4.3.3 Deliver complementary financial education in conjunction with the savings account and partner for core capacity
Both WWB and the Council found that financial education is a key component to successful uptake and effective use of savings products. Each found different integrated channels to reinforce messages over time that promote long-term behavior change. Financial education is often delivered through partners, especially when a financial institution cannot or does not have the capacity to deliver financial education itself. In Ethiopia, PEACE MFI S.CO branch staff delivers financial education to in-school and out-of-school semi-rural youth. In selected rural areas, PEACE MFI S.CO has partnered with the Council in Ethiopia, whose mentors deliver financial education to married girls, as part of weekly group meetings that cover a livelihoods curriculum. In the Dominican Republic, ADOPEM NGO (Banco Adopem’s affiliated NGO), which manages and delivers the stand-alone financial education component of the bank’s youth savings program, began delivering a multi-session classroom-based financial education curriculum in schools. However, this format was more time-consuming and expensive to implement than anticipated, so the NGO transitioned to shorter seminar-style sessions and interactive jeopardy-like games. Bank staff also delivers touch-point financial education to clients, and explains the product to parents or guardians, which is crucial to generate family support for the young person’s entry into the financial system.
The Council provides an even more complex savings model (see box below), which requires a range of partners to fully implement. When it began working in Kenya and Uganda, it gave most of the responsibility to its partner banks to both develop the financial product and partner with community based organizations (CBOs) to provide the meeting space and additional support services, training, and mentoring to the girls. It soon learned however that the banks did not have the capacity to properly manage local CBOs and to ensure high quality training and service delivery. As a result, the Council is now directly managing the relationship between the bank and the CBOs in its Zambia replication so that each partner focuses on its core capacities.