Consortium Publications

Implications for Youth Livelihoods Programming, YouthSave, August, 2016

  • This 3-page brief distills the findings of an analysis of treatment youth in the Ghana Experiment.

The Outcomes of Opening or Depositing in a Savings Account for Low-Income Youth in the Ghana YouthSave Experiment, YouthSave, August, 2016

  • This 4-page brief distills the findings of an analysis of treatment youth in the Ghana Experiment.

Facilitators and Barriers of Youth Savings in Ghana YouthSave Experiment, YouthSave, August, 2016

  • Working paper that investigates the differential impacts of the opportunity to open savings accounts on the youth in the treatment schools.

Key Findings from the YouthSave Project in Brief, YouthSave, January 8, 2016

  • These nine briefs distill and highlight operational and research findings of critical interest across participating countries and for various stakeholders, including policy makers, financial institutions, youth practitioners, and donors.

YouthSave 2010 - 2015: Findings from a Global Financial Inclusion Partnership, YouthSave, October 9, 2015

  • This publication presents a concise summary of the knowledge generated and the lessons learned from the activities of this five-year project.

Toward Financially Capable Youth: Insights from YouthSave’s Financial Education, September 9, 2015
  • This paper details the impact of financial education trainings on YouthSave participants in three areas of development.

Research Brief: Youth Savings Patterns and Performance in Colombia, Ghana, Kenya, and Nepal: Key Findings, Center for Social Development, September 1, 2015
  • This brief highlights research findings on account uptake and savings.

Impacts of Financial Inclusion on Youth Development: Findings from the Ghana YouthSave Experiment, Center for Social Development, August 1, 2015
  • The Ghana experiment’s findings demonstrate that early savings can enable young people to improve their long-term financial and educational outcomes, psychological well-being (e.g., self-efficacy, self-confidence), and future orientation. Equipped with such knowledge and skills, youth can make informed, positive choices in other areas of their lives, including health behaviors.

Taking the Bank to the Youth:Impacts on Saving and Asset Building from the Ghana YouthSave Experiment, Center for Social Development, August 1, 2015
  • This working paper explores the experimental impact of in-school banking and financial marketing outreach on the savings performance of youth in schools across eight geographic regions in Ghana (i.e., “taking the bank to the youth”).

Addressing the Challenge of Account Dormancy in Youth Savings Initiatives, New America, July 28, 2015
  • Larger-scale efforts to connect youth with savings accounts as a means to promote a range of social policy outcomes have garnered increased attention in recent years. In order to launch youth savings initiatives, much of the attention has been focused on enrollment and account opening. But, now that a number of large-scale initiatives are underway, greater attention should be given to learning more about how people engage with their accounts after opening. This paper discusses a framework for understanding the challenge of account dormancy in large-scale, account-based initiatives and policy efforts.

YouthSave infographic: Access, Savings, Impact, YouthSave, July 27, 2015
Youth Savings Patterns and Performance in Ghana: A Supplementary Report, Center for Social Development, June 1, 2015
  • This supplemental report on Ghana’s Enidaso account holders provides evidence on the youth response to YouthSave by incorporating data from HFC’s product rollout in May 2012 through November 2014.

Executive Summary: Youth Savings Patterns and Performance in Colombia, Ghana, Kenya, and Nepal, Center for Social Development, February 18, 2015
  • This brief summarizes key findings from a study that tracks account uptake and savings patterns and performance in youth savings accounts in Colombia, Ghana, Kenya, and Nepal. The full report, Youth Savings Patterns and Performance in Colombia, Ghana, Kenya, and Nepal, is also available on our website.

Youth Savings Patterns and Performance in Colombia, Ghana, Kenya, and Nepal, Center for Social Development, February 18, 2015
  • By May 2014, through the YouthSave project, almost 100,000 youth across four countries opened savings accounts at financial institutions. Collectively, they saved $1.8 million. This report presents two-year findings from a study that tracks account uptake and savings patterns and performance in youth savings accounts in Colombia, Ghana, Kenya, and Nepal. This savings demand assessment (SDA) is ambitious in its attempt to include systematic data on as many youth savers as possible. The result is a very large dataset that enables us to report in detail who is saving, and factors associated with saving patterns and performance.

