Why livelihoods data matters for financial inclusion

Topic :

Money is first and foremost a social phenomenon.

Money belongs in markets but is also a social and cultural concept. To talk about finances is to go to the heart of households and individuals and the way they earn and spend their money.

While money has traditionally been considered as operating in the abstract, in the financial market, it is first and foremost a social phenomenon. Its role and relationship are qualitatively different in marriage, family businesses, and banking. In combination with the financial the concept of ‘inclusion’, by its nature, makes it a valuable proposition for bridging the vast economic chasms in contemporary society, both within and between countries. Money and the generation of it is essential to people’s ability to live, progress, and prosper. Hence, understanding people’s lived realities in terms of generating an income is essential to understand and address poverty.

The following questions have become important indicators of how a community functions, survives, and hopefully thrives: Are they employed or working for themselves, do they receive a salary or wage or simply get paid when they work, do they generate income in the formal or informal sector, how much do they earn, and how frequently do they receive an income.

Given the means, people consistently strive to improve their circumstances – to earn more money, more consistently. To do this, they invest in certain things – their health, education, new opportunities, and in other basic services like access to energy. Understanding how personal financing comes together within a community is critical to determine pathways out of poverty and hopefully illuminate the potential of increasing domestic financing across all segments of society.

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