June 20, 2013 - June 25, 2013
Kampala, Uganda

On June 24 - 25, 2013, the Yale Savings and Payments Research Fund, under the Financial Inclusion Program at Innovations for Poverty Action, hosted a conference around evidence on innovations in savings and payments research in Kampala, Uganda. 

The event showcased results from recent evaluations in Africa on child and youth savings, the impact of reducing cost barriers to saving among the poor, behavioral impediments to saving, using mobile phones for behavioral change, and the adoption and impact of mobile money. With over 180 attendees on Day One and close to 160 attendees on Day Two, the conference facilitated discussions between researchers, practitioners, and policymakers on the current body of evidence around financial inclusion for the poor, and which innovations in the design and delivery of financial products work best in positively impacting the welfare of poor households and enterprises in sub-Saharan Africa.


Conference Booklet






ATTENDEE LIST (download)

Opening Keynotes

Patrick Ocailap, Deputy Secretary to the Treasury, Ministry of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development, Government of Uganda
Financial Innovations in Uganda: Can Policy and Evidence Meet?
Charles Abuka, Director, Financial Stability, Bank of Uganda

Session 1: Child and Youth Savings

Child and Youth Savings: Looking at Impact from Two Evaluations - Uganda
Dean Karlan, Yale University and Innnovations for Poverty Action
Evaluating the Efficacy of School-Based Financial Education Programs - Ghana
Jim Berry, Cornell University
Irene Mutumba, Executive Director, Private Education Development Network
Rossana Ramirez, Director, Youth Microfinance, Freedom From Hunger

Session II: Cost Barriers in Accessing and Using Savings




Impact of Access to Savings - Kenya
Aaron Dibner-Dunlap, Innovations for Poverty Action
presentation - video - academic paper - project summary

The Cost of Convenience? Transaction Costs, Bargaining Power, and Savings Account Use - Kenya
Simone Schaner, Dartmouth College
presentation - academic paper - project summary

Fred Matovu, Lecturer, School of Economics, Makerere University
Nkonwa Joseph Zabasajja, Program Manager, MAMIDECT SACCO




Session III: Behavioral Barriers to Saving

Commitments to Save: A Field Experiment in Rural Malawi - Malawi
Jessica Goldberg, University of Maryland
presentation - video - academic paper - project summary

Why Don't the Poor Save More? Evidence from Health Savings Experiments - Kenya
Aishwarya Lakshmi Ratan, Yale University and Innovations for Poverty Action
presentation - video - academic paper - project summary

Impact of Village Saving and Loan Groups: Findings from the Saving for Change Program - Mali
Bram Thuysbaert, Yale University and Innovations for Poverty Action
presentation - project summary

Amos Njuguna, Assistant Professor of Finance, United States International University
Julie Zollmann, Senior Associate, Bankable Frontier Associates
Sam Agutu, CEO, Changamka Microhealth

Panel: Future Directions for Financial Inclusion in Africa

William Jack, Georgetown University
Fabian Kasi, Managing Director, Centenary Bank
Sean Krepp, Country Director, Grameen Foundation Applab Uganda
Rossana Ramirez, Director, Youth Microfinance, Freedom From Hunger

Moderator: Aishwarya Lakshmi Ratan, Yale University and Innovations for Poverty Action

Mobile Banking in East Africa: Setting the Stage

Mobile Banking in Uganda and Tanzania: Use, Barriers, and Opportunities
Anastasia Mirzoyants, Senior Associate Director, InterMedia Africa
presentation - video


Session IV: Mobile Financial Services and Behavior

Getting to the Top of Mind: How Reminders Increase Saving - Bolivia, Philippines, and Peru
Dean Karlan, Yale University and Innovations for Poverty Action

presentation - video - academic paper - project summary

Risk Sharing and Transaction Costs: The Impact of M-Pesa - Kenya
William Jack, Georgetown University
presentation - video - academic paper

Henry Maloba, Project Director, Applab Money Accelerator, Grameen Foundation Applab Uganda
Mark Pickens, Director, Emerging Market Solutions, Visa, Rwanda


Session V: The Impact of Mobile Money

Zap it to Me: Mobile Money and Cash Transfers - Niger
Jenny Aker, Tufts University
Introducing Mobile Money in Rural Mozambique: Evidence from a Field Experiment - Mozambique
Catia Batista, Nova University of Lisbon
Ali Ndiwalana, Founding Partner, Knowledge Consulting Ltd.
Judith Bossman, Corporate Services Manager, Tigo Ghana

Closing Remarks

Product Innovations
Dean Karlan, Yale University and Innovations for Poverty Action
Financial Inclusion and Poverty Alleviation in Uganda
Timothy Lubanga, Assistant Commissioner of Monitoring and Evaluation, Office of the Prime Minister, Government of Uganda

Research Methods Workshop on Experimental Design for Savings and Payments Research

In conjunction with the conference presenting Evidence on Innovations in Savings and Payments, the Yale Savings and Payments Research Fund hosted a three day research methods workshop for 16 competitively selected researchers from across African institutions on June 20 – 23, 2013. During the workshop, the researchers learned about randomized evaluations and thought critically about how to apply this research method to answer policy-relevant questions in their own country contexts. Participants were encouraged to develop their own research ideas, applying the methods and concepts learned over the three days. At the end of the workshop, the researchers presented ideas that they had developed in groups, and received feedback from experienced researchers with an expertise in this field. For more information on the workshop, please click here.


This event was organized in collaboration with:

Economic Policy Research Centre