Voices of Youth, Parents, and Stakeholders: Findings from Case Studies in the YouthSave Project, Center for Social Development, 2015
  • This report presents the findings of in-depth interviews conducted by in-country research partners with a total of 24 youth participants, parents, and community or school stakeholders.

Regulatory Environments for Youth Savings in the Developing World, New America, October 9, 2014
  • Despite the potential benefits of facilitating access to youth-owned and –operated accounts, legal requirements can create unnecessary hurdles that prevent these accounts from flourishing in the marketplace. Creating a supportive regulatory environment for youth savings may require identifying specific barriers and proactively crafting policy to overcome them. The legal vulnerabilities of youth in many countries, particularly minors and girls, coupled with this population’s often disadvantageous economic, social, and political position dictates that we tread carefully. On the other hand, policy solutions must address the vastly diverse realities of youth’s lives in the developing world, their demand for rights, and their socio-economic contributions. This paper focuses on analyzing policies aimed at encouraging commercial savings products for youth while balancing the need to protect banks and young customers from potential losses.

Baseline Survey of the Third Cohort: A Supplemental Report from the YouthSave Ghana Experiment, Center for Social Development, August 1, 2014
  • This report supplements the Ghana Experiment baseline report (Chowa et al., 2012). It uses baseline survey data from a new cohort of 2,000 youth and 2,000 parents and guardians. This cohort was added in September 2013 to maintain statistical power of the Experiment, because delays in rolling out the youth savings product (treatment) meant that two cohorts from the original sample had either no or very brief (less than a month) exposure. The additional cohort is comprised of 20 randomly selected incoming 7th-grade students at each of the 100 schools within the YouthSave Ghana Experiment. This report presents baseline findings of the new cohort.

The Business Case for Youth Savings: A Framework, Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, July 14, 2014
  • This paper begins by offering a framework for understanding how different influences or “levers” affect cost and revenues related to youth savings and uses examples to explain how the framework can be applied as a decision-making tool for financial savings providers interesting in offering formal financial services to youth, especially savings accounts.

Youth Savings Patterns and Performance in Colombia, Ghana, Kenya, and Nepal:  YouthSave Research Brief, Center for Social Development, October 1, 2013
  • This brief presents data on the 10,710 youth savings accounts with consent for research from the 19,953 accounts opened between February 2012 and February 2013.

Hope or Hype? Five Obstacles to Mobile Money Innovations for Youth Financial Services, New America, September 10-12, 2013
  • By synthesizing the current opportunities and obstacles to using mobile-based tools to advance youth financial access and by assessing current opinion among practitioners, this paper examines whether mobile solutions offer the youth financial inclusion field immense hope, or just hype.

Beyond the Buzz: The Allure and Challenge of Using Mobile Phones to Increase Youth Financial Inclusion, New America, September 1, 2013
  • The recent application of mobile phones for financial inclusion among adults and the rising use of mobile phones among youth suggest that mobiles can catalyze financial inclusion for youth in developing countries. However, financial inclusion advocates must overcome many barriers because they can realize the full potential of mobiles in the field. This brief outlines these barriers and highlights the policy levers that could be tapped—enabling regulatory environments, incentives to innovate, strategic alliances, advanced data collection, and experimentation with “nudges”—that might allow proponents of youth financial access to circumvent these barriers to youth-centered mobile financial solutions and therefore speed up the pace of exploration and innovation.

Savings Patterns and Performance in Colombia, Ghana, Kenya, and Nepal: YouthSave Research Report 2013, Center for Social Development, August 23, 2013
  • This report presents first-year findings from a multiyear study on account uptake and saving patterns and performance in youth savings accounts in four countries: Colombia, Ghana, Kenya, and Nepal. This savings demand assessment (SDA) is ambitious in its attempt to include systematic data on as many youth savers as are possible to collect from the field. The result of this effort is a very large dataset that enables researchers to report in detail who is saving in YouthSave and what factors are associated with their saving patterns and performance.

