Design Template
5 - 6 November 2014 | Hilton Kuala Lumpur #FinEdSummit 
Designing and Implementing Randomised Controlled Trials: Q&A with Innovations for Poverty Action’s Global Financial Inclusion Initiative Coordinator, Pooja Wagh

Tell us about your role at Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA).

At IPA, I am a Coordinator for the Global Financial Inclusion Initiative (GFII), which seeks to identify ways to enhance how low- and moderate-income individuals manage and grow their financial portfolios. The Initiative manages two research funds that support the evaluation of products, delivery channels, and tools that can help users make the most of their financial portfolios. I coordinate the projects implemented under the Citi IPA Financial Capability Research Fund supported by the Citi Foundation. These projects focus on testing innovative products and product-linked interventions that aim to improve the financial capabilities of households and individuals. My work ranges from helping to select and oversee the projects supported by the Fund to contributing to the dissemination of our research at events like the upcoming Summit.

You will be leading a workshop on Gathering Rigorous Evidence to Inform Financial Product and Programme Design – what type of skills can our participants look forward to learning in your workshop? Which IPA programmes will you highlight to demonstrate effectiveness?

This two-part workshop is designed for practitioners who understand the importance of impact evaluations and evidence-based decision-making, but want to work through the nuts and bolts of how to design and implement a rigorous evaluation. In the morning session, we will walk through the steps of a randomized controlled trial (RCT), using as our framework an IPA study that measured the relative impacts of offering savings accounts and financial education to Ugandan youth. In the afternoon, we will discuss the results from some key impact evaluations on financial inclusion.

By the end of the workshop, participants will understand the basics of implementing RCTs and will have started thinking about what aspects of their own products and programs they might test. They will also have a sense of the financial inclusion evidence landscape, and will be better equipped to leverage existing evidence to inform the design of their own products and programs.

What are you looking forward to most at the Citi-FT Financial Education Summit?

This will be my second time at the Summit since 2012, and I’m excited that there seem to be even more opportunities for conversation and idea-sharing than there were previously! I’m looking forward to connecting with and learning from the many highly-accomplished practitioners and policymakers I know will be in attendance. I’m also eager to meet the delegates who will participate in the workshop – I think it will be a great space for us to think together about how we can make financial capability products and programs as effective as they can be.

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