REGIONAL DIALOGUE ON ‘Partnerships Against Extreme Poverty: Putting the Financial Needs of the Extreme Poor First’

Location : Kurigram
Date           : 27/11/2019

The Financial Inclusion Network-Bangladesh (FIN-B), an initiative of the Institute for Inclusive Finance and Development (InM), provides a platform to develop, share and disseminate knowledge and expertise in financial inclusion through stimulating exchanges, developing collaboration and supporting its members to develop as centres of excellence in their preferred areas of inclusive finance.

The principal aim is to leverage expertise in advancing financial inclusion as a key instrument for poverty reduction and inclusive growth and development in Bangladesh. The Network is a unique platform to bring together all financial sector stakeholders including government organisations/financial regulators/banks/MFIs/NGOs/financial institutions/local government and grassroots organisations for sharing ideas and best practices from home and abroad. FIN-B seeks to provide various services in an efficient, socially responsive, transparent and sustainable manner that encourages experience, resource sharing and promotion of best practices.

Since poverty, extreme poverty in particular, is not limited to a lack of economic resources but also to the absence of access to the wider means to live a life in human dignity, being poor is multidimensional, encompassing both deprivations and lack of capabilities.  As such, no single correct definition of poverty exists, and we need to include particular social, cultural and historical contexts for identifying the poor. Policy implications thus differ according to how poverty is defined and effective poverty reduction measures need to integrate the views of the people living in poverty and extreme poverty as well.

‘Putting the financial needs of the extreme poor first’ means that we must develop financial products and services that meet the needs of the poorest and the most vulnerable populations. The organisations (e.g. NGO-MFIs) entering into partnerships with InM will commit themselves to work with all stakeholders to help design and test these products. As we develop products that meet the needs and aspirations of those in extreme poverty at prices they can afford, this will improve the efficiency of the overall financial system. This will also put in place the mechanisms for achieving ‘Finance for All’.

This regional dialogue with relevant government organisations, local government institutions (LGIs), NGO-MFIs, development practitioners and other agencies including government officials will bring together the ground realities for addressing extreme poverty and restore human dignity in specific contexts. This is likely to help innovate new pathways of addressing extreme poverty and integrate the hard core poor communities and financial inclusion issues. To better reach the poorest and most vulnerable populations, we shall ensure that we include women, children, the elderly, the disabled, marginal communities, and the members of cultural and religious minorities.  

Objectives

  • To facilitate cross-learning across all relevant stakeholders (e.g. government institutions, LGIs, NGO-MFIs, Concern Worldwide Bangladesh, InM, FIN-B members, development practitioners and the extreme poor communities) to help design, test, and scale up products and services that both reach those living in extreme poverty and facilitate their journey out of extreme poverty.
  • To share and exchange views on how FIN-B, InM and similar organisations can effectively support sustainable financial inclusion of these vulnerable groups and facilitate their graduation out of poverty.