Rethinking financial inclusion: smart design for policy and practice

10 May 2015 – 15 May 2015
Cambridge, United States
Harvard Kennedy School

This one week executive education programme at Harvard Kennedy School will explore frontier issues in finance for the poor through a "smart design" framework for financial inclusion products and policies. It will combine a data-centered approach to understand the market for finance and client needs with theoretical insights from economics and the behavioural sciences on how to design and test financial products. The curriculum incorporates lectures by Harvard faculty as well as collaborative group work sessions in which participants apply the smart design framework to real-world problems faced by their organizations. The programme will enable the participants to:

  • Deepen their understanding of household and small firm needs and behavioural issues related to financial decision-making;
  • Apply the latest evidence to effectively design financial services to meet client needs in low-income settings;
  • Analyse and evaluate the effectiveness of financial products;
  • Understand the opportunities and challenges posed by "big data" for both product design and regulation;
  • Balance the objectives and constraints of different actors, including clients, financial institutions, regulators, and donors;
  • Use design principles and economic insights to devise regulatory policies that enhance the benefits of financial access for the poor.
  • For more information please visit the Harvard Kennedy school website.


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