What we do?
The Shaping Inclusive Finance Transformations for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SHIFT SAARC) countries is a regional market-facilitation initiative with the aim to improve livelihoods and reduce poverty rates in SAARC countries by 2021. The initiative seeks to stimulate investment, business innovations and regulatory reform to expand economic participation and opportunities for women and help small and growing businesses to be active agents in the formal economy.
SHIFT SAARC is currently being implemented in Bangladesh where it focuses on accelerating the uptake and usage of DFS to respond to the needs for expanding financial inclusion through digital pathways as described in the Government of Bangladesh’s (GoB) Seventh Five Year Plan 2016-2020.
SHIFT SAARC in Bangladesh aims at expanding the rate of digital accounts uptake, especially among women and small businesses by 2019 through two streams of intervention, one looking at policy and regulations and the other looking at merchants’ acceptance. UNCDF aims to stimulate investment, business innovations and regulatory reform for promoting digital financial inclusion to expand economic participation and opportunities for low-income people, especially women, and small and growing businesses to be active agents in the formal economy. This is expected to contribute to increased growth in income and employment, reduced vulnerability to shocks and lower poverty levels contributing to the successful transitioning of Bangladesh from Least Developed Country (LDC) to Middle Income Country (MIC) by 2021.