At the Aspen Institute Financial Security Program (FSP), their specific mission is to promote deep, deliberate dialogue and practical action to address the most critical financial challenges facing low- and moderate-income households, and to advance pragmatic and effective solutions that expand access to high-quality financial policies, products, and services.
Financial Inclusion has been embraced and elevated as a priority policy reform issue on the global development agenda in recent years. Sadly, the same cannot be said in the United States. There are multiple agencies in the U.S. at local, state and federal levels that are demonstrating leadership and dedicating resources to expand household access to financial education, products, services and consumer protections both here and abroad. These efforts, while extremely important, are only loosely coordinated, follow no overarching strategy, and remain largely separate from (and irrelevant to) the dominant framework and narrative that shape the country’s domestic and international economic development priorities and agenda.
As a result of changing priorities among US government leadership, AspenFSP seeks to develop a new strategy designed to build momentum and leadership among key stakeholders and leaders to make financial inclusion a key part of an “inclusive growth” strategy in anticipation of new opportunities to reposition and elevate this issue in the 2020 election cycle. The tasks for the SIPA team would be to work with AspenFSP staff and fellows to research and map out several different strategic options for how to successfully position the idea of creating a comprehensive financial inclusion strategy (or financial health, or financial security). Steps will include issue and stakeholder research, scenario planning, regulatory and legislative policy assessment, and analysis of trends and key issues related to digital finance, financial regulatory innovation, financial access and consumer protection in areas of retirement and liquid savings, credit, payments, insurance and advice.