Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 32726
Participatory Financial Inclusion Hypothesis: A Preliminary Empirical Validation Using Survey Design

Authors: Edward A. Osifodunrin, Jose Manuel Dias Lopes


In Nigeria, enormous efforts/resources had, over the years, been expended on promoting financial inclusion (FI); however, it is seemingly discouraging that many of its self-declared targets on FI remained unachieved, especially amongst the Rural Dwellers and Actors in the Informal Sectors (RDAIS). Expectedly, many reasons had been earmarked for these failures: low literacy level, huge informal/rural sectors etc. This study posits that in spite of these truly-debilitating factors, these FI policy failures could have been avoided or mitigated if the principles of active and better-managed citizens’ participation had been strictly followed in the (re)design/implementation of its FI policies. In other words, in a bid to mitigate the prevalent financial exclusion (FE) in Nigeria, this study hypothesizes the significant positive impact of involving the RDAIS in policy-wide decision making in the FI domain, backed by a preliminary empirical validation. Also, the study introduces the RDAIS-focused Participatory Financial Inclusion Policy (PFIP) as a major FI policy regeneration/improvement tool. The three categories of respondents that served as research subjects are FI experts in Nigeria (n = 72), RDAIS from the very rural/remote village of Unguwar Dogo in Northern Nigeria (n = 43) and RDAIS from another rural village of Sekere (n = 56) in the Southern region of Nigeria. Using survey design (5-point Likert scale questionnaires), random/stratified sampling, and descriptive/inferential statistics, the study often recorded independent consensus (amongst these three categories of respondents) that RDAIS’s active participation in iterative FI policy initiation, (re)design, implementation, (re)evaluation could indeed give improved FI outcomes. However, few questionnaire items also recorded divergent opinions and various statistically (in)significant differences on the mean scores of these three categories. The PFIP (or any customized version of it) should then be carefully integrated into the NFIS of Nigeria (and possibly in the NFIS of other developing countries) to truly/fully provide FI policy integration for these excluded RDAIS and arrest the prevalence of FE.

Keywords: Citizens’ participation, development, financial inclusion, formal financial services, national financial inclusion strategy, participatory financial inclusion policy, rural dwellers and actors in the informal sectors.

