Featured Insights

Keeping the Lights On: How PAYGo Solar Can Offer Customer Relief During COVID-19

Co-authored by: Koen Peters, Daniel Waldron and Jacob Winiecki Originally posted on the NextBillion Website, May 1, 2020  Off-grid solar delivers essential energy services for millions of people, helping make households, businesses, farmers and institutions more resilient to the COVID-19 … Continue reading →

FinnSalud y el COVID-19: Cambio a modo emergencia

FinnSalud y el COVID-19: Cambio a modo emergencia     FinnSalud es uno de los proyectos más importantes de BFA Global, con financiamiento de MetLife Foundation y patrocinio fiscal de Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. El proyecto se lanzó el pasado noviembre … Continue reading →

Short-term fixes are not enough if SMEs are to survive COVID-19

Short-term fixes are not enough if SMEs are to survive COVID-19   By Coco Dong and Michelle Hassan As the economic effects of the lockdowns worldwide begin to solidify, businesses large and small are collapsing. While large businesses have debt … Continue reading →

The buck stops with women

Originally posted on the FSD Kenya Website, April 30, 2020  How Kenyan mothers are keeping food on the table through the coronavirus crisis Samson in rural Eldoret, told us last week that he took an M-Shwari loan of Ksh 1,900, bought … Continue reading →

The impact of COVID-19 on financial lives in eight countries, over two weeks

Protracted battles continue to rage across the world against the invisible enemy of COVID-19, as countries enforce restrictions on movement and business to “flatten the curve”, with various degrees of success (Figure 1). At the same time, concern is growing … Continue reading →

If the coronavirus doesn’t kill you…

Co-authored by: Julie Zollmann, Amolo Ng’weno, Anne Gachoka and Catherine Wanjala Originally posted on the FSD Kenya Website, April 21, 2020    Kenyans’ reflections on security in the time of Covid-19 Last September, Abigail went to a funeral at night and left her grandchildren … Continue reading →

“Our love has grown more”

Co-authored by: Julie Zollmann, Amolo Ng’weno, Anne Gachoka and Catherine Wanjala Originally posted on the FSD Kenya Website, April 21, 2020    Coronavirus disruptions are giving some Kenyan women a reprieve from domestic burdens and giving couples a chance to change their marriages Around … Continue reading →

Five steps to help prevent the collapse of the Nigerian tech sector amidst Covid-19

  According to the Nigerian Center for Disease Control, COVID-19 has led to 442 confirmed cases and 14 fatalities as of April 17, 2020. President Buhari ordered a cessation of movement in Lagos and Abuja, and on April 13, the … Continue reading →

Spazas and informal trade are excluded from COVID-19 relief efforts in South Africa

As the Coronavirus pandemic unfolds around us, South Africa has been lauded for taking an aggressive approach to control. As of this past weekend, South Africa had recorded ~2,300 confirmed cases and 25 deaths. The country implemented a complete 21-day … Continue reading →

Corona Case Studies: Kibarua crunch

By: Julie Zollmann and Nekesa Wekesa Originally posted on the FSD Kenya Website, April 14, 2020 William, 39, hunts for earning options in Mombasa William lives in a small house in an informal settlement in Mombasa.  When we saw him … Continue reading →

Corona Case Studies: Should I stay, or should I go?

By: Julie Zollmann and Anne Gachoka Originally posted on the FSD Kenya Website, April 14, 2020 Considering urban to rural migration as urban incomes dwindle Collins, 75, once an ambitious, savvy businessman in Kariobangi, is now coasting through the end … Continue reading →

Shamba bora (fertile farmland), Shamba la mawe (rocky farmland)

Co-authored by: Julie Zollmann, Amolo Ng’weno, Anne Gachoka and Catherine Wanjala Originally posted on the FSD Kenya Website, April 14, 2020  Urban and rural areas are coping to the coronavirus disruptions in different ways About how long will the food you have for now … Continue reading →

Dilemmas of distancing

Co-authored by: Julie Zollmann, Amolo Ng’weno, Anne Gachoka and Catherine Wanjala Originally posted on the FSD Kenya Website, April 9, 2020 Barriers to coronavirus prevention behaviour change in Kenya Like most governments around the world, the Kenyan government has been spreading messages about coronavirus … Continue reading →

Corona Case Studies: Mountains Beyond Mountains

By Julie Zollmann and Catherine Wanjala Originally posted on the FSD Kenya Website, April 9, 2020 Kenyan families are trying to cope with perpetual strain Ellen (35) thought that 2008 was the worst year of her life.  She woke up … Continue reading →

The role of inclusive fintech in supporting the world’s most vulnerable during COVID-19

Inclusive fintech in the time of COVID-19   After ravaging China and developed economies – Spain, Italy, France, the United States – the novel coronavirus has begun spreading in emerging markets. The number of cases in Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, … Continue reading →

The costs of coping with Coronavirus

Co-authored by: Julie Zollmann, Amolo Ng’weno, Anne Gachoka and Catherine Wanjala Originally posted on the FSD Kenya Website, April 8, 2020 Not only are Kenyans losing their incomes right now, they are also facing increased costs As social distancing pumps the brakes on Kenya’s … Continue reading →

Corona Case Studies: “If I had food, I would close the shop”

