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Mid-term review of largest UN project in digital finance

Mobile Money for the Poor (MM4P) is the largest of the UNCDF’s programmes in digital finance. MM4P is a multi-year global programme aimed at demonstrating how the correct mix of technical, financial and policy support can assist in scaling up sustainable digital financial services (DFS) that reach the poor in very low-income countries.

MM4P has a wide range of donors, including the Mastercard Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, MetLife Foundation and USAID, and is implemented in Nepal, Senegal, Uganda, Zambia, Benin, Lao PDR, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Malawi. MM4P provides technical assistance and grants to providers to develop and improve DFS to the under-served, supports policy and regulatory changes related to DFS, and conducts a range of other ecosystem building and knowledge management activities.

The original MM4P concept documents listed activities that serve the unique financial needs of women as one of the programme’s priority areas. The evaluation also sought to assess the extent to which gender had been mainstreamed throughout programme activities.

Genesis was contracted by UNCDF to conduct a mid-term evaluation of MM4P. The evaluation was based on a theory-based approach and used the OECD DAC criteria as its guiding framework. It included interviews with over 100 stakeholders, focus group discussions with a sample of agents and clients, and an in-depth desktop review. The evaluation included field visits to Nepal, Senegal, Uganda and Zambia and produced country reports for each as appendices to the main evaluation report.

The evaluation came at an opportune time, when UNCDF was developing a new digital strategy, and provided important findings to inform that strategy. These included the value of having a technical team on the ground, partners through continuous interaction, and relationship building as an effective approach to building markets.

The evaluation report and management response

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