Pre-Forum Events

Monday, May 22

3:00 PM – 4:30 PM | Operationalizing Women’s Economic Empowerment framework in a multi-country context | Connections 1

Hosted by the Market Development Facility (MDF)

The Market Development Facility (MDF) is a private sector development programme funded by the Australian government. With first country set up in 2011, it now operates in Fiji, Timor-Leste, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Papua New Guinea. The MDF WEE framework has been informed by the practicalities of and evidence derived from, implementation and pays particular attention to working with the private sector on integration of women into market systems – a common challenge for programmes. The talk will focus on bringing theory to practice (and vice versa), integration of results measurement and WEE and development of creative and sustainable business models. The core strength of MDF’s model is that WEE is embedded in all aspects of work ranging from research and analysis, intervention design, partner negotiation, results chain development and impact assessment. Case studies from different MDF countries will illustrate these points. Join our journey as we unpack the challenges in five unique contexts.

Maryam Piracha, MDF Pakistan
Amna Awan, MDF Pakistan
Deepa Manichan, MDF Timor
Miliana Ratu, MDF Fiji

MDF Presentation

5:00 PM – 6:30 PM | Gender and Digital Financial Inclusion: What are the Gaps in Our Knowledge? | Banglampoo

Hosted by the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW)

As yet untapped opportunities exist to provide a broader array of financial services for the poor. Among these, digital financial services offer new and innovative platforms to address financial exclusion. Digital platforms can overcome restrictions brought on by geography and distance from services, reduce the transactions costs of using financial services, enhance transparency and as a result increase trust in financial systems. They can also improve financial autonomy and privacy for users and reduce the risk of cooption. However, women may still be disproportionately excluded from these options and opportunities. Despite significant investments in mobile platforms and some prominent successes digitizing payments and transfers, women appear to face barriers to accessing and using digital financial services. Identifying the barriers to their use and exploring how these may be overcome can enable digital platforms to work better to promote women’s meaningful financial inclusion. This session brings together researchers, practitioners and donors to critically examine the field of gender and digital financial inclusion and map out areas for future research and interventions that can increase women’s meaningful financial inclusion.

Naila Kabeer, London School of Economics and Political Science
Sarah Gammage, ICRW
Sarah Hendriks, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Sophie Romana, Oxfam America
Tazeen Hasan, The World Bank
Wade Channell, USAID