The growing availability of digital financial services (DFS) and emerging digital platforms in Vanuatu 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.
Vanuatu’s National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) (2018-2023) incorporated Financial Literacy and Consumer Empowerment as its one of the four strategic goals. The strategy outlined following objectives as part of the activities under the strategic goal:
i. Strengthen financial education in educational institutions at the national and sub-national level, the latter being within the TVET sector or other tertiary institutions.
ii. Integrate financial literacy and product awareness by financial service providers into financial services offerings. iii. Raise awareness of the general public vis-à-vis the Secured Transaction Act and other Financial Services-related consumer impact legislation.
iv. Ensure consistency in financial services product disclosure and transparency on fees and charges across all financial services providers.
v. Ensure consistency in or wide awareness of financial services redress and recourse mechanisms across financial services industries.
vi. Develop a financial literacy strategy.
In this context, it is essential to assess the status of financial and digital literacy in Vanuatu 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 on which to base these efforts and track the progress. To address this gap, UNCDF conducted the Digital and Financial Literacy Survey in Vanuatu and six other Pacific
Island countries (Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Fiji, Solomon Islands, 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.
Discover DFLS findings from other Pacific Island Countries: