Evaluation of Financial Sector Deepening Trust Strategy 2016 - 2020

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The Financial Sector Deepening Trust (FSDT) was incorporated in Tanzania on 1 July 2004.  The Trust is currently funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC), Embassy of Denmark, Embassy of Sweden and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). FSDT is the Tanzanian arm of the pan-African FSD family; a network of nine independent FSD-entities across the continent. The overarching aim of the FSD-network is to work alongside governments, businesses, non-profit organisations, research institutions, regulators and policy makers to develop more inclusive financial systems.

The conceptual underpinning of the FSD Network is the Making Markets Work for the Poor (M4P) approach. M4P builds on a detailed understanding of market systems and a clear vision of the future to address systemic constraints and bring about large-scale, sustainable change. The FSD Network Charter, jointly prepared and signed by all FSDs in 2019 recognises ‘the value of applying market systems thinking to identify the points of leverage leading to systemic change, which benefits the real economy and the households, especially the poor and vulnerable. In this process, we (FSDs) see our main role as facilitators, not direct providers of financial services.’

The main object of the evaluation was the assessment of FSDT’s Strategic Plan of 2016-2020 – i.e. the activities, results and outcomes delivered by FSDT during that period of time.

The main purpose of this mid-term evaluation was to extract learnings from the 2016-2020 strategy period. These findings will inform decisions on how implementation may be adjusted and improved. This is of particular relevance given the 2020 - 2025 strategy period and new funding rounds. Intended users involved FSDT staff, donor partners, FSD network members, and other stakeholder groups.

The main objective of the evaluation was to assess the implementation of FSDT’s Strategy with a focus on the period 2016-2020 and based on the criteria of relevance, effectiveness, and sustainability. In addition, the evaluation also considered experiences and lessons from the wider FSD Network, through a “light benchmarking” with the Financial Sector Deepening Kenya (FSDK) and Access to Finance Rwanda (AFR). The results of the evaluation is expected to inform decisions on the design and implementation of the next FSDT strategy, which is currently being developed. The primary intended users of the evaluation are FSDT and development partners.

In line with the ToR, the evaluation was utilisation focused and permeated by a gender perspective. Data was collected through a desk review, key informant interviews and an on-line survey. A sample of 12 projects was selected and assessed through Contribution Analysis and the use of rubrics. The main limitations of the evaluation was the lack of data on market system change and benefits generated for ultimate target groups provided by FSDT’s M&E system. Due to time, budget and Covid-19 restrictions, extensive in-country primary data collection was not possible.

The evaluation assessed the relevance, effectiveness, and sustainability of FSDT’s operations, and was expected to contribute to learning and serve as an input to FSDT’s next Strategic Plan. A light benchmarking was done with the Financial Sector Deepening Kenya (FSDK) and Access to Finance Rwanda (AFR). The evaluation found that FSDT’s Strategy has been largely relevant to national priorities and partners’ needs and that it has contributed to key policies and regulations, strengthened market infrastructure, and the development of new products and services. The needs of women and youth, however, have not been addressed properly, and more attention should be given to monitoring, learning, and ensuring value for money. It was moreover found that ensuring sustainability is a key challenge for FSDT, both in terms of programming and the viability of the FSDT itself.

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