COVID-19 pressed the world to think with ingenuity, empathy, and work in unprecedented situations. The advent of the “new normal” in 2020 pushed us to produce content that evaluates the impact of COVID-19 on various sectors like MSME, agriculture, microfinance, and digital finance, among others. The focus of these evaluations was the impact of the pandemic on the low- and middle-income population with a particular emphasis on women and how we can deliver financial services to them.

MSC produced several publications in the form of reports, blogs, and informative comics that helps stakeholders understand how various sectors were affected and what governments, policymakers, and service providers could do to serve the worst-hit population across the globe. We present here some of our most-read publications during 2020.

  1. The Philippines: Impact of COVID-19 on micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs)

The extended community quarantine imposed by the government to contain the spread of COVID-19 has hurt MSMEs in the Philippines. This report outlines the impact of the pandemic on MSMEs and provides recommendations for policymakers to support their recovery.

  1. Indian agriculture during and after the pandemic

Amid the COVID-19 crisis, agricultural activities in India were exempt from restrictions. However, the lockdowns led to various disruptions in the supply chain. This blog summarizes the impact of COVID-19 on different sub-sectors and highlights the measures the government took to address the problems of farmers.

  1. Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs): India report

MSMEs in India bore the brunt of the lockdown announced as a measure to contain the spread of COVID-19. This report examines how the pandemic affected MSMEs and provides policy recommendations to help them on their path to recovery.

  1. When inclusion is not inclusive: What needs to change to achieve meaningful financial inclusion for women

The financial inclusion sector’s combined efforts are yet to make an impact on women. This is due to two main reasons—women exhibit significant variations in their behavior, while players in the ecosystem generally overlook gender-centrality in the design of financial products and services. This paper presents the Financial Services Space framework for analyzing the behaviors and triggers that push and pull women into formal financial services.

  1. CICO Agents: The under-valued “first responders”

Our ongoing research uncovered a set of unique challenges that cash-in/cash-out (CICO) agents currently face amid the pandemic. Here, we look at the experience and behaviors of CICO agents across eight countries and explore ways to support them through favorable policies, even as the disease rages on around the world.

  1. Innovations and coping strategies for food security at the time of COVID-19

COVID-19 is likely to have a widespread, deep, and prolonged impact on every sector and segment. In this blog, we discuss some innovations and practical solutions for governments and other stakeholders to consider to aid food security and protect the livelihoods of smallholders.

  1. MFI employee training comic on coronavirus and MFI client awareness comic on coronavirus

MSC developed a series of conversational comic books for microfinance institutions (MFIs) to inform their frontline staff members on safety measures during the COVID-19 pandemic. These comics have been customized for different geographies. You can access the country-specific versions in a wide range of languages as well.

As part of the same effort, MSC also developed a series of conversational comic books for microfinance institutions to create awareness, influence precautionary behavior, and drive measures to ensure the safety of the weak and the vulnerable during COVID-19. These comics have been customized for different geographies. You can access the country-specific versions in a wide range of languages as well.

Similar comics were developed for CICO agents as well as Self Help Groups

  1. Micro and small enterprises: Will the pandemic put an end to their business?

This blog looks at the impact of COVID-19 on micro and small enterprises (MSEs) across low- and middle-income countries, which are particularly vulnerable to shocks. Our research insights will help policymakers and financial institutions support the recovery and rebuilding of the MSME sector in the wake of the pandemic.

  1. EasyPlan: Simple and digital savings for LMIs

This blog examines EasyPlan, a new-age digital savings app that allows low- and middle-income segments to overcome their chronic state of under-saving. Read on to see how EasyPlan makes use of various behavioral nudges (including gamification) to make customers save more and better.

  1. How will the COVID-19 pandemic affect the Indian fintech startup ecosystem: Four predictions and one suggestion

As with all players in the economy, FinTechs have also been feeling the heat of the pandemic. Early trends indicate a host of changes on the horizon. These include four key developments in the FinTech ecosystem. Read the blog for a deeper analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on FinTechs.

Read more publications on our website here.







Leave Comments

Written by