In partnership with The MasterCard Foundation, a consortium that includes Save the Children Federation Inc., the Center for Social Development (CSD), the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor at the World Bank, and the New America Foundation, will demonstrate and build knowledge on the delivery of savings products and services that may improve the life chances of low-income youth in four developing countries—Colombia, Ghana, Kenya, and Nepal. The MasterCard Foundation calls the five-year YouthSave project,“a landmark, global research initiative that will test how to sustainably deliver savings services to low-income youth in the developing world.”
In YouthSave, the consortium will work with in-country partners to roll out sustainable, market-responsive savings products and services for low-income youth and document the uptake and performance of youth savings accounts. The project will also measure developmental impacts on clients and explore business implications for partner financial institutions. When successful models are documented, all members of the YouthSave consortium are committed to expansion and dissemination in developing countries around the world.
CSD will lead the learning agenda in the YouthSave project, which is guided by four key research questions:
- What combinations of product and service characteristics and marketing strategies can lead to profitability and commercial adoption of Youth Savings Accounts by different types of financial institutions?
- Which youth client, household, and saving product characteristics are associated with positive savings outcomes?
- What are the impacts of Youth Savings Accounts on developmental outcomes for youth, as well as on household finances and well-being more generally?
- How do youth experiences in saving inform social and economic development strategies in each country?
The launch of the YouthSave project follows a year of research and planning by the consortium with the support of the MasterCard Foundation. As part of this preparation, CSD has conducted country assessments on eight developing countries, and conducted research on child and youth savings initiatives in developed and developing countries around the world.