Financial services for resilience: how to assess the impacts?

Research reports and studies
June 2017
Penda Diallo, Nicola Giordano and Catherine Simonet
Testing the serious game in Niger. Credit: Virgine Le Masson

This report explores the implementation of innovative methodologies to measure the effect of financial services on people's resilience in Niger.

Key messages:

  • Niger is a least developed country prone to recurrent drought, which affects a large share of the population and results in severe food security issues.
  • Support mechanisms, including access to adequate financial resources, are important for individuals and communities to better prepare for and cope with climate extremes.
  • Village savings and loan associations (VSLAs) are implemented as a means to support rural communities, address livelihood shocks and strengthen social capital.
  • Two innovative research methods – financial diaries and serious games – have been carried out in Niger, to help support a better understanding of VSLAs’ contribution to climate resilience.
  • These innovative tools reveal behavioural changes that help complete our understanding of how VSLAs can contribute to resilience-building in dimensions that are often unexplored, including (i) gender empowerment; (ii) social trust; and (iii) natural resource management.
  • This paper paves the way for further analysis of the role of VSLAs in building communities’ resilience by documenting the linkages between financial inclusion and resilience to climate extremes.
  • These methods, based on community participation, provide a complementary alternative to traditional monitoring and evaluation methods. They contribute to the ‘monitoring–evaluation–learning’ trinity by mixing evaluation and learning.