A focus on health services can help ensure that financial inclusion and the use of formal financial services benefits people. The Sustainable Development Goal for health envisions universal coverage for “essential health services,” but achieving this will require context driven and innovate digital financial products that are linked to improved health outcomes. The investment from Digital Square will focus on conducting a 360 review of digital financial services for health. The World Bank and PSI will conduct a landscaping exercise using a multi-stage research approach; first conducting an extensive assessment using existing data and consultations with service providers, followed by in-depth country/project level case studies on management styles, bottlenecks and user experience. The study will present a diagnostic of the challenges in the ecosystem and potential barriers to wider uptake and growth. It will allow policymakers and the private sector to better understand and promote responsible, sustainable financial services. The two organizations, Population Services International (PSI) and the World Bank’s Global Findex database team (World Bank team) are best suited for a partnership to achieve the goals of this project. In addition to PSI’s large private sector network, it has extensive partnerships with local governments, ministries of health (MoH), and local organizations to create sustainable health solutions while the World Bank team will offer the research skills and expertise in expanding access to digital financial inclusion around the world.
Population Services International (PSI) is a global nonprofit organization, headquartered in Washington, DC, that focuses on the encouragement of healthy behavior and affordability of health products. PSI works in partnership with local governments, ministries of health (MoH), and local organizations to create sustainable health solutions. PSI has an uncompromising focus on health impact and measures its effect on disease and death much like for-profit organizations measure profit. Just last year, PSI saved the lives of 9,246 mothers, prevented 3,896,671 unintended pregnancies, prevented 234,367 new HIV infections, and averted 379,286 deaths due to diseases like malaria, diarrhea, and pneumonia that are most threatening to young children. In alignment with PSI’s organizational strategic vision of faster, sustained and increased health impacts, the organization’s latest approach to digital technology aims to effectively harness digital technology to increase and maintain the use of quality primary care without financial hardship.
The World Bank Global Findex Team (World Bank team) is housed in the Development Research Group (DECRG) at the World Bank in Washington, DC. The team works on research relating to financial inclusion and has become a mainstay of global efforts to promote financial inclusion. In addition to being widely cited by scholars and development practitioners, the Global Findex data is used to measure progress towards the World Bank’s goal of Universal Financial Access by 2020 and is a source for the G20 Financial Inclusion Indicators. Global Findex data on account ownership is also included as an indicator for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 8.10.2. The team’s work is frequently used in major international media – including the New York Times, Economist, and Bloomberg. The team works on providing unparalleled insights into the payments habits of people around the world and can play an instrumental role in identifying market opportunities for increasing financial inclusion in health services. Access to the World Bank and its extensive technical advisory background in financial services will ensure that the project and the output is thorough and widely acknowledged.