Remittances and Financial Services Project

Arc Linkage Project Leveraging remittances with microfinance: a cross-country study

Over the last twenty years the volume of funds sent home by migrant workers has expanded to become a key input to national and household economies in Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Pacific region. In many developing countries migrant remittances exceed international aid and investment flows. As they flow directly to households they represent a more progressive and broad-based distribution of resources than either aid or investment. An extensive body of research links remittances with increased welfare, household savings, small business investment and community infrastructure.

This study investigates ways in which financial services can enhance the development impacts of remittances in Fiji, Indonesia, the Philippines, Samoa, Sri Lanka and East Timor. Led by Judith Shaw of the MAI and Robyn Eversole of the University of Tasmania, it brings together academic researchers, bankers and development practitioners from across the Asia-Pacific region in a collaborative research process. The aim is to provide a resource for policy-makers and financial institutions in designing strategies which maximise the contribution of remittances to economic and social development in the Asia-Pacific. The outcomes will include a comparative analysis of remittance flows and their developmental impacts in the six case-study countries, a market survey and evaluation of remittance-linked financial services, and a review of relevant policy and regulatory issues, with appropriate recommendations.

Industry partners on this project are AusAID, the Foundation for Development Cooperation (Brisbane), the ANZ Bank, Bank Rakyat Indonesia, the South Pacific Business Development Foundation, The TSPI Development Corporation (Philippines) and the Microfinance Council of the Philippines.

For further information contact
Dr Judith Shaw
Tel: + 61 3 9905 8470