Rethinking Financial Inclusion: Innovation for Policy and Practice

One of Harvard Kennedy School's newest Executive Education programs, Rethinking Financial Inclusion: Innovation for Policy and Practice explores frontier issues in finance for the poor and addresses challenges faced by both low and high-income countries. Led by Harvard professors with years of experience in evaluating financial access initiatives, the executive program combines an evidence-based approach to understanding the market for finance and client needs with theoretical insights on how to design financial products to meet those needs Through a combination of lectures, case studies, and group exercises, the five-day program will immerse leaders in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors in a collaborative and inspiring environment. The curriculum covers a range of financial services, highlighting the needs that they address, discussing the design challenges they pose, and incorporating evidence and insights from their various contexts. enabling participants to:

  • Deepen their understanding of household and small firm needs and behavioral issues related to financial decision-making

  • Apply the latest evidence to effectively design financial services to meet client needs in low-income settings

  • Analyze 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

Rethinking Financial Inclusion features an evidence-based Smart Design framework to inform the design of financial products in low-income settings based on a keen understanding of both the client and the broader environment. Lectures and case studies will illuminate theory and evidence on key topics in financial access, while group sessions will enable participants to engage directly with the issues. Over the course of the week, groups will work together—in close collaboration with faculty—to develop solutions to real-world problems by applying the Smart Design framework and principles. Groups will be formed of diverse participants representing key market players—practitioners, donors, investors, and regulators. Lectures will be led by renowned Harvard faculty and established industry leaders who will provide insights from regulatory reforms and cutting edge research.

Program Session(s): October 14, 2018 - October 19, 2018

Application Deadline: August 14, 2018

Program Fee$8,800

Program fee includes: tuition, housing, curricular materials, and most meals.

Faculty Chairs: Asim Ijaz Khwaja and Rohini Pande

Program Director: Anna Shanley

This program qualifies for an Executive Certificate.

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