The Rift Revealed: The Search for Inclusion in Kenya’s Financial Landscape


Tuesday, April 10, 2012, 4:10pm to 5:30pm


124 Mt. Auburn Street, Suite 200-North, Room 226, Cambridge, MA
Susan Johnson

Susan Johnson, Bath University

About the Seminar
The rapid take up of mobile money transfer services in Kenya has ignited enthusiasm globally about the potential for financial service delivery based on the platform of mobile phone technology. On the basis of a research project looking across the financial landscape, Susan Johnson argues that this rapid take up can be understood as evidence of the extensive interpersonal transactions that Kenyans undertake and that, rather than revealing the potential for the development of formal sector services – in particular voluntary savings – it reveals the rift between the formal and informal sectors. Seen in this way she discusses the challenges that formal services face in the search for financial inclusion.

About the Speaker
Dr. Susan Johnson is a senior lecturer in international development at the University of Bath in the United Kingdom. Her work investigates the means through which social and cultural factors influence the economy and in particular how these factors influence the operation of markets in developing countries. She started her career as a development practitioner, and the priority of her research remains to engage theory with policy and practice. The core focus of her work has been on microfinance, microenterprise, and the wider financial markets they operate within. She has been engaged with a number of research and action research projects relating to the microfinance sector and how markets related to the wider goal of well being in developing countries, particularly in Eastern Africa. She is the author of From Fragmentation to Embeddedness: Towards an Institutional Analysis of Financial Markets and has co-written a number of books, including Money with a Mission: Microfinance and Poverty Reduction and Guidelines for Social Performance Management of Microfinance.