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 577


[1] ADB (2004). Effectiveness of Participatory Approaches: Do the New Approaches Offer an Effective Solution to the Conventional Problems in Rural Development Projects? Asian Development Bank (ADB) Special Evaluation Study.
[2] AFI (2018). National financial inclusion strategies: current state of practice. A publication of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI).
[3] Albareda, A. (2018). Connecting society and policymakers? conceptualizing and measuring the capacity of civil society organizations to act as transmission belts. Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations: Official Journal of the International Society for Third-Sector Research, 29(6), 1216-1232. doi:10.1007/s11266-018-00051-x
[4] Anaesorony, M. (2019, September 16). Informal sector workers want to be involved in designing micro insurance, pension products. Businessday, p. 28
[5] Bingham, L. B. (2010). The Next Generation of Administrative Law: Building the Legal Infrastructure for Collaborative Governance. Wisconsin Law Review 2010 (2010): 297–356.
[6] Bingham, L. B., Nabatchi, T. & O’Leary, R. (2005). The New Governance: Practices and Processes for Stakeholder and Citizen Participation in the Work of Government. Public Administration Review 65(5): 528–539.
[7] Blackburn, J., Chambers, R. & Gaventa, J. (2000). Mainstreaming Participation in Development. Operations Evaluation Department (OED) Working Paper Series, No. 10.
[8] Bratton, M. (1994). Civil Society and Political Transition in Africa. IDR Report 11(6).
[9] Brown, D., Howes, M., Hussein, K., Longley, C. & Swindell, K. (2002). Participatory methodologies and participatory practices: assessing PRA use in The Gambia. A publication of the Agricultural Research & Extension Network (AREN). Network Paper No. 124
[10] Burton, P. (2004). Power to the people? how to judge public participation. Local Economy, 19(3), 193–198.
[11] Burton, P. (2009). Conceptual, theoretical and practical issues in measuring the benefits of public participation. Evaluation, 15(3), 263–284.
[12] CBN (2018) National Financial Inclusion Strategy (Revised).
[13] CBN (2012) National Financial Inclusion Strategy.
[14] CDLR (2008). A self-assessment tool for citizen participation at the local level. A publication of the European Committee on Local and Regional Democracy (CDLR).
[15] Chambers, R. (1997) Whose reality counts? Putting the first last, London: IT Publications
[16] Chambers, R. (1983) Rural development: Putting the last first, Harlow: Longman
[17] Chaudhury, N., & Parajuli, D. (2010). “Giving it back: evaluating the impact of devolution of school management to communities in Nepal.” World Bank, Washington, DC.
[18] Dastan, I. & Gurler, C. (2016). Factors Affecting the Adoption of Mobile Payment Systems: An Empirical Analysis. Emerging Markets Journal, Volume 6 No 1 (2016)
[19] Demirgüç-Kunt, A., Klapper, L., Singer, D., Ansar, S. & Hess, J. (2018). The Global Findex Database 2017: Measuring Financial Inclusion and the Fintech Revolution. Washington, DC: World Bank. doi:10.1596/978-1-4648-1259-0. License: Creative Commons Attribution CC BY 3.0 IGO
[20] Devarajan, S. & Kanbur, R. (2014). Strategy: Balancing Market and Government Failure
[21] Dubin, R. (1978) Theory development. New York: Free Press.
[22] Dubin, R. (1969). Theory building. New York: Free Press
[23] EFInA (2018, 2016, 2014, 2012, 2010, 2008). EFInA Access to Financial Services in Nigeria – Biennial Surveys. A publication of Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA), an organisation funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
[24] Ekman, J., & Amna, E. (2009). Political participation and civic engagement: Towards a new typology. Youth & Society Working Paper 2009.
[25] Fourie, D. J. (2001). Mechanisms to improve citizen participation in government and its administration. South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences, 4(1), 216–233.
[26] Greenwood, J. (2019). Researching political participation using survey data (Ser. Sage research methods. cases). SAGE Publications.
[27] Gunnarsson, V., Orazem, P.F. Sanchez, M.A. & Verdisco, A. (2009). “Does Local school control raise student outcomes? evidence on the roles of school autonomy and parental participation.” Economic Development and Cultural Change 58: 25–52.
[28] Halvorsen, K. E. (2003) ‘Assessing the Effects of Public Participation’, Public Administration Review 63(5): 535–43.
[29] IAP2 (2020). Citizens’ participation: core values. A publication of the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2).
[30] IMF (2017). The Informal Economy in Sub-Saharan Africa: Size and Determinants. IMF Working Paper WP/17/156
[31] Jaramillo, M., & Wright, G. (2015). Participatory democracy and effective policy: Is there a link? evidence from rural Peru. World Development, 66, 280-292. doi:10.1016/j.worlddev.2014.08.011
[32] Lim, C. (2008). Social networks and political participation: how do networks matter? Social Forces, 87(2), 961–982
[33] Lopez, T., & Winkler, A. (2018). The challenge of rural financial inclusion - evidence from microfinance. Applied Economics, 50(14), 1555-1577. doi:10.1080/00036846.2017.1368990
[34] Mansuri, G., Rao, V. (2013). Localizing development: Does Participation Work? Washington, DC: World Bank. DOI: 10.1596/978-0-82138256-1. License: Creative Commons Attribution CC BY 3.0.
