The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged traditional approaches to designing and implementing monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems. Yet, this could be a transformative moment for the field of M&E as these challenges can be repositioned as opportunities to improve how we evaluate during and post COVID-19.

COVID-19 has challenged traditional approaches to M&E

Many M&E systems were rendered redundant by the pandemic. But, it did not take long for leading voices to outline ‘best practices’ to cope. …


Niamh Barry, Natasha Beale, Carson Christiano, and Alexandra Wall

FiDA is publishing a series on insights derived from an analysis of the latest Digital Finance Evidence Gap Map (EGM) update. This is the third blog, others will include impact insights on payments and transfers, the design and delivery of various products, and where (people and location) we have been looking for impacts.

Previous blogs:

In this post we focus on if and how ‘digital’ has improved behavioral and welfare outcomes…


There were 690 million registered mobile money accounts as of December 2017. The digitization of a pre-existing behavior — sending and receiving money — is clearly valued in many markets. The digital finance community now has more than 10 years of person to person (P2P) experience on which to reflect: What have we learned about the impact of P2P on clients?

The insights so far

P2P studies account for 30% (18) of all digital finance products and eight countries in the EGM. The majority of studies focus on Kenya specifically and East Africa in general. Most studies examine P2P use generally rather than focusing…


This post has been co-authored by Niamh Barry from the FiDA Partnership, and Natasha Beale, Carson Christiano, and Alexandra Wall from the Digital Credit Observatory (DCO) at the Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA).

Credit is a powerful tool in providing liquidity: credit can smooth consumption during financial shocks, provide capital to grow businesses, ensure children’s educations, and ultimately enable people to live happier, healthier, and more prosperous lives.

Traditionally, credit providers require agent and client interaction, risk assessment uses previous financial history, loans are disbursed into a bank account, and payments are made through a bank branch. This excludes…


FiDA is publishing a mini series on various insights derived from an analysis of the latest Evidence Gap Map (EGM) update. This is the second blog, others will include impact insights on digital credit and payments and transfers, the design and delivery of various products, and where (people and location) we have been looking for impacts.
Previous blog:
Launching the Digital Finance Evidence Gap Map 2.0

Saving is a sound financial practice, particularly for people with lower or fluctuating incomes. Savings help people cope with a poor harvest or a sick family member. Sufficient savings can secure the continuation of…


Saving is a sound financial practice, particularly for people with lower or fluctuating incomes. Savings help people cope with a poor harvest or a sick family member. Sufficient savings can secure the continuation of children’s educations or allow for the expansion or diversification of a business. Those who save may be rewarded with interest or, as they build a financial footprint, access to credit which — when invested in businesses or income-generating assets, can increase earnings.

As simple as it is in theory, many struggle to save effectively. There are several challenges to overcome such as limited discretionary income, fee…


FiDA launched the first Digital Finance Evidence Gap Map (EGM) in November 2017 with 40 studies, covering 41 different products. A year on, the EGM includes 55 studies, covering 60 products. Each year reveals more insights on the impact of various digital finance products.

Figure 1: FiDA Digital Finance Evidence Gap Map, studies per year

In the coming weeks, FiDA is publishing a Digital Finance Evidence mini series on various insights derived from an analysis of the latest EGM update. …


Spoiler: Snapshot 15: “Approaches to determining the impact of digital finance programs,” is not the key to a cheap, fast impact method that works with any program. Blame complexity — and the digital finance community’s many innovations. If we replicated similar products with similar clients, in similar markets, then, maybe. But reality is more complicated than that.

Instead of one method to rule them all, Snapshot 15 explores different approaches to client impact measurement in order to expand the digital finance impact community and encourage the inclusion of various methods to advance the state of knowledge about the impacts of…


Grace is 55 years old; she has a primary school education and a small business selling produce in her village. Her husband owns a mobile phone, but she does not. Benson is 30 years old; he has a secondary school education, and works in the city as a taxi driver. He owns a mobile phone. Grace and Benson learn about a digital credit product that provides small loans through a mobile phone.

Do you think Grace and Benson will have the same experience accessing and using digital credit?

Why we wrote this Snapshot

When digital financial services are designed for broad populations, it’s easy to…


The Partnership for Finance in a Digital Africa (FiDA Partnership) are thrilled to introduce the Digital Finance Evidence Gap Map (EGM) and the Digital Finance EGM Analysis: Paving the Impact Pathway report, which we believe fill a critical gap in knowledge about the impact of digital financial products on resource-constrained clients.

Why we developed these resources

The digital finance community relies heavily on the impact evidence of traditional financial services and products, and indeed many studies have explored the effect of traditional finance products on clients. From these studies, the digital finance community understand that the benefits depend on the product, its design, the delivery…

Niamh Barry

Monitoring & Impact measurement with FiDA (https://medium.com/fida-partnership) & Caribou Digital (https://medium.com/caribou-digital)

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