Impact of Financial Inclusion in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: a Systematic Review of Reviews

Financial inclusion programmes seek to increase access to financial services such as credit, savings, insurance and money transfers and so allow poor and low-income households in low- and middle-income countries to enhance their welfare, grasp opportunities, mitigate shocks, and ultimately escape poverty.

This systematic review of reviews assesses the evidence on economic, social, behavioural and gender-related outcomes from financial inclusion. It collects and appraises all of the existing meta-studies – that is systematic reviews and meta-analyses – of the impact of financial inclusion. The authors first analyse the strength of the methods used in those meta-studies, then synthesise the findings from those that are of a sufficient quality, and finally, report the implications for policy, programming, practice and further research arising from the evidence. Eleven studies are included in the analysis.

This project of work has ten outputs currently, which can be found here:


Philip Mader

Research Fellow