Financial security is achieved when a person practices wise money management, has secure savings in a savings account, and has a stable income. When a person is financially secure they have a higher chance of exercising their economic and individual rights, of being a socially engaged member of society and making sustainable decisions, in essence, they are an economic citizen. Governments have the ability to play a powerful role in the process of creating a financially secure generation.
What is the Government’s Role in Individual Financial Security?
The role that governments and national authorities play in whether or not a child has a chance of developing into a financially secure economic citizen is crucial. This is according to the results of this year’s edition of Children, Youth and Finance – an annual publication produced by Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI) documenting the global progress of financial inclusion, financial education and entrepreneurship for young people around the world.
By assessing the outreach numbers of CYFI’s partner and collaborators, CYFI has documented that civil society organizations are effectively working towards increasing the economic citizenship of children and youth with around 27 million children and youth being reached by international NGOs. Goverments, on the other hand, have reached just over 4 million children and youth through programs and initiatives. While financial institutions have reached just over 3 million young people. Collectively, the CYFI Network reaches 36 million children and youth with at least a financial product or financial education program (16 million receive a combination of education and inclusion). With the involvement of more governments the Network can expand it's reach significantly.
CYFI believes that in order to reach a substantial number – in relation to the world’s population - of children and youth with financial services and Economic Citizenship Education, a coordinated effort is needed at the country level, with government institutions taking the lead role in this effort. While civil society has led outreach efforts up to this point, it has become clear that reaching scale globally can only be done if national governments are leading with NGOs and financial institutions taking a complimentary or advisory role.
How can Governments Help Kids and Youth Have Financial Security? We've found 3 ways!
Based on the findings in this document, CYFI has compiled the following 3 recommendations for governments in order to help guarantee young people’s financial security:
- Give children and youth a significant position in national financial inclusion strategies, financial regulations and consumer protection policies.
- Intensify coordination and collaboration with stakeholders from civil society and financial institutions at the national, regional and global level.
- Intensify youth participation and hear youth input during the drafting and consultation phases of national initiatives.
Children, Youth and Finance: Action for Sustainable Outreach gives several examples of successful national programs are included to help set the benchmark for governments in setting national level policy and regulation. Best practices from a variety of partners and collaborators in the CYFI Network are also provided. To download the full publication, and for previous editions, please visit CYFI Publications page at www.childfinance.org.
About Children, Youth and Finance
Children, Youth and Finance is an annual compilation of data gathered by Child & Youth Finance International from financial service providers, government authorities, civil society organizations, multilateral institutions and academics. The goal of Children, Youth and Finance is to provide an overview of the global progress of financial inclusion, financial education and entrepreneurship for young people.