In 2019, the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) in Rwanda partnered with Comic Relief and Jersey Overseas Aid to launch the 'Rwanda: Expanding Financial Access & Digital and Financial Literacy' (REFAD) programme, which aims to increase financial and digital literacy among Rwanda's financially excluded populations, allowing them to gain greater access to and use of formal and informal financial services, with a focus on digital financial solutions. To contribute to the achievement of UNCDF's Inclusive Digital Economy strategy goals, the REFAD Programme has made significant strides in catalyzing Rwanda's digital finance ecosystem to reach digitally and financially underserved target populations such as refugees, youth, and women.
This case study focuses on two fintech solutions to digitize saving groups with easy-to-adapt technology that emerged as enablers of financial resilience in four refugee camps and host communities where UNCDF and its partners have rolled out the REFAD programme. The digital saving group solutions are part of the innovative approaches that were adopted by the programme partners to release the potential of digital financial service products in achieving financial inclusion and strengthening financial resilience in refugee camps and rural communities in Rwanda. This case study also outlines some of the successes, enablers, as well as impediments on the road to digitizing saving groups in Rwanda.
Yi Nancy Liu, Monitoring, Evaluation & Communication Specialist Emile Ndayambaje, Communications & Programme Analyst