When we set out to pilot HERfinance in India earlier this year, we knew that we needed to track the impact of the initiative against our core objectives, which center on improving the financial literacy of low-income workers in global supply chains and increasing their uptake of financial products though workplace-based trainings.
With support from Disney and the GE Foundation, we developed a set of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) tools to define our objectives, track our impact, and make adjustments.
Global M&E Framework: This framework defines our program objectives and connects them to specific outputs and indicators to measure whether HERfinance has improved participants’ financial literacy and use of financial products. Among other indicators, we will track the percentage of factory employees that demonstrate sufficient financial inclusion knowledge at the end of the program and the percentage that report that HERfinance has had an impact on their financial management behavior. We’ve set targets for each and will use the results of the baseline and endline questionnaire and mobile surveys (described below) to assess whether we have met our goals at the end of the pilot.
Baseline and endline questionnaires: In partnership with Women’s World Banking, we developed comprehensive questionnaires to assess current financial literacy knowledge, attitudes towards finances, and behaviors related to budgeting, savings, and use of financial products. These questionnaires will be administered by our local implementing partners at the beginning and end of the HERfinance program.
Mobile surveys: We are currently designing three short, mobile-based surveys using a platform called Labor Link, which will help us gather real-time feedback on the effectiveness of the trainings over the course of the program. Data from these surveys will help ensure that the program is meeting the needs of participants and will enable us to make appropriate, real-time adjustments.
Last month, we launched HERfinance in three factories in Delhi, and we plan to launch three more in Delhi and six in Bangalore in the third quarter of 2013. We have received baseline data for those first three factories, and while we cannot draw any major conclusions without all of the data, we are seeing interesting trends in the Delhi sample—especially around the impact of gender on financial literacy and use of financial products. For example, since the majority of garment workers in Delhi are men, the baseline results reveal workers that have greater control over their finances, along with greater knowledge and use of financial products than we expect from a majority-women sample in South India. We are also seeing some initial results that confirm our hypothesis that fewer people who say they save money each month actually have a plan for how they will save enough to meet their financial goals— whether it is saving for their children’s education, unknown emergencies, dowry, or others.
We hope that the HERfinance trainings will not only help workers gain a better understanding of financial concepts and use of financial products but that the trainings also introduce concepts about budgeting and savings that enable workers to meet their own financial goals and dreams. We will continue to track the impact of this initiate and will continue to share the results as the program progresses.