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May 1, 2014

Headed to the field this summer? Blog for FAI!

By Financial Access Initiative

As the semester comes to a close, some of you are gearing up to travel for internships and post-grad positions with organizations focused on microfinance, financial inclusion, or household money management. We at FAI are interested in hearing from you about your first-hand interactions with people using financial services for a planned series of blog posts based on your summer experience.

FAI is a research center housed at NYU Wagner focused on exploring how financial services can improve the lives of poor households.  We recognize that the world’s poor live complex financial lives but do not often have access to formal financial services.  Observing household money management strategies—as some of you will have the chance to do this summer—can inform the development of savings, credit, and insurance products that can better meet their needs.   

While personal stories or profiles of individuals are great for the mass email to friends and family, we are more interested in your thoughtful examination of what you see in the field.  For example:

  • How does the relationship between the loan officer and the client influence the borrowing and repayment process?
  • What factors influence the decision to sign up for a mobile money account?  Do they vary by gender or age group?
  • What forms of saving and credit strategies are villagers using?
  • Are common financial products used in surprising ways?

Think less anecdotal, more analytical.  (Also note that you do not have to travel abroad – US-based observations are most welcome.)  Below are some examples of FAI blog posts that incorporate field observations with insightful analysis to give you a sense of our organizational perspective and tone:

Blog posts should be roughly 500-800 words and include at least one picture. (Note: avoid  “poverty porn” and if it could illustrate this Onion article, don’t send it.) 

If selected, your post will be published on our homepage and included in the FAIV, our weekly newsletter (to subscribe, select “Stay Informed” from the sidebar on our homepage), reaching our audience of policy-makers, academic researchers, students, and practitioners.

To apply, email a copy of your CV, a short description of your summer position and organization, and a writing sample to contact@financialaccess.org.

Best of luck and safe travels!

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