Promoting Inclusive Markets and Financial Systems
The MasterCard Foundation works with visionary organizations to provide greater access to education, skills training and financial services for people living in poverty, primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa. As one of the largest, independent foundations, its work is guided by its mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion in order to alleviate poverty. Based in Toronto, Canada, its independence was established by MasterCard when the Foundation was created in 2006. For more information, please visit www.mastercardfdn.org or follow us on Twitter @MCFoundation.
To assess the model and inform future SILC rollouts on this fee-for-service savings-group delivery channel, CRS carried out a broad research study using a Randomized Control Trial (RCT) design. The research was set up to make a fundamental comparison between two delivery channels: the fee-for-service PSP model and the more conventional project-paid FA model. To rigorously compare the two, an experimental design established statistically comparable cohorts of agents serving members in comparable environments over approximately a one-year interval.
In total, the study tracked 333 randomized agents across two cohorts (separated by about one year). The agents were assigned either fee-for-service PSP status or stipend-paid FA status for the research interval, which followed a 12-month training phase in which all agents were paid a stipend. Management Information System data was collected from all agents on a quarterly basis, and included a multitude of data points, from agent earnings to group performance measures. This brief draws on the data specifi cally pertaining to productivity, with a key question at the heart of the investigation: how does PSP productivity compare to fi eld agent productivity, taking into account that PSPs have to charge communities for their service?