Data gaps challenge

DATA gaps are still a major challenge and work will continue to strengthen the financial inclusion and base set indicators to fully report on data disaggregation for gender, age and location at individual and micro, small and medium enterprise level.

The Financial Inclusion Report 2016 said after the release of the Demand Side Survey a few years back Fiji was able to improve its reporting of financial inclusion indicators, particularly, for usage and to some extent, quality.

It said last year, a pilot form was issued to all commercial banks to provide preliminary report on disaggregated data.

According to the report, feedback from the commercial banks was positive in terms of future reporting.

Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of Fiji and the National Financial Inclusion Taskforce had also set up a statistics working group (SWG) which had to monitor: (1) the outreach and coverage of existing financial services; and (2) the impact of financial inclusion efforts through the coordination and comprehensive data collection and sharing.

According to the report, technical expertise in the area of geospatial mapping has been a notable challenge for the working group.

However, with technical assistance from the South Pacific Commission Geoscience Division and Fiji Bureau of Statistics, the Fiji Financial Services Access Points map was published online for the first time in July 2016.

It said the map provided a snap shot of the financial access points in Fiji and was accessible and interactive online on both the RBF and the NFIT websites.

Through these maps policymakers, financial service providers and investors would be able to identify gaps and opportunities for development because a notable feature of these maps was that the invisible’ market becomes visible and over time the map could also be used to measure and track the progress of the Financial Inclusion Strategic Action Plan.

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