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Access to Financial Services in Developing Countries

Since 2008, I have embarked on research focused on access to finance in developing countries using the Finscope datasets. The first of the papers “Cause and Effect of Financial Access in Sub-Saharan Africa: Cross Country Evidence from the Finscope Surveys” with Patrick Honohan was published in Robert Cull, Asli Demirgüç-Kunt and Jonathan Morduch’s Banking the World: Empirical Foundations of Financial Inclusion (MIT Press) in 2012. It is also is also available as a working paper.

A second paper titled The Unbanked Four-Fifths: Informality and Barriers to Banking Services in Nigeria which considers the role of informality in access to financial services was prepared for the Global Development Finance Conference, 2011 and was subsequently published as IIIS Discussion Paper 411.

The most recent paper investigates the role of mobile banking in overcoming distance as a constraint to financial inclusion in Kenya. The paper is titled Is Mobile Banking Breaking the Tyranny of Distance to Bank Infrastructure? Evidence from Kenya, IIIS Discussion Paper 412, 2012. See blog post on this paper on the Word Bank blog ‘All About Finance’.

In December 2012, I delivered Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Kenya’s bi-annual research colloquium. The presentation was titled ‘Comparative Financial Inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa and Frontiers of Financial Inclusion Research‘.

Development Policy

Since 2007, I have been involved in a four year research project on Policy Coherence for Development sponsored by the Advisory Board to Irish Aid (ABIA). In 2009, Frank Barry, Alan Matthews and I published a significant research report on Ireland and policy coherence for development. Through this research we have had three other papers on policy coherence for development. In 2012, Alan Matthews and I collaborated with colleagues from the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) to publish a significant report on Measuring Policy Coherence for Development. More recently, Niels Keijzer and I have worked on a report on how the the external effects of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) could be monitored.

In recent years, I have been active in promoting rigorous evaluation of aid projects within Ireland.  In April 2009, Pedro Vicente and I organised a conference on Impact measurement in Development Aid at Trinity College Dublin. Together we also organised the 3rd Annual Conference of the Experiments in Governance and Politics (EGAP) network at Trinity.

Other resources:

Presentation to IDCD on Indicators for PCD, November 2009

Presentation to Concern Worldwide on Impact Measurement, July 2009

Conference: Impact Measurement in Development Aid Conference Proceedings, April 2009

Conference: Strengthening Institutions for Development and Poverty Reduction, July 2008


National Competitiveness

Before joining Trinity, I was a member of the national competitiveness research team in Forfás, Ireland’s National Policy Advisory Body for Enterprise and Science. The team preformed the research for Ireland’s National Competitiveness Council. More recently, I have been involved in a research project commissioned by United Kingdom Trade and Investment (UKTI) that used trade data to analyse the performance of the sixteen priority sectors for the UK economy.