Testing the Waters: YouthSave Pilot Results from Three Market, Save the Children, February 1, 2013
  • This paper documents the process of youth savings accounts product design by YouthSave’s four bank partners.

Parental Involvement and Academic Performance in Ghana, Center for Social Development, December 1, 2012
  • A key question of the YouthSave Ghana Experiment is how savings and other factors impact educational outcomes. This brief reports data from the ongoing YouthSave Ghana Experiment to offer preliminary findings of the extent of parental involvement in children’s schooling and how socio-demographic factors are associated with parental involvement. Understanding baseline associations will enable investigators to determine if these factors are affected by the YouthSave intervention.

Youth and Saving in Ghana: A Baseline Report from the YouthSave Ghana Experiment, Center for Social Development, December 1, 2012
  • This report uses data from baseline surveys with 6,252 youth and 4,576 parents and guardians of these youth. Of youth surveyed at baseline, 73% had a parent or guardian also surveyed at baseline. Data were collected from May through June 2011 by the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) at the University of Ghana. These data are pre-treatment and will be presented descriptively to paint a picture of the demographics and economic conditions of the youth and their financial knowledge, money management behaviors, educational performance, academic aspirations and expectations, future orientation, and health behaviors and knowledge.

Youth and Their Health in Ghana, Center for Social Development, December 1, 2012
  • A key aspect of youth savings is the potential impact it could have on youth development. This research brief focuses on the health of youth in the YouthSave Ghana Experiment at baseline and provides a general overview of young Ghanaians’ health.

Creating Creatures of Habit: Nudging Saving in Youth, New America, July 1, 2012
  • Practitioners, policy makers, and researchers often assert the importance of individuals developing savings behaviors. For the poor, especially, who may not have steady flows of income or access to credit, savings is critical to smoothing consumption, providing an economic cushion in case of emergencies, and building capital for productive investments. To begin savings habits at a young age, however, would provide an extended period of time for children and youth to build a stock of assets that could help finance their future economic needs as adults.

Emerging Perspectives on Youth Savings, Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, July 1, 2012
  • This paper examines the role of finance in the lives of low-income youth with a focus on the opportunities and challenges of offering them savings services.

Financial Knowledge and Attitudes of Youth in Ghana, Center for Social Development, July 1, 2012
  • This research brief focuses on the financial knowledge, attitudes, and socialization of youth in the YouthSave Ghana Experiment as well as the financial knowledge of the youth’s parents and guardians.

Product Pilot Report: Youth Savings Performance in Ghana, Kenya, and Nepal, Center for Social Development, July 1, 2012
  • This brief presents findings on account uptake and savings from piloting (July to December 31, 2011) youth savings products in three of the four countries: Ghana, Kenya, and Nepal. The savings product in the fourth country, Colombia, was not pilot tested. These data are intended to provide an early indication of interest and uptake in a few designated branches prior to formal product launch.

Youth in the Ghana Experiment: Characteristics and Living Conditions, Center for Social Development, July 1, 2012
  • This brief focuses on the individual, social, and economic characteristics of youth and their families in the Ghana Experiment.

Youth Saving Patterns and Performance in Ghana, Center for Social Development, July 1, 2012
  • This research brief focuses on the saving attitudes and behavior of youth in the YouthSave Ghana Experiment.

Challenges and Opportunities for Youth Saving, Center for Social Development, April 1, 2012
  • Research Partners in all four countries, in collaboration with CSD, have conducted background research to understand the context of youth saving ahead of the launch of YSAs. This research brief highlights some of the challenges and opportunities in the four YouthSave countries.

Youth-Related Policies, Center for Social Development, April 1, 2012
  • Research Partners in all four countries, in collaboration with CSD, have conducted background research to understand the context of youth savings ahead of the launch of YSAs. This research brief highlights youth-related national policies in the four YouthSave countries.

