Lack of access to finance has been identified as a major constraint to an inclusive growth process

On 24 March 2017, at the Casa America in Madrid, the United Nations Development Programme launched its Annual Human Development Report, “Human Development for Everyone,” which analyses how human development can be ensured for everyone – now and in the future.

The event was hosted by Rebeca Grynspan, Secretary General of the Ibero-American Secretariat General (SEGIB) and Magdy Martínez-Solimán, Assistant Secretary-General of the UN and Assistant Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and was widely attended by many players from within the development sector.

The report explains that despite significant gains in levels of human development, millions of people have not benefited from the progress achieved. In order for human development to reach everyone, the report points to the need for more inclusive growth, with four mutually supporting pillars: formulating an employment-led growth strategy, enhancing financial inclusion, investing in human development priorities and undertaking high-impact multidimensional interventions (win-win strategies).

In terms of improved financial inclusion, the UNDP report highlights that several measures can be taken that can enhance access that poor people have to finance, primarily through expanding banking services to disadvantaged and marginalized groups, as well as relying on simplified procedures and harnessing modern technology to promote financial inclusion.

Microfinance Institutions, particularly, have a key role to play based upon the nature of their social missions and through the services they provide, namely: expanding banking services to disadvantaged and marginalized groups, specifically women and rural populations; opening bank branches in rural areas, offering simple banking services; and, having clear procedures that can be followed by people with low levels of literacy.

Owing to the importance of MFIs role, the measurement of how they translate their missions into practice is essential. At Inclusion [Social Ratings], our objective is to help MFIs succeed in this area. We do this by executing social performance and impact ratings that provide a value-added tool for identifying and assessing the specific areas that need improving in the social performance of MFIs.

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Source: Human Development Report 2016,