Responsible Finance Forum

Financial Education Programs and Strategies: Approaches and Available Resources

10 October 2014
Source:  The World Bank

The global financial crisis highlighted the importance of financial literacy and capability, because the lack of consumer knowledge played a role in the genesis of the crisis. To become more active and confident participants in the financial sector, consumers need awareness, understanding, and knowledge about various types of rapidly evolving financial products and services and associated risks, such as fraud and over-indebtedness. As the variety and complexity of financial products and services increases, the importance of the financial capabilities of consumers becomes even more significant for the smooth functioning of financial markets.

Targeted financial education programs are designed and implemented as tools to increase consumers’ financial literacy and capability. This is done with the expectation that such programs will facilitate better informed decisions about using and managing financial services and risks, and thus mitigate potential negative effects. An increasing number of countries have financial education strategies in place or have included financial education and awareness measures prominently within financial inclusion, literacy, or sector strategies. In recent years, numerous countries have developed and implemented a broad range of financial education programs. These initiatives ranged from financial literacy campaigns to more structured seminars and workshops, and targeted various segments of the population with diverse delivery channels such as formal educational curricula or educational entertainment relying on popular soap operas to reach target audiences.