Rethinking Financial Inclusion: Smart Design for Policy and Practice


Sunday, May 10, 2015 (All day) to Friday, May 15, 2015 (All day)


79 JFK Street Cambridge, MA 02138

Program Overview:

Rethinking Financial Inclusion: Smart Design for Policy and Practice, Harvard Kennedy School's newest Executive Education program, will explore frontier issues in finance for the poor and address challenges faced by both low and high-income countries. Led by Harvard professors with years of experience in evaluating financial access initiatives, the executive program combines an evidence-based approach to understanding the market for finance and client needs with theoretical insights on how to design financial products to meet those needs.

Visit the Executive Education Program Page for more information.


Through a combination of lectures, case studies, and group exercises, the five-day program will immerse leaders in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors in a collaborative and inspiring environment. The curriculum covers a range of financial services, highlighting the needs that they address, discussing the design challenges they pose, and incorporating evidence and insights from their various contexts. enabling participants to:

  • Deepen their understanding of household and small firm needs and behavioral issues related to financial decision-making
  • Apply the latest evidence to effectively design financial services to meet client needs in low-income settings
  • Analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of financial products
  • Understand the opportunities and challenges posed by “big data” for both product design and regulation
  • Balance the objectives and constraints of different actors, including clients, financial institutions, regulators and donors

Lectures and case studies will illuminate theory and evidence on key topics in financial access, while collaborative group sessions will enable participants to engage directly with the issues, solve problems and discuss how insights can be applied. Groups will be formed of diverse participants representing key market players – practitioners, donors, investors and regulators. Lectures will be led by renowned Harvard faculty and established industry leaders who will provide insights from regulatory reforms and cutting edge research.

Please visit the Rethinking Financial Inclusion Blog for up to date information.