FI4R Diaries Round IV Insights: Gender

FI4R Diaries Round IV Insights: Gender

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    This is the final(part four) of an ongoing series of insights from a financial diaries study undertaken with refugees in Uganda, focused on their ability to cope with risks. The respondents are drawn from customers served by three financial service providers: Equity Bank Uganda, VisionFund Uganda, and the Rural Finance Initiative.

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    FI4R Diaries Round III Insights: Digitization of Saving Groups

    FI4R Diaries Round III Insights: Digitization of Saving Groups

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      This is part three of an ongoing series of insights from a financial diaries study undertaken with refugees in Uganda, focused on their ability to cope with risks. The respondents are drawn from customers served by three financial service providers: Equity Bank Uganda, VisionFund Uganda, and the Rural Finance Initiative.

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      Covid – 19 Market Diagnostics and Options for Long-Term Recovery (Supply – Side Report)

      Covid – 19 Market Diagnostics and Options for Long-Term Recovery (Supply – Side Report)

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        The overall objective of the study was to develop practical solutions for preserving and building relevant elements of the financial system to support the survival, recovery, and growth of micro and small enterprises (MSEs) in Uganda. The core of the market analysis was to understand how the supply of finance to the MSE sector in Uganda had been affected by the COVID-19 crisis and what options were available to build on ready measures to mitigate the impact. This analysis identified both threats and opportunities for inclusive finance service providers (IFSPs) to meet the financing needs of MSEs.

        With the support of the Association of Microfinance Institutions of Uganda (AMFIU) and with some direct provision of information by IFSPs, the study team had detailed operational and financial information on 30 SACCOs and 11 MFIs. Due to confidentiality/nondisclosure policies, AMFIU provided anonymous data, stating only the region in which the entity operates and its institutional form.

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        Covid – 19 Market Diagnostics and Options for Long-Term Recovery (Demand- Side Report)

        Covid – 19 Market Diagnostics and Options for Long-Term Recovery (Demand- Side Report)

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          The COVID-19 pandemic has had significant impact on the Ugandan economy especially hitting the micro- and small enterprises (MSEs) in the informal sector. MSEs have been facing unprecedented income losses and uncertainties about their future because of business disruptions due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

          FSD Uganda commissioned a demand side market diagnostic study to assess the impact of COVID-19 on micro and small enterprises in Uganda. The overall objective was to develop practical solutions to preserve and build relevant elements of the financial system to support the survival, recovery and growth of micro and small enterprises in Uganda.

          From the research, only 3% MSEs reported to be completely recovered. 71% of the surveyed MSEs are yet to return to normal pre-COVID-19 operations timing. Several factors such as reduced hours of operation, disruptions in movement, and general low customer turnout have impacted the businesses severely.
          MSE owners hope to bounce back, however, some issues continue to plague the recovery of enterprises. These include, on an average 50% of reduction in household income due to low revenue from the business, job losses in the family, or depletion of other income sources hit by the pandemic.

          Women-led enterprises have suffered a greater average loss in income (50%) compared to men-owned MSEs (33%) from the pre-pandemic level of income. Also, while MSEs in urban areas have been able to attain 57% of the pre-pandemic income level, MSEs in rural areas have recovered up to 50% of the pre-pandemic income level.

          As per the estimates of the World Bank, the COVID-19 crisis has pushed around 2.6 million Ugandans into poverty. With longest closure of schools in Uganda, not only the education sector but many other businesses providing services in the ecosystem suffer a great deal in their bid to recovery to pre-pandemic level.

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          Rebuilding livelihoods in displacement Endline Report – March 2022

          Rebuilding livelihoods in displacement Endline Report – March 2022

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            Little has been known about the financial strategies employed by refugees over time to build their livelihoods and manage their finances. This report provides an in-depth analysis of a baseline survey undertaken in January 2020 and an endline in November 2021. The sample included refugees and their host communities in the settlements of Nakivale, Bidi Bidi, Palorinya and in the capital Kampala. An endline study was conducted to understand the evolved financial behavior of refugees, get feedback on financial products offered by the implementing partners and assess how new financial products were used by the refugees. The COVID-19 pandemic occurred during the study period and offered the opportunity to track how households coped with the situation.

            The Financial Inclusion for Refugees (FI4R) project was launched in 2019 by FSD Uganda and FSD Africa to support financial service providers (FSPs) to offer financial services to refugees and host communities. The project is supporting three financial service providers (FSPs) Equity Bank Uganda Limited (EBUL), Vision Fund Uganda (VFU) and Rural Finance Initiative (RUFI) to offer financial services to refugees and host communities.

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            Financial Inclusion for Refugees Case Study in Uganda

            Financial Inclusion for Refugees Case Study in Uganda

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              To credit Henry J. Leir Institute – The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy

              During a year that most of the world has spent locked indoors, we should remember that 1% of the world’s population has been forced to flee their homes due to conflict or persecution. This is roughly 79.5 million people. 26 million are refugees, and almost half are under the age of eighteen. Nearly three-quarters of displaced persons are hosted by neighboring countries, which often are in need of help themselves.

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              The Overall Impact of COVID on The Economy; An Agile Scenario Analysis

              The Overall Impact of COVID on The Economy; An Agile Scenario Analysis

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                This agile scenario analysis conducted in partnership with the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development and The Bank of Uganda explored the potential short and mid-term economic effects the pandemic would have on the key labour segments. Using additional insights from ongoing economic recovery efforts, the team also identified the potential role various sectors could play in strengthening the inclusiveness of the country’s recovery efforts.

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                The Impact of COVID on Agriculture in Uganda

                The Impact of COVID on Agriculture in Uganda

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                  Earlier studies conducted by FSD Uganda indicate that specific segments of the population – including people who directly or indirectly rely on farming – will be severely affected by the impact of COVID-19 pandemic. We conducted a rapid diagnostic to understand how agricultural finance in Uganda has been affected, to inform financial market-led recovery efforts. Findings from the study have been used to strengthen FSD Uganda’s new five-year agricultural portfolio.

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                  Assessing the Economic Resilience of Ugandan Households During COVID

                  Assessing the Economic Resilience of Ugandan Households During COVID

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                    This phone-based survey conducted between April 2020 to September 2020 over five waves provides a detailed analysis on the resilience of the sample surveyed. It demonstrated:

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                    Highlights: Impact of COVID-19 on the economic resilience and financial behaviour of Ugandans

                    Highlights: Impact of COVID-19 on the economic resilience and financial behaviour of Ugandans

                    FSD Uganda partnered with the Ministry of Finance, Planning & Economic Development and undertook a COVID-19 tracker survey which traced the impact of COVID-19 on livelihoods, financial behavior, and social responses of Ugandans. The phone-based survey was conducted in 5 waves between April and September 2020.

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                    FI4R Diaries Round I Insights: Linking Refugees to Formal Financial Services

                    FI4R Diaries Round I Insights: Linking Refugees to Formal Financial Services

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                      By The Financial Inclusion for Refugees (FI4R) team

                      Financial services are an important avenue for refugees to save money, access loans, and manage life shocks. However, many of them struggle to access finance because of legal barriers, lack of identity documentation, lack of credit history in their new locations, or collateral as security. Despite the challenges they face in accessing formal finance, refugees have found ways around financial exclusion. They save in savings groups, borrow informally, and receive remittances. As part of a financial diaries[1] study started in September 2020 by BFA, we spoke to 48 refugee households in Uganda to understand their financial lives over the course of a year. This blog shares the initial insights from the financial diaries research in Nakivale and West Nile refugee settlements.

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                      FI4R Diaries Round II Insights: How Refugees Perceive and Cope with Risk

                      FI4R Diaries Round II Insights: How Refugees Perceive and Cope with Risk

                      By The Financial Inclusion for Refugees (FI4R) team

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                        This is part two of an ongoing series of insights from a financial diaries study undertaken with refugees in Uganda, focused on their ability to cope with risks. The respondents are drawn from customers served by three financial service providers: Equity Bank Uganda, VisionFund Uganda, and the Rural Finance Initiative.

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                        Cooperatives as Engines of Transformation

                        Cooperatives as Engines of Transformation

                        By Anthea Paelo

                        Cooperatives continue to be an important engine for economic productivity and growth in countries like Uganda. They play a critical role in mobilizing savings, increasing access to credit, and facilitate various activities along production value chains, including procurement, storage and distribution. Where, for example, a farmer might find it challenging to access a tractor to plough his fields, or credit to purchase seeds, as a part of a cooperative he can access these inputs more readily and at much better terms. It is perhaps for this reason that as of January 2020, agricultural cooperatives numbered over 9,000, double the number just twelve years ago1.

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                        Determinants of Interest Rate Spreads in the Ugandan Banking System

                        Determinants of Interest Rate Spreads in the Ugandan Banking System

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                          FSD Uganda Executive Director made a presentation as a discussant at the Bank of Uganda (BoU) and International Growth Centre (IGC) Policy Seminar on lending rates. Download the presentation to find out about why we should care about bank interest rate spreads and how it affects every day Ugandans and Ugandan businesses.

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                          Market Research on Unsecured Lending for MSMEs

                          Market Research on Unsecured Lending for MSMEs

                          Micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) (including smallholder farmers) struggle to access formal credit due to a lack of collateral and poor record keeping preventing them from making productive investments.

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                          Informal Sector Pensions: Protecting millions of East Africans from old-age poverty

                          Informal Sector Pensions: Protecting millions of East Africans from old-age poverty

                          By Joseph Lutwama.

                          It is everyone’s desire to retire with a roof over their head and a decent income that will sustain them through their old age. However, very few ever realize that ideal, and it remains a dream that eludes millions in the region. Many East Africans never retire but die while toiling away as their productivity decreases. Economists and financial experts tell us that it is possible for one to save for retirement, and if those savings are invested well, they stand a better chance of reducing their old-age vulnerability and living their retirement dream. However, this is not the case in East Africa. Kenya, which has the highest pension sector coverage, sees only two out of every 10 working adults save for retirement. What could explain this paradox? In East Africa, the pension system is predominantly focused on the formal sector, leaving the informal sector largely unattended to. With levels of informal employment in East Africa as high as 91 percent, it follows that there would be such low levels of formal retirement savings.

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