¿Que Quieren Las y Los Jovenes Ahorradores? / What Do Youth Savers Want?, Save the Children, February 1, 2012
  • After twenty years of research and practice on the subject, the economic development field finally seems to have accepted that poor people can and do save money. Yet for many development practitioners—as well as parents, teachers, and bankers—“youth savings” is still an oxymoron. Often these adults believe that young people—especially low-income youth—cannot save money because they simply do not have it. This paper focuses summarizes the most important findings common to all four market studies in YouthSave’s countries, Colombia, Ghana, Kenya, and Nepal. This summary is meant to provide those interested in designing youth savings accounts with a set of plausible hypotheses to prove, refine, or disprove for their particular populations of interest—a head start in designing market research to understand the needs of youth savers.

Broad and Deep: The Extensive Learning Agenda in YouthSave, Center for Social Development, August 17, 2011
  • This publication outlines the YouthSave learning agenda.

Accelerating Financial Capability among Youth: Nudging New Thinking, New America, June 1, 2011
  • This paper argues that common definitions of financial capability understate the role of psychological barriers to establishing sound financial behaviors, namely savings habits. Drawing on insights from psychology and behavioral economics, we explore these missing psychological variables in the standard financial capability equation and suggest mechanisms, or nudges, to overcome those barriers to accelerate financial capability among low-income youth. Our intended audience includes development practitioners and scholars focusing on global development, financial inclusion, and asset building. Very little work, to our knowledge, has been done on exploring the nexus between savings and habit formation. Though we acknowledge that the goals of financial capability vary and do not focus solely on forming savings habits, we believe it is an important outcome of financial capability. Additionally, while the proposed nudges have been administered, and in some cases tested, in the fields of public health, education, and financial services, they have not been extensively tested in the youth savings context. With that in mind, this paper is intended primarily to spur debate and provide ideas for further testing in the emerging field of youth savings.

Frequently Asked Questions about Youth Savings Accounts, YouthSave, May 11, 2011
  • As development analysts and practitioners increasingly look to savings as a potential tool to spur development and financial inclusion among low-income youth in developing countries, this FAQ is meant to provide a basic overview of a relatively new area of inquiry and practice: youth savings accounts (YSAs).

Savings Accounts for Young People in Developing Countries: Trends in Practice, YouthSave, December 1, 2010
  • This paper surveys current practice to better understand the diverse range of youth savings initiatives under way in developing countries, and the actors promoting them in a range of forms for various objectives. It also gathers the little evidence available on the extent to which such savings initiatives are fulfilling their perceived dual development potential. This paper ends with key questions that must be answered with further research and practical experimentation, before this development potential can be confirmed.

Youth Savings in Developing Countries, YouthSave, November 7, 2010
  • Research and experience to date suggest that savings accounts for low-income youth may be a high-leverage tool to achieve both youth development and financial inclusion objectives. This potential has led a variety of stakeholders to invest in youth savings products, programs, policies around the world. However, there is limited evidence of whether these initiatives are fulfilling either type of development potential, or what types of youth savings initiatives might potentially achieve both. More experimentation and research on these questions are needed to optimize public and private investment in this area. This paper explores the potential of youth savings accounts (YSAs) as an intervention at the nexus of youth development and financial inclusion.

Youth Savings around the World: Youth Characteristics, Savings Performance, and Potential Impacts, Center for Social Development, May 1, 2010
  • Youth, ages 15 to 24, will rise in number from just under 500 million in 1950 to 1.2 billion by 2050. Almost 90% will live in developing economies, and over 80% will live in either Africa or Asia (Population Reference Bureau, 2009). As these young people assume adult economic roles and responsibilities, they will increase interactions with informal and formal financial institutions. A bank savings account may be one of the most secure ways for youth to protect their savings and asset accumulation.

Colombia Country Assessment for Youth Development Accounts, Center for Social Development, August 1, 2009
  • CSD is part of a global consortium supported by the MasterCard Foundation that is exploring the potential for piloting a Youth Savings initiative in multiple developing countries. In addition to CSD, the consortium includes Save the Children, the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), and the New America Foundation. The consortium’s goals for the 2009-2010 year include identifying six developing countries in which to implement these pilots, along with local financial and research institutions that could assist in implementing and evaluating the pilots. This brief is one of a series that CSD has prepared on candidate countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. This brief, like the others, assesses the candidate country on four criteria: institutional capacity, national political interest, research capacity, and broader macroeconomic environment.

