A FINANCIAL Inclusion National Demand Side Survey (DSS) will be conducted in the provinces as of Monday to get the right data on how rural people access banking services.
Facilitated by the Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI) in partnership with the Pacific Financial Inclusion Program (PFIP), the survey aims to help the Government, CBSI and other stakeholders have a better understanding of the needs of all Solomon Islanders in terms of financial services and products.
A team of enumerators has been trained and prepared to be deployed to conduct house to house interviews under CBSI’s close supervision.
A sample size of 1,110 adults will be randomly selected from different households across Solomon Islands, from rural, urban and maritime areas to ensure a nationally representative sample for the survey.
The Survey will establish a baseline data that will provide useful information on access, usage and quality of the financial services and products currently available to all Solomon Islanders from the viewpoint of the customer.
Deputy Governor of Central Bank Gane Simbe said the outcome of the survey will be used to develop evidence-based policy solutions to address the gaps, as well as to monitor the growth of financial inclusion.
“Through this survey it will give us the right data where we can make right decision,” he said.
PFIP Financial Inclusion Specialist Krishman Narasimham said that the survey will create a baseline to understand the financial needs of Solomon Islands population.
He said the survey is the second one being carried out in the Pacific after Fiji.
Mr Narasimham said most people in the rural villages only knew about banks but they do not know about the services in the banking services because there is no access point.
“This is where the survey is important because it will help rural people to know about services such as insurance, transfer money, credit, loan and microfinance.
“Once we know the findings we can make very good decision,” he said.
The survey is expected to be completed by May.
CBSI Governor Denton Rarawa said that one of the key objectives of this survey is to determine and agree on a new set of Financial Inclusion targets and action plans.
These will be incorporated into the new Financial Inclusion Strategy for Solomon Islands and will replace the current framework that expires at the end of 2015.
The Financial Inclusion National DSS is being co-funded by the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) and Pacific Financial Inclusion programme (PFIP).
PFIP is a Pacific-wide programme helping low income households gain access to quality and affordable financial services and financial education.
It is jointly managed by the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
PFIP receives funding from the United Nations, Australian Government, the New Zealand Government and the European Union.
The Programme operates from the UNDP Pacific Centre in Suva, Fiji, and has offices in Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.
CBSI is the project manager, supported by a technical committee made up of representatives from a range of stakeholders that will provide oversight on the project.
The results of the survey are expected to be released within the second quarter of 2015.
By CHARLES KADAMANA