Financial education strategies: A brand new training programme
Access to finance is a fundamental condition for poverty reduction, job creation and income generation. However, access to finance alone does not automatically yield social and economic benefits. To enjoy such benefits, entrepreneurs, workers, youth, migrants and farmers must be able to make informed financial choices.
Examples of such decisions include when to take on debt, how to save, what to look out for in the small print of an insurance contract, and so on. The ILO’s financial education programme is holistic, engaging with policymakers, meso-level training providers and multipliers, as well as directly with beneficiaries.
This year saw the launch of a new training programme bringing together all the accumulated experience, lessons learned and best practices from a variety of actors and institutions globally. “Financial education: Programme design and implementation for policymakers and practitioners” draws on more than 15 years’ experience in financial education at the ILO, ITCILO, as well as other leading agencies and practitioners.
In the one-week training, we focused on designing and implementing a financial education strategy. With 26 participants from 15 countries and various institutions (including central banks, ministries, international NGOs and donors), we walked through the process of designing a financial education programme and reviewed the frameworks currently in place. Ultimately, the course aimed to explore institutional and governing arrangements, understand client segments and analyse the role of partnerships in the design and delivery of a programme. The presentations were complemented by group work, discussions exploring case studies based on national programmes and projects, as well as lively experience sharing by the participants.
Throughout the training, participants designed financial education outreach strategies for their respective target groups and prepared action plans to carry out on their return.
Besides learning about financial education strategies, the training provided an opportunity for all participants to enjoy the beautiful city of Torino and Italian cuisine.
The response to the programme has been overwhelmingly positive, as seen in the following testimonials:
This course is really interesting, I learned so much. As soon as I get back to Nigeria I will make sure I implement some of the learning points from here. I will certainly recommend it to my colleagues and other people who are interested in financial literacy.
I have been able to benefit from all the knowledge sharing and from speaking with both the trainers and the other participants.
Thank you very much for setting up this interesting course. I truly enjoyed the diversity of participants, the competency of the facilitators and the action-oriented content of the class. In general I enjoyed speaking with this network of practitioners of financial education and learning from the vast number of experiences around the world. I came here with a group of four representatives of public agencies and we used the evenings to discuss the tools we learned during the day for our concrete initiatives. I think that has helped us already and will enable us in the future to design and adjust projects to the needs of our target groups.
It is a fantastic blend of people from the practical field here, practitioners, but also policymakers. I would recommend this course in particular to policymakers from my country, from the fiscal policy office and the Ministry of Finance. Because I think they will learn how to design and to implement financial education strategies. And they will benefit in particular from the discussions they will have with the practitioners who are really implementing the projects.
In Georgia we are in the process of designing the action plan for the implementation of the national strategy for financial education and I believe that the practical knowledge and tools that we received here will be very helpful for us. I would recommend this course to all policymakers who are interested in or who are in the process of implementing the national strategy for financial education.
This is my first time to ITCILO to attend the course on financial education for policymakers. I found the course excellent, this topic is a new one for everybody, but I think that the course is also relevant not only for the people working in the government agencies, but also for the NGOs like us who want their programmes to be more engaging in providing financial education services for our target population.