Increasing the uptake of financial products and services across India's poorest districts | NITI Aayog's Aspirational Districts Initiative

Client: NITI Aayog, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Location:
India
Sector:
Financial Inclusion
Dates of service:
September 2017 - September 2019
IDinsight service:
Decision-focused evaluation, Preference elicitation, data analytics, landscape and evidence review
IDinsight contacts:
Divya Nair, Krishanu Chakraborty
Status:
Active
Learn more about: AMAL Unit
Lear more about the AMAL Unit’s initiatives:
Agriculture | Data-on-Demand | Health & Nutrition | Measurement | Sanitation

Women in Bahraich, Uttar Pradesh, guided by IDinsight Associates Andres Parrado and Ishita Batra, share their preferences on banking, savings, and loans as part of data collection.

Women in Bahraich, Uttar Pradesh, guided by IDinsight Associates Andres Parrado and Ishita Batra, share their preferences on banking, savings, and loans as part of data collection.


The Context

The Indian government’s central policymaking unit, NITI Aayog, seeks to transform the country’s 100 poorest districts, which consistently lag on health, education, and economic indicators. The AMAL (Action-focused Measurement And Learning) Unit, set up by IDinsight, is supporting NITI Aayog on the 'Transform Aspirational Districts’ initiative. The initiative aims to significantly improve socioeconomic outcomes in 100+ of India’s poorest districts, home to approximately 250 million people. The thrust of the initiative is to promote an outcomes-based management approach among states and districts, thereby promoting a federal governance structure that fosters competition amongst public entities to chase outcomes while encouraging cooperation to share learnings and best practices.

An initiative of this partnership is to work on financial products and services and inform financial inclusion policy.


The AMAL Unit's financial services for the poor (FSP) team seeks to identify operational and behavioural levers to increase the uptake and usage of financial products and services among the poor across the 27 NITI focus districts. The team also aims to inform national and/or state financial inclusion policy.

The team is working on select Government of India financial products which include: PMJDY accounts, Atal Pension Yojana, Mudra Loans, Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana.

Evidence Needs


IDinsight Service

Increasing use of bank accounts - The AMAL FSP team conducted an evidence review to identify key barriers to sustained use of bank accounts and designed “nudges” to address these barriers. Consequently, the team has conducted prototyping exercises to further develop these nudges which will target low usage of bank accounts (to save) among beneficiaries in the NITI focus districts.

Financial communications - Awareness of financial products and schemes (such as insurance, credit and pension) is low across the NITI focus districts. The FSP team has conducted formative research and preference elicitation to support creation of financial communication materials (e.g. posters) to improve awareness, motivation, and use. The next step is to test and improve the efficacy of financial communication materials to increase uptake and usage of the selected schemes.


Results

Project is ongoing.


Impact

Project is ongoing.