The Program on Remittances and Development seeks to expand knowledge of the financial intermediation of remittances and their role in achieving positive development outcomes.
The program aims to research and promote best practices in remittance transmission in Latin America, as well as to craft policy prescriptions for governments, the financial sector, aid organizations and civil society. Its guiding principles are that the cost of remittance services can be reduced and that increased participation of the formal financial sector in this market will increase competition and financial intermediation, as well as open channels for more productive use. Industry participants and consumers alike benefit from improved financial literacy and expanded access to financial services for underrepresented groups. Therefore, the main focus of the program is on stakeholder institutions and the institutional environment that enables and facilitates these objectives.
Briefly, our research agenda aims to illuminate the financial channels that intermediate remittance flows in order to minimize transaction costs, increase financial access, and maximize the benefit of remittances on development:
The case studies conducted in 2005, the first program year, will include (1) a survey of participating financial institutions, (2) an analysis of financial products and technological vehicles for remittances, (3) an evaluation of the institutional environment in the remittances market, (4) the quality of national statistics, (5) competitive, regulatory and supervisory frameworks and (6) financial, technological and policy innovations to enhance and leverage these financial flows.
The second program year in 2006 seeks to examine remittances and financial development from a thematic perspective with cross-country research on themes to be determined. These may include rural development and microfinance, housing finance, micro-insurance, technological applications, securitization and other areas, the choice of which will be demand driven by stakeholders participating in the program.
The third program year in 2007 aims to disseminate work conducted in previous years locally and to solicit feedback from all stakeholders and to drive the research agenda forward. The third program year will culminate in a volume of the previous years’ research following a series of local workshops to ensure that program recommendations reflect on-the-ground realities faced by practitioners and policymakers.
In addition to disseminating best practices, this project will build collaborative networks for research and policy analysis to promote innovation in receiving countries to better leverage remittances for positive development outcomes.
Cross Cutting Themes:
Center on Globalization and Sustainable Development; The Earth Institute at Columbia University; 2910 Broadway, MC 3277; Hogan Hall, Room 111; New York , NY 10025
Project Web Site:
School of International and Public Affairs, Institute of Latin American Studies
Inter-American Development Bank