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 Africa. As one of the largest private foundations its work is guided by its mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. Based in Toronto, Canada, its independence was established by Mastercard when the Foundation was created in 2006. For more information and to sign up for the Foundation’s newsletter, please visit www.mastercardfdn.org. Follow the Foundation at @MastercardFdn on Twitter.
The Youth Microfinance (YMF) Project aims to improve the lives and help realize the rights of West African youth, with the overall goal to empower young people both socially and economically by increasing access to financial services and disseminating knowledge in critical life skills. The main objectives are: to promote asset building through Youth Savings and Loans Associations (YSLAs); to complement financial access with life skills and financial education training to enhance youth’s chances of successful transition into adulthood; and to document and share the results of the project.
This report forms part of the body of documentation for the project. The main objectives are:
• To explain the process of collecting and selecting the SCs
• To document the MSC story that has been selected by a panel consisting of members from theproject Steering Committee, as well as the top SCs in each of the three countries
• To highlight the successes experienced by the youth and also any unexpected changes as a result of
the project, and
• To provide another source for triangulation with other data sets being collected by the project.
The report will be used to further our understanding of the effects of the project’s interventions on youth, as told by the youth themselves. As the project aims to empower youth, it is important they see themselves as part of the M&E process, to identify with and take ownership of the results that are being documented. A high level of interest to participate in the MSC process reflects that youth have been actively engaged throughout all aspects of the project.
The target audience for this report is primarily the key project stakeholders, namely the youth engaged in the YMF Project (through the Youth Advisory Board), Plan Canada, Plan Country Offices, and The MasterCard Foundation. A secondary audience includes practitioners and those with interest in the youth microfinance sector. We will also share this report with the MSC community on selected websites, listservs and other platforms.
While nine SC stories made it to the 2012 Steering Committee meeting for the final selection, through this process a total of 452 stories were collected across the three implementing countries. To keep the report succinct, these other stories will not be included.