The ultrapoor want desperately to escape poverty and have richer, more meaningful lives. Governments and NGOs want inclusive growth and prosperity. There is a proven way we can address all these challenges – the ultrapoor graduation model.
Betty is the former ADB Director of the Public Management, Financial Sector, and Trade Division of the Central and West Asia Department. She was the leading professional in financial sector development and public management, with over thirty years of professional field experience worldwide. She has been internationally recognized for her expertise and innovation in financial inclusion, small business development, public management systems, and rural development. She has managed teams and designed, implemented, and evaluated a wide range of development programs in the field, as well as completing various research projects. She has worked as a banker, a donor representative, and a developing country government senior official. She has collaborated with numerous governments, private firms, multilateral and bilateral donors, and non-government institutions. She also engaged her former team in SME finance for women, mobile banking regulatory environments, unconditional cash transfers and potential replication of ultra-poor program pilots, technical and vocational education for countries with high seasonal migration patterns, improving budget investment efficiency in infrastructure, along with other innovations. Ms. Wilkinson used a participatory, inclusive style to successfully engage and support stakeholders and key champions of reform.
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The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab just marked its tenth year anniversary on the MIT campus outside Boston with a one day event which drew over 1200 participants from all over the world.
The changing landscape of finance is a huge subject so let’s start with a short history of banking (thanks here to Wikipedia). The word actually comes from banca or bench where the moneylenders sat.
Did you know that there are over 2.5 billion people without any bank accounts in the world, and most of them are in Asia? And less than one quarter of the world’s 2.4 billion poor have a bank account. Managing their money using formal financial services – savings accounts, loans, insurance, and remittances -- is a wonderful, terrible, impossible dream for many, many families.
Policymakers are swamped. They have a wide range of interest groups talking to them all the time. They have large numbers of papers and emails and phone calls to deal with every day. So if you approach them with a brilliant evaluation that is fifty pages long, complete with graphs and tables and lots of Greek equations, it will go straight to the bottom of the stack. And stay there.