Policymakers and regulators worldwide face a common challenge when encouraging and monitoring the growth of financial inclusion: good data is hard to come by. This is especially true in the Pacific region, where gathering data in areas with low population density spread over large distances is physically challenging and costly.
Despite passionate and goal-oriented central banks with mandates for financial inclusion, policymakers were operating largely in a data vacuum when making big policy decisions. The Demand Side Survey (DSS) initiative is an important first step in the journey to incorporate data into policymaking and evaluation, by providing evidence-based color and depth to the understanding of financial access and usage in the Pacific.
The studies have also built a comprehensive picture of the gender gaps in each country, paving the way for further in-depth research into gender equity in financial inclusion. These studies support the national financial inclusion strategies, providing the context and analytical basis for the gender equality goals outlined in each.
The surveys were led in-country by the central banks with the assistance of their respective National Bureaus of Statistics. The results were used as the main evidence base in developing each country’s NFIS. Surveys are available for: