The Solomon Islands National Provident Fund (SINPF) and United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) have signed a partnership agreement on Wednesday to jointly carry out a research study on the informal sector financial services in the Solomon Islands.
The partnership agreement was signed by Tony Makabo, General Manager & CEO of SINPF and Judith Karl, Executive Secretary of the UNCDF at an event held at the CBSI.
The partnership involves a grant agreement whereby UNCDF through its Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP) will provide funding assistance to the SINPF to conduct a research covering the following:
- Identify the financial services needs of the informal sector made up of subsistence farmers, casual and seasonal workers, marginalized women and youth and the nearly 110,000 economically active Solomon Islanders who are presently not covered by the NPF
- Develop product prototypes suited to the unique needs of the informal sector segments and the channels through which they can be reached
- Explore intermediaries through whom the remote rural communities can be targeted with a view to providing them long term voluntary savings through SINPF. This will include involving the savings clubs as a channel for reaching out to grass roots level and bottom of the pyramid segments of society
- Investigate the potential for developing, prototyping and launching appropriate savings, super annuation and micro pension products suited to the needs of the unorganized and informal sector with specific focus on women and youth.
The project is expected to commence right from October 2015 and study completed latest by June 2016. Thereafter based on the findings of the research, NFP in partnership with PFIP engage in charting the future implementation plan for roll out of appropriate products and services.
The funding assistance for the research project is being provided by the PFIP through the support from Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade and Solomon Islands bilateral programme.
The MOU signing event was witnessed by the Governor and Deputy Governor of CBSI as well as the senior officials of SINPF and UNCDF.