Why to advocate?
It is both important and urgent that national and EU wide coalitions advocate for ensuring wider and deeper financial inclusion for all citizens. In today’s environment of growing demand for financial services and the imminent stronger dependence on financial services for managing personal finances, it is imperative to achieve greater political and financial commitment to support long-term availability of quality financial services.
Vulnerable populations will experience the most severe consequences of failure to secure adequate financial services and they are the most likely to be excluded from mainstream financial markets.
As such, advocacy messages must be hard hitting and be designed to galvanize policymakers into action, not tomorrow or the day after, but today.
How to advocate?
Advocacy, though big word, can turn out to be a cost effective action.
Example from Greece
Example from Greece
Whom to engage?
Involving appropriate people is crucial for financial inclusion advocacy process. To support the messages of microfinance importance, MFIs can invite to cooperation local people tasked by European Commission to promote its policy for entrepreneurship and self employment.
POLAND: National Contact Point (NCP) for Financial Instruments of the European Union Programmes is a local one stop shop for all programs of EU targeting micro entrepreneurs, SMEs and financial providers. They welcome both entrepreneurs seeking financial support from EU, as well as MFIs and financial intermediaries willing to use EU funding for providing more finance opportunities.
The NCP offers advice, support in application, as well as takes a lead on organizing promotion and advocacy events.
Find the people who can help!
Check out the list of national contacts at the government level responsible for EaSI Program implementation in your country: EaSI committee members.
Help us build a database of people involved in promoting financial inclusion in your country! Do you know someone, who promotes financial inclusion in your country? Send us the contacts.
What to talk about?
Advocating for increased access and use of financial services demands that advocacy messages be appropriately targeted. This not only requires knowing your audience, but understanding the contextual variables that are affecting the increased financial inclusion in the society.
Below there are five scenarios that often provide challenges to ensuring a deeper and broader financial inclusion. Each of the scenarios is complemented by advocacy messages to help address the challenges.
Scenario 1: Low Understanding and Appreciation of Importance of Financial Inclusion
Scenario 2: Niche Financial Exclusion
Scenario 3: Low Usage of Financial Services
Scenario 4: High Rates of Over-Indebtedness
Scenario 5: Customer Protection in Financial Markets