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Monitoring consumer financial education in SA

The Financial Services Board (FSB) plays a pivotal role within the consumer education and financial capabilities space in South Africa.

Genesis has been evaluating the FSB’s consumer education department’s (CED’s) project portfolio since 2015 and has also become the FSB’s learning partner in the financial capabilities space. As a leader in consumer education and financial capabilities, the FSB runs projects for which impact needs to be identified and reported on. Furthermore, many of the consumer education projects are repeated annually and the FSB wants to ensure that these continue to improve on implementation and impact.

Genesis evaluated six of the FSB’s consumer education projects in 2015 and five projects in 2016. All FSB projects are strategically aligned to one programme level theory of change.

However, each of the consumer education projects is unique in either target audience or mode of delivery and Genesis ensures that each evaluation uses the combination of quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis methods most appropriate to the context.

Genesis will rely on informal site observations and discussions for the FSB financial capabilities project. An informal example is how church sermons instil financial messaging to rural congregants. Another example is the collection of base-line and end-line data for a financial capabilities project targeted at successful accounting students.

As the targeted population groups are often vulnerable South Africans, the team also uses participatory approaches to focus-group discussions (FGDs) which are conducted in the local language.

Some consumer education and financial capabilities projects are on-going. Among them are those that FSB runs with the South African Council of Churches (SACC) and the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA). Evaluation findings and recommendations have helped to improve implementation effectiveness and efficiency, as well as the relevance and overall impact.

Other evaluation findings are also used to inform further investment decisions, the design of future projects and whether pilot projects will be scaled in future.

Learning partner in consumer financial education

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