Ghana Country Assessment for Youth Development Accounts, Center for Social Development, August 1, 2009
  • CSD is part of a global consortium supported by the MasterCard Foundation that is exploring the potential for piloting a Youth Savings initiative in multiple developing countries. In addition to CSD, the consortium includes Save the Children, the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), and the New America Foundation. The consortium’s goals for the 2009-2010 year include identifying six developing countries in which to implement these pilots, along with local financial and research institutions that would assist in implementing and evaluating the pilots. This brief is one of a series that CSD has prepared on candidate countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. This brief, like the others, assesses the candidate country on four criteria: institutional capacity, national political interest, research capacity, and broader macroeconomic environment.

Kenya Country Assessment for Youth Development Accounts, Center for Social Development, August 1, 2009
  • CSD is part of a global consortium supported by the MasterCard Foundation that is exploring the potential for piloting a Youth Savings initiative in multiple developing countries. In addition to CSD, the consortium includes Save the Children, the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), and the New America Foundation. The consortium’s goals for the 2009-2010 year include identifying six developing countries in which to implement these pilots, along with local financial and research institutions that would assist in implementing and evaluating the pilots. This brief is one of a series that CSD has prepared on candidate countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. This brief, like the others, assesses the candidate country on four criteria: institutional capacity, national political interest, research capacity, and broader macroeconomic environment.

Nepal Country Assessment for Youth Development Accounts, Center for Social Development, August 1, 2009
  • CSD is part of a global consortium supported by the MasterCard Foundation that is exploring the potential for piloting a Youth Savings initiative in multiple developing countries. In addition to CSD, the consortium includes Save the Children, the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), and the New America Foundation. The consortium’s goals for the 2009-2010 year include identifying six developing countries in which to implement these pilots, along with local financial and research institutions that would assist in implementing and evaluating the pilots. This brief is one of a series that CSD has prepared on candidate countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. This brief, like the others, assesses the candidate country on four criteria: institutional capacity, national political interest, research capacity, and broader macroeconomic environment.

Savings-Linked Conditional Cash Transfer: A New Policy Approach to Global Poverty Reduction, New America, April 1, 2009
  • This policy brief makes the case for linking conditional cash transfers to savings as a two-pronged poverty reduction strategy of supplementing income and building productive assets, while increasing effective financial inclusion of a given population.

Overview of Child Development Accounts in Developing Countries, Center for Social Development, February 1, 2009
  • This paper presents evidence of the existence of CDAs by reviewing several different types of such accounts in operation in developing nations. However, to do so we used a broader definitional view of CDAs than is common in the CDA field. In this paper, we conceive of CDAs as savings policies, programs, or products for children with features or delivery mechanisms that have the potential to contribute to a child’s social and/or economic development.

Overview of Child Development Accounts in Developing Countries, New America, 2009

Child Savings Accounts: A Primer, New America, July 1, 2008
  • Poverty reduction strategies increasingly focus on the importance of creating financial assets. Child Savings Accounts (CSAs) are a novel and promising tool that builds on that focus by promoting savings starting at a young age. This primer describes the concept of CSAs, various purposes for and features of the accounts, impacts CSAs can have on a child’s development, and obstacles that impede the widespread provision of the accounts.

Child Savings Accounts: Global Trends in Design and Practice, New America, July 1, 2008
  • Child Savings Accounts (CSAs) exist as policies, products, and programs, and are being offered by governments, financial institutions, and non-profits. This paper aims to provide an overview of the landscape of CSAs around the world; a summary of reasons why governments, financial institutions, and non-profits are offering CSAs and features of the accounts they offer; and a few of the obstacles these institutions face to successfully offering CSAs. By examining the breadth of CSAs as well as the areas of overlap between features of and rationales for CSAs currently offered by various institutions, we hope to illustrate some global trends in CSAs.

Economic Strengthening for Vulnerable Children, Save the Children, February 1, 2008
  • This guide begins to fill this gap through the illustration of economic strengthening best practices in a format that multi-sectoral teams of donors and practitioners can use to inform their own work.