Pathways to a Better Life: The Intricate Role of Digital Finance in Reaching the Sustainable Development Goals

Under the Impact Pathways project, UNCDF set out to explore the connection between financial service use cases and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in the hope of illuminating the multiple ways that formal financial service users might be experiencing impact. This focus note discusses the logic, conceptual framework, caveats and detailed methodology behind this new approach to mapping the thorny trail between the use of financial services and the SDGs.

Ultimately, the goal is that this conceptual framework and methodology offers a way to envision the journey from usage of financial instruments to achievement of the SDGs and can show the pathways by which financial inclusion efforts are improving the lives of low-income people. For many stakeholders, this framework and measurement methodology might be a way to both establish potential pathways and measure progress along them, providing increasing evidence as to how finance can ultimately help improve peoples’ lives.

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