Panel + Q&A (*Maximum 4 Panelists)

Lessons in pro-poor crisis response and preparedness from COVID-19

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It’s possible that by this October, we might be past the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the economic impact of the pandemic on the lives of the poor will continue to play out for months and even years to come. What can governments, investors and frontline service providers such as microfinance institutions (MFIs) learn from this experience to ensure that the poor are not left behind in times of crisis, and that we have robust systems and policies in place for the next crisis?

This panel draws on perspectives from Stuart Rutherford, whose financial diaries research has changed the sector’s understanding of how the poor manage their money; Graham Wright of MicroSave Consulting, which has produced vital work on pandemic policy and digital transformation at this time; and Vivek Tiwari, CEO of Satya, the fastest growing MFI in India. Our discussion will cover the following topics:

  • How low-income people’s lives have been impacted by COVID-19, and how this differs from previous global financial crises
  • How MFIs and other organisations working with the poor can recognise and respond quickly to changing needs in times of crisis
  • What investors and funders can do to support their portfolio companies and even end clients in times of crisis
  • How government policy, MFIs and investors should adapt and prepare for the next crisis

Confirmed Panelists

Cheriel Neo (facilitator), Impact Measurement lead at Gojo & Company

Stuart Rutherford, author of The Poor and their Money and co-author of Portfolios of the Poor and founder of SafeSave

Graham Wright,  Group Managing Director of MicroSave Consulting (MSC)

Unconfirmed Panelists

Vivek Tiwari, CEO of Satya Microcapital, one of the fastest growing MFIs in India

A representative from IFC

Supporting Materials

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  1. With limited information exchange while we work from home sessions like these give ground insights on covid-19 impact and role we play

  2. This would be a timely discussion on the proposed key topical areas. Understanding how the money management mechanisms of the poor make them resilient or vulnerable in the wake of pandemics such as COVID-19 can greatly enrich financial inclusion policies in LDCs

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