DID will be working in collaboration with 2 students from McGill University to assess the socioeconomic impacts of the financial education initiatives associated with the Agriculture and rural financing in Mali (FARM) project.
The primary objective of this collaboration is to put together a list of methods that can be used to assess the indirect effects of training provided by the FARM project. Quantitative and qualitative data collection methods will be proposed for this purpose. The 2 students will work under the supervision of Annie Savard, associate professor in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education at McGill University.
Studying the effects of the FARM project's financial education initiatives will provide insights on the indirect impacts they have on vulnerable populations, particularly female farmers. For example, the proposed methods may help shed light on the way beneficiaries apply acquired knowledge, on the changes they make to their consumption habits to manage their expenses better or on how well their financial stress is reduced.
This partnership with McGill University was coordinated by Mitacs, a Canadian, non-profit organization that has been developing and implementing research financing programs across Canada for 20 years now. Mitacs' Accelerate program promotes networking between organizations and academic researchers through joint research projects. The project is supported by combined financing from Mitacs and Global Affairs Canada, the FARM project's financial partner.
About the financial education provided by the FARM project
Financial education content for the FARM project was developed based on 5 themes: profitability of a revenue-generating activity, management of financial stress and unforeseen events, credit, the advantages of opening an account and crop insurance. Instead of using external facilitators, 76 leaders from local farmer organizations were identified for the purposes of holding lectures in 38 local farmer organizations in 3 of the country's regions. These female leaders took a course on leadership, public speaking, communication and adult education. In 2019, 1,550 women attended more than 560 training sessions, including 850 women from the Baguinéda region who will be studied during the research project.