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Mainstreaming Financial Inclusion through Demonstration Projects

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Within Japan’s International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Office for Gender Equality and Poverty Reduction (the Unit) has the mandate to advance financial inclusion through policy guidance and technical assistance to JICA’s operational departments responsible for development sectors such as rural development and health. In recent years, the Unit has come to realize that there is a gap between understanding the importance of financial inclusion in principle and knowing how to actually integrate it in one’s sector. With this in mind, the Unit has sought a new approach: rather than operate “from the outside,” why not embed financial inclusion within JICA through hybrid demonstration projects that show how financial inclusion contributes to development objectives and how integrated solutions actually happen?

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