By: Julie Zollmann and Catherine Wanjala Originally posted on the FSD Kenya Website, April 7, 2020 Millicent, 44, and Amos, 45, live in Eldoret with their 17-year-old daughter.  Amos has been working as a matatu driver and bus conductor for … Continue reading →

The ultimate stress test for financial resilience

Co-authored by: Julie Zollmann, Amolo Ng’weno, Anne Gachoka and Catherine Wanjala Originally posted on the FSD Kenya Website, April 7, 2020 How coronavirus adaptations are straining Kenyans’ most robust financial coping mechanisms “I wasn’t prepared for this virus,” Rachel told … Continue reading →

When hustling fails: The impact of coronavirus mitigation efforts on ordinary people’s livelihoods

Co-authored by: Julie Zollmann, Amolo Ng’weno, Anne Gachoka and Catherine Wanjala Originally posted on the FSD Kenya Website, April 6, 2020 Unlike many Kenyans, Esther in rural Makueni is not yet too worried about the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on … Continue reading →

Corona Case Studies: Loss of Income, Loss of Pride

By: Julie Zollmann and Catherine Wanjala Originally posted on the FSD Kenya Website, April 6, 2020 Stephen and Jessica live in their rural home in Vihiga. Though they have a small plot for farming, it’s not enough to live on, … Continue reading →

Chinese giants rose to the COVID-19 challenge. Will their global peers?

  Today, as China looks toward recovering from the pandemic, it is gratifying to note that many restaurants survived the pandemic. This remarkable perseverance is due in large part to quick thinking and collaboration from the superplatforms. In February, the … Continue reading →

India is missing the tech-opportunity for responding to COVID-19

Co-authored with Veethi Vyas     The Indian government has joined many others in adopting extreme preventive measures to protect the citizens and combat the outbreak of COVID-19. As of March 24th, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day complete … Continue reading →

Open-sourcing survey instrument for “COVID-19 and Your Finances” in English and Spanish

  In order to conduct a rapid assessment of the impact of COVID-19, BFA Global deployed a “dipstick” online survey on Mar 25 and Mar 26 across seven countries. The blog post and dashboard that shared insights from the survey … Continue reading →

FinnSalud and COVID-19: Shifting to emergency mode

FinnSalud and COVID-19: Shifting to emergency mode     FinnSalud is one of BFA Global’s largest projects, supported by MetLife Foundation and fiscally sponsored by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. The project was launched last November to operationalize the concept of financial … Continue reading →

8 Steps for fintech startups: Planning a strategic response to COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds around us, reported cases across most emerging markets are still relatively low. As of March 30, Nigeria had 111 confirmed cases, Kenya reported 50, India and Mexico reported around 1000, and South Africa around 1300. … Continue reading →

Taking the COVID-19 temperature in emerging markets: A dipstick survey to draw early insights about impact on Livelihoods

Co-authored with Ben Mazzotta   It has now been 19 days since the WHO declared the COVID-19 crisis a pandemic on March 11. We publish this blog as several of the largest economies in the world are in the acceleration … Continue reading →

¿Cómo está afectando el COVID-19 a la salud financiera de los mexicanos?

¿Cómo está afectando el COVID-19 a la salud financiera de los mexicanos?     Ahora que México cuenta con 993 casos confirmados de coronavirus y ha entrado en una Fase 2  con contagio local, el Gobierno de la nación está … Continue reading →

Your finances and the Coronavirus pandemic: Dipstick surveys

  Our social science researchers and data scientists set out to capture real-time snapshots of how Covid-19 is affecting health and wellbeing at the level of households, small businesses, workers, and consumers. On March 25, we surveyed over 1,400 respondents … Continue reading →

How the PAYGo solar sector can prepare for the coronavirus and keep the lights on

Co-authored with Dan Waldron   Many parts of the world are currently locking down in an intense effort to contain COVID-19 before it takes too many lives. These have created dramatic – albeit necessary – economic effects. With these immediate … Continue reading →

First insights from China: The effects of COVID-19 on financial health of MSEs

Webinar: First insights from China: The effects of COVID-19 on financial health of MSEs When: Tuesday, March 31st at 8:30am-9:30am EST/8:30pm-9:30pm Beijing time   As members of the global financial inclusion community, all of us, whether we are researchers, implementers, … Continue reading →

What Colombia-based Rappi can learn from Chinese logistics providers in response to COVID-19

  As of last weekend, Colombia had 210 confirmed cases of coronavirus, 88 of which were in Bogotá and the remaining spread throughout the country. Bogotá entered a “lockdown simulation” last Friday. Restaurants and bars shut soon after, and a … Continue reading →

Digital financial transfers can supercharge the response to COVID-19

As soon as the scale of the worldwide pandemic became apparent, the Kenya government swung into action with measures that are increasingly familiar around the world: encouraging social distancing, suspending travel, closing schools, etc. But, the Kenya government had an … Continue reading →

Gig workers have powered Wuhan’s response to COVID-19

Looking down at Wuhan from the sky, you might think the city was empty. Instead of a bustling city of 11 million people, Wuhan looks like a ghost town. The center of the COVID-19 outbreak, Wuhan has been under quarantine … Continue reading →