About the Project

Research Programs

Research Methods

Notes from the Field

Going to School with M-PESA

Missing Water Money: Playing Nancy Drew Made Easy by M-PESA

Does M-PESA in Kenya Crowd Out Corner Store Bankers?

Money in a Pot: Has OIBM Altered Savings in Rural Malawi?

The Emerging Effects of M-Pesa's Rural Outreach at the Household Level

Hello... Cell Phones or Landlines for Poverty Status Indicator?

Research Programs

Below is a brief overview of each of the Gates-funded grants addressed by this project. Please see each organization's website for further information. We engage with each of the grantees in an iterative process in designing the research. As such, the following research descriptions may change.

Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance


The design and delivery of new types of microinsurance and savings services in Pakistan. Research questions include:

Opportunity International


The expansion to rural areas using new delivery channels such as mobile banks and point of service (POS) devices to offer savings, credit, and payment and transfer services in Malawi. Research questions include:

Pro Mujer


The introduction of tailored products (an entrepreneur loan, an agro-commercial loan, and a youth product) to new markets in Peru. Research questions include:

Freedom from Hunger


The introduction of health protection services designed to complement existing financial products and health education. Since Freedom from Hunger's grant includes a substantial impact assessment component, the IRIS Center and Microfinance Opportunities are reviewing the design of the research and methodology.

Unpacking the Impacts of Technology Enabled Agent Banking: The Case of Kenya

The IRIS Center and MFO have begun a new and innovative study addressing "how" and "why" technology enabled agent based banking (popularly known as second generation banking or 2G) is adopted, used, and causes major socio-economic outcomes at household and community levels. The study questions include:

The findings from this study will feed into a specific learning agenda: The studies will serve as a guide to help the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other donors and investors in their future efforts to support inclusive and efficient financial services for the poor.