Developing appropriate Financial Literacy (FinLit) materials
Adult education requires more innovative methodologies relevant to the absorptive capacity and the culture of the participants. PFTAS has developed practical materials that can be used by MFIs to introduce new financial concepts, effect change in attitude and reinforce financial discipline among its clients. One of the main materials developed by PFTAS was the flipchart. Its main utility is being a “conversation-starter”. Credit officers or promotions staff of MFIs can use this to start a conversation and generate interest in discussing financial issues. In the process, the clients are sharing their ideas, while the staff of the MFIs can share new concepts. The chart primarily uses images that the clients can relate to. The material is presently being used by 7 MFIs in Cambodia and 4 MFIs in Vietnam.
Another set of materials developed are the “reminders”. These are stationary materials placed in strategic places where clients often go – markets, MFI offices, community centers and the like. Billboards, streamers and stand-alone posters fall under this category. These materials contain messages that reinforce the topics discussed with the credit officers. Calendars can also be considered as part of reminder materials. Other than promote the MFI as an institution, it can be a strong Finlit material that is present in the house of the client the whole year round.
With over indebtedness becoming one of the main concerns of the microfinance industry, a more comprehensive financial education program should be developed and implemented. It is not a concern of individual MFIs but rather the whole microfinance industry.