Financial Inclusion scholarship expanded to all South Pacific Countries

July 30, 2018

Suva, Fiji – The United Nation’s Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP) has announced the launch of its 2018 Reuben James Summerlin (RJS) Scholarships for Pacific Islanders active in the Financial Inclusion space.

The annual scholarship supports select individuals who want to further their knowledge and training in innovation and digital financial services.  The scholarship offers a unique blend of theory and practice, building the individuals knowledge and facilitating growth. Understanding the challenges of low usage of financial services in the region, the scholarship is designed to recognize outstanding financial inclusion practitioners.

Looking beyond its usual partners, PFIP has announced changes to its scholarship programme that will see more Pacific Island Countries being able to apply for this annual scholarship.

The RJS scholarship had previously been open to only Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu, the six countries where PFIP works.  This year the scholarship has been extended to all South Pacific Island Countries and organisations that have not previously worked with PFIP. 

The scholarship covers course fees for the  Chartered Digital Finance Practitioners (CDFP) Certification offered through the Digital Frontiers Institute (DFI). DFI is a non-profit founded in 2015, with links to Tufts University and primarily funded by the Omidyar Network, FSD Africa, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the MasterCard Foundation. Having trained over 2,000 financial inclusion practitioners from over 90 countries, the Institute is considered an educational leader in the Digital Finance space with its online executive education courses, focused on digital finance research and catering for a growing pool of industry professionals.

The CDFP Certification is a certification programme is designed to support the emerging digital financial services practice area within the Financial Inclusion space. As part of the learning, participants will have the opportunity to gain an understanding of different business models, use cases as well as gain experience through lessons learnt from global exposure and peer learning opportunities across different continents.

Applications close on 10th August 2018, for more information please email Elizabeth Larson via email:


About the RJS Scholarships

The RJS scholarship was established in 2016 in honour of PFIP’s former Programme Manager, Reuben Summerlin, in keeping with his passion for capacity building and education. Rueben joined the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) in 2012 to manage PFIP.  During his time in office, he expanded PFIP’s activities in both scale and scope, overseeing the fastest expansion in financial services the region has ever seen.  Mr. Summerlin passed away on July 6th 2015 in Fiji after a tragic biking accident.

About PFIP

PFIP is a Pacific-wide programme that has helped 1.98 million low-income Pacific islanders gain access to financial services and financial education. It achieves these results by funding innovation with financial services and delivery channels, supporting policy and regulatory initiatives, and empowering consumers.

PFIP operates from the UNDP Pacific Office in Suva, Fiji and has offices in Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Solomon Islands.  It is jointly administered by the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and receives funding from the Australian Government, the European Union and the New Zealand Government.


For more information or media inquiries please contact:
Erica Lee – Communications Associate   Phone: +679 3227538    Email:     Website: