AFFORD TWO, EAT ONE
FINANCIAL INCLUSION IN RURAL MYANMAR
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The aim of this report is to provide a foundational reference for organisations wishing to develop products and services for financially constrained consumers in Myanmar.
The Afford Two, Eat One report explores the financial landscape for the poor in Myanmar, mapping behaviours around and attitudes to savings, investments, loans and transactions. The report identifies thirteen findings and twenty one insights, as well as a number of opportunities for future products and services.
This project was made possible through funding by the Institute for Money Technology and Financial Inclusion. It was carried out by Proximity Designs, Studio D Radiodurans and frog. The report is the result of over two hundred in-context, in-depth and ad-hoc interviews conducted across Myanmar over an eight week period in 2014. It draws on well-established human centered design and research principles from a team made up of local staff and internationals. The team uses a pop-up studio approach.
THE FINANCIAL LANDSCAPE
The report starts by mapping the diverse informal and formal financial landscape including banks, peer savings groups, pawnshops and loan sharks and explores issues such as motivations for saving, strategies for investment, triggers for borrowing.
FINDINGS & INSIGHTS
Some of the findings map to what is known in other markets (all be they with Myanmar characteristics), while some are unique to the locale. For example:
The nascent mobile culture provide opportunities for understanding global technology trends, explored in this sidebar on Mobile Myanmar.
All thirteen findings and twenty-one insights are written up in full in the main report.
THE HEISIL FRAMEWORK
The HIESIL framework (Household Income, Expenditure, Savings, Investments and Loans) was used to map family and household income. This consistent yet flexible data-collection method, allowing the team to understand money and value movement through the family unit, as well as perceptions and attitudes towards loans, savings and investments.
Six archetypes were created, modelled on human traits and behaviours. Archetypes can capture a person in a particular moment in time while acknowledging that individuals are dynamic, changing with the season, circumstance, over the course of time, sometimes even within a single day. They provide a useful foundation for the design of new services.
Nyo Gyi farms ten acres, enough to put food on his family's table and sell produce at the market. He is a faithful Buddhist, has strong family values and believes the community should always support one another. His family donates to the monastery every day and, when it can, saves small amounts for the education of their five children and for their 3-year-old son's future novitiation. While Nyo Gyi believes secondary education can provide a better life beyond the village, he worries he will only be able to afford to send one of his children to secondary school.
Though his entire farm operation is dependent on loans, he is generally risk-averse, and will only be involved in investments he knows works or is recommended by someone he trusts.
Each archetype documents the financial services used, available collateral and a financial snapshot. We also explore the evolution of archetypes over time.