Call for chapters: financial inclusion for poverty alleviation

News, 25 August 2015
IIED has issued a call for chapters for a new book on how to improve access to financial services for millions of poor people around the world.

A women's savings club in Nigeria allows women to borrow money for medical expenses or business initiatives. Financially empowering women is an important step in eradicating extreme poverty (Photo: Karen Kasmauski, USAID Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program)

The new book will look at how financial inclusion – access to appropriate financial services – can drive sustainable development and help to eradicate poverty. The proposed title of the book is 'Financial inclusion for poverty alleviation: banking on the unbanked'.

The book will address financial exclusion as one of the key barriers to lifting people out of extreme poverty, and comes at a critical time in international development. It will look at ways of building inclusive financial systems that can empower the world's poor – by increasing opportunities, securing livelihoods and reducing poverty.

The editors are IIED senior researcher Essam Yassin Mohammed and senior economist Zenebe Bashaw Uraguchi, of the Swiss development agency HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation. They have issued a call for chapters.

Mohammed says: "We are seeking chapter contributors from across different sectors, regions and disciplines. I am looking forward to hearing from a great mix of potential contributors. This publication offers contributors a great opportunity to document their accumulated experience in addressing financial inclusion for sustainable development in general – and poverty alleviation in particular."


More than one billion people still live under the poverty line – most of them in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Access to finance is a major issue: more than 77 per cent of poor people do not have access to financial products and services, such as bank accounts, affordable and suitable loans, insurance, and so on.

The barriers to finance include lengthy and complex processes, geographical distance from financial institutions, lack of suitable products and services, limited and short-term instalment and repayment systems, weak savings, over-indebtedness and low financial literacy. 

Exploring approaches that can address these constraints and deliver financial inclusion is a critical task.

Public and private sector stakeholders are trying to tackle core constraints and are seeking to identify innovative ways to meet the financial needs of the millions of poor and financially excluded around the world. The new book's editors welcome contributions that document this work, including evidenced-based/empirical papers (qualitative or quantitative), conceptual discussions, comparative analyses, and in-depth case studies. 

Submission guidelines

Thematic areas

Submissions may relate to, but are not limited to, the following ares: 

  • Understanding financial inclusion 
  • Approaches to facilitating financial inclusion
  • Challenges and success factors for deeper financial intermediaries   
  • Financing sustainable development 
  • Financial literacy 
  • Gender equality and social equity towards financial inclusion 
  • Institutional arrangements/policy frameworks for financial inclusion (e.g. regulations, supervision, client protection) 
  • Digital financing/mobile banking
  • Resilience to vulnerability through financial inclusion  
  • Alternative financing (e.g. Islamic finance)  
  • Lessons from conditional cash transfer programmes 
  • Lessons from incentive-based natural resources management (e.g. Payments for Ecosystem Servuices (PES), and
  • Monitoring and measuring financial inclusion (measuring success).

Key dates

  • Abstracts (not longer than 290 words) must be submitted by 15 September, 2015
  • Accepted chapter author(s) will be notified by 5 October, 2015
  • Full chapters are expected to be submitted by 10 February, 2016. All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a double-blind review basis
  • Full chapters should be emailed to with subject as 'Banking on the unbanked_(insert short title)", and
  • The book is scheduled to be published in autumn 2016.

Word limit and formatting

  • The chapter's length should be between 5,000 and 9,000 words with minimal use of tables, graphs, figures or pictures
  • The chapter may be an individual submission or a co-authored submission
  • The font should be Times New Roman, font size 12pt with 1.5pt line spacing
  • The chapters should follow APA style of referencing
  • The authors are required to send a short biographical sketch (less than 120 words) about themselves.

About the editors

Dr Essam Yassin Mohammed is senior researcher in environmental economics with IIED and former head of the Fisheries Promotion Unit at the Ministry of Fisheries of Eritrea. In addition to his academic and professional experience as a fisheries scientist, he is an expert in economic valuation of the environment. In his capacity as an environmental economist, he works on a wide range of topics from economic valuation of environmental goods and services, to influencing policy processes to promote fair, inclusive and sustainable economies both at national and global levels. He is editor of the book 'Economic incentives for marine and coastal conservation: prospects, challenges and policy implications'.

Dr Zenebe Bashaw Uraguchi is a development economist with more than 17 years of multi-country experience working for a multinational company, an international development bank and a research institute. He currently works with the Swiss-based development  HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation as programme coordinator for Eastern Europe and senior advisor in market systems development. His areas of interest are development finance, development paradigms, and monitoring and results measurement.

Further information

Download full submission details of the 'Financial inclusion for poverty alleviation: banking on the unbanked' book (PDF)


Essam Yassin Mohammed, senior researcher (environmental economics), IIED's Sustainable Markets Group

Email:; Tel: +44 (0) 20 3463 7399

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