Department of Social & Policy Sciences

Research to continue on financial markets and capabilities in Kenya

Thu Jan 09 11:33:00 GMT 2014

Susan Johnson Dr Susan Johnson has won further funding from the Financial Sector Deepening Trust in Kenya (FSDK) for two research projects.  

FSDK has an holistic market development approach to working with the financial sector to give access to products and services for low-income people.  Given this, it is seeking to develop an approach to assessing the impact of its work.  The Financial Markets Case Studies project takes forward the methodology of an earlier study on the Kenyan Financial Landscape to develop an holistic and contextually in-depth approach to assessing the impact of changing service delivery and use for poor and low income people.  The Kenyan financial sector has been developing at a considerable pace in recent years with an incredible rise in the use of mobile money transfer products in the Kenyan context, to the extent that some 62% of adults now have such an account – the highest anywhere in the world. 

At the same time, the development of the financial sector both in Kenya and more widely is raising concerns about how poor people use financial services and what it means to be able to manage money and financial services effectively towards improving one’s wellbeing.  Funding has also been won to fund a doctoral research project examining the concept of Financial Capability and what it means for poor people from their own perspective on managing money and financial services.  This will be the doctoral research project of Silvia Storchi, who previously undertook her MSc in Wellbeing and Human Development at Bath, and who has been working in the microfinance sector in South Africa for the past four years, first, with the Small Enterprise Foundation and then with the NGO SaveAct which has been implementing savings group programmes. 

These projects continue a long partnership between Dr Johnson and FSDK that has included projects on financial services and social networks and impact assessment of financial market development.