Our work on financial inclusion is difficult to understand fully from Geneva, where nearly everyone has access to a huge range of financial services.
Fortunately, I have had a number of opportunities to do field research, conduct surveys, and organize focus groups in developing countries. That is when you get clear insights about the huge challenges that workers in the informal economy, day labourers, and microentrepreneurs face on a daily basis.
These discussions often evolve into conversations about risks – what are the risks that people are most concerned about, what keeps them up at night? Of course, the answers vary a great deal depending on the person and country: not having enough food to eat, no employment opportunities, concerns about their children’s future, natural disasters, theft and so on. But in general, the one concern that is mentioned most often is health: being able to afford decent health care without being impoverished in the process.