can only reach up to 32% of formal jobs by tro-tro within 60 minutes. Poor connectivity harms labour and firm outcomes. There is a need for investment in public transit, land-use reforms and low-income urban housing policies. Cities in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are urbanising at an unprecedented pace. As a result, they have often expanded...

    6 Nov 2017 | Nathalie Picarelli , Pascal Jaupart, Ying Chen

  • Blog post

    Mobile money: Leaving no one behind in the digital age

    Kenya and Tanzania provide evidence on how technology holds promise for an inclusive, empowered and poverty-free future. Government support and improved financial literacy are found to be key drivers of financial inclusion in the developing world. Mobile money, one of the most popular innovations for development, is considered by many as a promising tool to open the door...

    3 Nov 2017 | Laura Sili

  • Blog post

    Mobile money: Progress thus far, miles to go

    2017 marks ten years since the launch of M-PESA in Kenya, undoubtedly the most successful mobile money product to date. Over the last decade, there have been many developments in the sector, and mobile money has emerged as a predominantly African innovation. A recent conference on Mobile Money and Financial Development, organised by the LSE’s Department of Management and...

    30 Oct 2017 | Sarah Logan

  • Blog post

    The Fragility Commission’s final evidence session: The power of resilience

    Countries facing fragility and conflict lack resilience to shocks, which feed off each other in a negative cycle. Identifying policies to build resilience, and recover and learn from shocks, can prevent future crises stemming from instability. In its fifth and final evidence session, held at the London School of Economics (LSE) on 28 September, the LSE-Oxford Commission...

    26 Oct 2017 | Emilie Yam

  • Blog post

    Risky business: Takeaways from the Fragility Commission’s 4th evidence session

    In fragile environments, experts agree that strengthening the private sector is the key to economic and social progress. However, this is undermined by limited risk appetite and weak state capacity when investing and operating in fragile environments. LSE-Oxford Commission on State Fragility, Growth and Development In its fourth evidence session, held at the the London...

    24 Oct 2017 | Emilie Yam