[35] Matamanda, A. R., & Chinozvina, Q. L. (2020). Driving forces of citizen participation in urban development practice in Harare, Zimbabwe. Land Use Policy, 99.
[36] Mill, J. (1867). Considerations on representative government (People's ed.). London: Longmans, Green.
[37] Mukherjee, A. (2004). Hunger: Theory, perspectives, and reality: Assessment through participatory methods (King's soas studies in development geography). Aldershot, England: Ashgate.
[38] Musgrave, M.K. & Wong, S. (2016). Towards a More Nuanced Theory of Elite Capture in Development Projects. The Importance of Context and Theories of Power. Journal of Sustainable Development; Vol. 9, No. 3; 2016.
[39] Nabatchi, T. (2012). Democracy in motion: Evaluating the practice and impact of deliberative civic engagement. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
[40] NBS (2013). Nigeria General Household Survey Panel – Basic Information Document. A publication of Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
[41] NBS (2011). Survey of quality and integrity of public services in Nigeria – Technical report. A publication of Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
[42] Ngwu, F. (2019, May 22). The many challenges of financial inclusion in Nigeria. Businessday, p. 13
[43] NIBSS (2021). NIBSS Insights: Instant Payment 2020 Annual Statistics 3rd Edition. A publication of the Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System PLC (NIBSS).
[45] Nkonya, E., Phillip, D., Mogues, T., Pender, J., Yahaya, M.K., Adebowale, G., Arokoyo, T. & Kato, E. (2008). “from the Ground up impacts of a pro-poor community-driven development project in Nigeria.” Discussion paper 00756, International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, DC
[46] NORAD (2013). A Framework for Analyzing Participation in Development. A publication of the Oxford Policy Management funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Co-operation (NORAD). Report 1/2013
[47] Obadare, E. (Ed.). (2014). The handbook of civil society in Africa (Nonprofit and civil society studies). New York: Springer.
[48] Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. (2009). Focus on citizens: Public engagement for better policy and services (OECD studies on public engagement). Paris: OECD. doi:10.1787/9789264048874-en
[49] Pateman, C. (1970). Participation and Democratic Theory. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge
[50] Phillips, A. (1995). The Politics of Presence. Oxford University Press.
[51] Platteau, J.P., & Gaspart, F. (2003a). The Risk of Resource Misappropriation in Community-Driven Development, World Development, 31(10), 1687—1703.
[52] Platteau, J.P., & Gaspart, F. (2003b). The ‘Elite Capture’ Problem in Participatory Development. A publication of the Centre for Research on the Economics of Development (CRED) Faculty of Economics Rempart de la Vierge, 8 B-5000 Namur Belgium
[53] Pogrebinschi, T., & Samuels, D. (2014). The impact of participatory democracy: Evidence from brazil's national public policy conferences. Comparative Politics, 46(3), 313-332
[54] Pogrebinschi, T., & Ryan, M. (2018). Moving beyond input legitimacy: When do democratic innovations affect policy making? European Journal of Political Research, 57(1), 135-152. doi:10.1111/1475-6765.12219
[55] Rousseau, J. (1950a (1762)) The Social Contract in The Social Contract and Discourses, New York: E.P. Dutton.
[56] Rousseau, J. (1950b (1755)) A Discourse on the Origins of Inequality in The Social Contract and Discourses, New York: E.P. Dutton
[57] Rousseau, J. (1979 (1762)) Emile or On Education, New York: Basic Books
[58] Salmen, L., & World Bank. (1987). Listen to the people: Participant-observer evaluation of development projects. Oxford: Oxford University Press for the World Bank.
[59] Serdült, U. & Welp, Y. (2015). How Sustainable is Democratic Innovation? Tracking Neighborhood Councils in Montevideo. Journal of Politics in Latin America, 7, 2, 131–148.
[60] Shakow, M. (2019). The rise and fall of “civil society” in Bolivia. American Anthropologist, 121(3), 568-582. doi:10.1111/aman.13266
[61] Steinfield, C.W. & Fulk, J. (1990). “The Theory Imperative," in Organizations and Communications Technology, J. Fulk and C. W. Steinfield (eds.), Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications
[62] Tiwari, J., Schaub, E., & Sultana, N. (2019). Barriers to “last mile” financial inclusion: Cases from northern kenya. Development in Practice, 1-13, 1-13. doi:10.1080/09614524.2019.1654432
[63] UNDESA (2012). Measuring and Evaluating e-Participation (METEP): Assessment of Readiness at the Country Level. A publication of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA).
[64] UNSGSA (2016). Annual report to the UN Secretary-General - September 2016. A publication of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development.
[65] Van-Heck, B. (2003). Participatory Development: Guidelines on Beneficiary Participation in Agricultural and Rural Development. Rural Institutions and Participation Service, Rural Development Division Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Rome Italy September 2003 (2nd edition)
[66] Wang, X. H. (2001). Assessing public participation in U.S. cities. Public Performance & Management Review, 24(4), 322–336.
[67] