Making Access Possible

Making Access Possible

The Challenge

Although financial transactions are an essential part of the lives of poor as well as rich, an estimated 2.5 billion working-age adults still lack access to formal financial services. Research has shown that in countries with developed financial intermediaries, the income of the poorest quintile grows faster than average GDP per capita, income inequality falls more rapidly, infant mortality reductions are larger, and child enrollment in primary schools increase. In this context, governments around the world and global bodies such as the G20 are now advocating for more attention to financial inclusion as a means to promote more inclusive and sustainable growth.  The G20, under the Chair, Mexico, is specifically calling for national strategies of financial inclusion. As a diagnostic and programmatic framework that results in national roadmaps or strategies, MAP can answer that call.

How We Are Helping?

Making Access Possible (MAP) is a diagnostic and programmatic framework to support expanding access to financial services for individuals and micro and small businesses. The MAP framework creates the space to convene a wide range of stakeholders around evidence-based country diagnostic and dialogue and leads to the development of national financial inclusion roadmaps. The roadmap identifies key drivers of financial inclusion and includes specific actions that will contribute to greater financial inclusion. The framework has been developed by UNCDF in partnership with FinMark Trust and Cenfri and is intended to become a public good that can advance the global financial inclusion agenda.

MAP is designed to bring together a broad range of stakeholders from the public and private sectors, and is led by national authorities.  As financial inclusion moves beyond traditional providers of financial services, this means bringing to the table other providers and players in new value chains (such as insurance companies, mobile network operators, technology companies, agricultural suppliers) as well as the regulators and policymakers implicated (such as ministries of telecommunications, agriculture, education, social welfare) and other civil society actors (such as consumer associations, financial education providers). 

MAP can be a powerful catalyst for donor harmonization and coordination in supporting financial inclusion at the country level, consistent with the Paris Declaration, and for building on the lessons and recommendations from CGAP’s CLEAR exercises.  It also offers a promising platform of cooperation for UN agencies to work together to promote financial inclusion (e.g., moving transfers linked to social or relief programs from cash disbursements to electronic platforms).   MAP can complement other instruments, particularly the FSAP, by addressing financial exclusion at the bottom of the pyramid.

To learn more about the Making Access Possible diagnostic tool, please download the MAP brochure

In Detail

Additional Information


Making Access Possible

GoalTo support expanding access to financial services for individuals and micro and small businesses
  • UNCDF intends to develop financial inclusion roadmaps in 22 developing countries over the next six years, while contributing to learning and dialogue at the international level. Criteria for country selection include state of exclusion, initial country buy-in and identification of champions (i.e. central bank), donor commitment to support MAP agenda, and links to UNCDF programming. UNCDF will seek to undertake financial roadmaps in LDCs as well as some carefully targeted non-LDCs, in a mix of countries that provide geographic diversity, development stages, and levels of complexity.
  • Initially, six to seven countries will serve as pilots, and are likely to include Thailand (in partnership with the Asian Development Bank), Myanmar and Nepal in Asia, and Ivory Coast, Mozambique, Ethiopia and Congo DRC in Africa. Beyond 2013, potential MAP countries include Malawi, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Mali and Ghana in Africa; The Philippines, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam in Asia; and possibly Tunisia in MENA.
  • Lessons from these initial experiences will be drawn up at a workshop in 2013, and the MAP diagnostic and framework will be revised accordingly. A technical assistance virtual hub will be established to support the implementation of the MAP agenda. Based in UNCDF’s Africa regional office, it will be headed by UNCDF and will include FinMark Trust and Cenfri. Depending on demand, additional UNCDF MAP focal points may be established over time.
Active InDemocratic-Republic-of-Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Myanmar, Thailand.
PartnersFinMark Trust and Cenfri
Total project cost and UNCDF contribution885,310 USD
488,838 USD

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