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Decentralized delivery of financial education: Experimental evidence from Rwanda

Emmanuel Hakizimfura, Douglas Randall and Bilal Zia

Journal of Development Economics, 2020, vol. 144, issue C

Abstract: We implement a large-scale field experiment with 200 Savings and Credit Cooperative Associations (SACCOs) in Rwanda, and test competing models of local financial education delivery. One-third of SACCOs were invited to a comprehensive training-of-trainers (TOT) workshop and stipulated to send the SACCO manager, a loan officer, and a community board member to be trained. Another one-third were allowed free selection of trainers, which resulted in greater community representation and lower loan officer involvement at the TOT and higher attendance rates at the beneficiary trainings. We find no improvements in financial practices or behavior among the fixed selection group, but statistically significant and larger improvements in financial planning, rules of thumb, and savings deposits among the autonomous selection group. Qualitative fieldwork to understand mechanisms underscores the importance of community-led delivery of the financial education program.

Keywords: Financial education; Decentralization; Community-led delivery; Savings and credit cooperative associations; Randomized control trial (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C93 D14 G21 O12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2020.102439

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