Financial Inclusion

Asset Building News Week, October 8-12

October 12, 2012
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The Asset Building News Week is a weekly Friday feature on The Ladder, the Asset Building Program blog, designed to help readers keep up with news and developments in the asset building field. This week's topics include international poverty, financial products, homeownership, financial education, and inequality.

Investing in Girls

  • By
  • Jamie M. Zimmerman,
  • Nicole Tosh,
  • Jamie Holmes,
  • New America Foundation
October 11, 2012

Over the last decade, anti-poverty initiatives across the developing world have increasingly focused on gender-based strategies, and in particular, on achieving equality and empowerment through gender-focused program innovation. While important progress has been made in the last several years, men still outnumber women in paid employment in almost every region of the developing world, with more women working informally, and in more vulnerable employment positions, than men.

The Simplest Way to End Poverty?

October 8, 2012

If you haven't had a chance yet, I highly recommend checking out Co.Exist, a new media site focused on "innovation that's going to change the way we live and the resources we use." Filling a niche that other outlets rarely address, it discusses "creative solutions that make everyone rich while helping the people of the world lead fulfilling lives."

California’s Universal Retirement Saving Plan: A Key Precedent

October 8, 2012
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The most progressive step forward for retirement security in many years occurred last week not in Washington, but in Sacramento, where Gov. Jerry Brown signed the California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program (SB 1234) into law.

Maurice Lim Miller wins MacArthur Genius Award

October 2, 2012

Maurice Lim Miller, founder and CEO of the Family Independence Initiative is one of 23 winners of the MacArthur Fellowship, or the "Genius Awards," for 2012.

Maurice is a friend and colleague of ours and this is richly deserved recognition. It took some of us here time to wrap our heads around the work that FII does, and it doesn't fit into one sentence well, but Maurice's characteristic humility and a bit of that genius slips through in the statement released by FII when he says,

Treasury’s MyMoneyAppUp Challenge and the MOOLAH App Idea

October 2, 2012
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Last week, my colleague, Eric Tyler, and I participated in the MyMoneyAppUp Challenge hosted by the US Treasury, D2D, and CFSI. The Challenge encouraged ordinary citizens to come up with an idea for an app that would improve the financial capability of Americans.

ALC 2012: The Impact of the Great Recession on Low-Income Communities and Communities of Color

October 2, 2012
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Though the Assets Learning Conference is now more than a week past, one session that has stuck with me dealt with The Great Recession and its Impact on Wealth in Low-Income Communities and Communities of Color. Through deftly interwoven presentations from the Urban Institute, Woodstock Institute, and Ohio State University (moderated by the U.S.

Discussant Comments on Implications of Field Experiments on Designing Savings Products & Programs for Lower-Income Consumers

September 27, 2012

On September 27, 2012, Pamela Chan spoke as a discussant on the Savings Panel at the 2nd Annual FDIC Consumer Research Symposium. Her comments are available here, or for download under the related files section to the right.

Designing Attractive Accounts for Lower-Income Consumers

September 20, 2012

On September 20, 2012, Pamela Chan moderated the "Designing Attractive Accounts for Lower-Income Consumers" panel at the CFED Assets Learning Conference.  The panel presented new research from the FDIC, the Federal Reserve Board, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and explored how a variety of promising tools – including safe, low-cost accounts, mobile banking services and targeted financial education – can be employed to better integrate low-income consumers into the formal banking sector.  Pamela's presentation discussion the implications of the presented research on practic

ALC 2012: Financial Opportunity Centers: Building Wealth through Integrated Service Delivery

September 27, 2012
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Last week’s Assets Learning Conference, organized by CFED, featured a number of sessions about integrated service delivery, embedding financial empowerment into social services, and streamlining access to services and benefits. In an era of increased need and serious state budget cuts, integrating services allows more people to access a comprehensive set of tools and programs, while simultaneously increasing the efficiency of service providers.

Financial Opportunity Centers (FOCs) are an example of one particular model of integrated services delivery that is promoting asset building in communities across the country. FOCs combine financial coaching and education, employment services and access to public benefits, with the goal of increasing clients’ long-term financial stability. Based on a model developed by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the FOC network launched in 2005 and currently includes sixty-five centers in twenty-five cities.

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