The growing availability of digital financial services (DFS) and emerging digital platforms in the Solomon Islands can provide unique capital-building tools and resources for accelerating financial inclusion and inclusive growth for the last mile. To realize this potential, strengthening digital and financial literacy (DFL) of all population segments, especially the marginalized and low-income groups is essential.
Improved financial and digital literacy can contribute to achieve the country's National Financial Inclusion goals, strengthen consumer protection and resilience to major financial shocks. The Government of Solomon Islands recognizes the urgency of equipping the citizens with relevant digital and financial management and decision-making skills, through including ‘Financial literacy and Consumer Protection’ in the National Financial Inclusion Strategy 3 as a key priority area.
In this context, it is essential to assess the status of financial and digital literacy in Solomon Islands to design and implement evidence backed interventions. To date however, efforts to improve digital and financial literacy and implement targeted interventions have been significantly challenged by a lack of updated DFL data in Solomon Islands on which to base these efforts and track the progress. To address this gap, UNCDF conducted the Digital and Financial Literacy Survey in Solomon Islands and six other Pacific Island countries (Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Fiji, Vanuatu, Tonga and Timor-Leste) to assess the current state of digital and financial literacy within each country. The research explores experiences with traditional and digital financial services to-date, in addition to assessing basic competencies in the areas of digitization and finance.
The survey findings will be used to develop and implement targeted interventions for improving digital financial competencies among women, MSMEs, youth, migrant workers, and rural communities. The survey results are intended to serve as a baseline from which future changes in competencies, access, and usage can be measured by the regulators and development partners.