Consult the Call for Papers: submission of abstracts >>> 15th February
New tools, new actors: which aims, values and beneficiaries?
This 2019 edition will focus on the challenges of industrialization and massification, which have been fuelled by the increasing use of new technologies as supposedly efficient instruments for fostering financial inclusion worldwide. These new technologies have brought unprecedented opportunities, including cost reduction and the penetration of isolated areas. But they also present unparalleled risks, including issues of privacy, the use of big data for commercial purposes, and a loss of face-to-face relationships.
The spectrum of financial inclusion has also been observably widening. It now associates public transfers with various basic services such as water, sanitation and health. Given the massification and diversification of supply, it’s crucial to consider what the underlying missions and objectives may be. Is it a matter of facilitating access to a wide range of appropriate, affordable tools, or of turning poor people into consumers?
Is it about creating inclusion, whether for marginalized individuals, populations or territories, or about the financialization of marginalized population segments? Is it to champion the construction of welfare states, or to contribute to their erosion?
Is it about creating, redistributing or capturing new forms of wealth, and if so, who benefits from it?
The goal is not to be able to claim to have found an unambiguous answer, something which would be futile in the light of the diversity of models and contexts. It is rather to encourage researchers, students and professionals in the sector to question and debate the meaning and values underlying their research and practices.
Roundtables and plenary sessions will be organised along these lines, but parallel sessions will be open to any research contribution on microfinance and financial inclusion. Particular attention will be given to papers based on original empirical data, and to young researchers. Alldisciplines arewelcome,as this conferenceis precisely anopportunity tocross-fertilizemethods andapproaches.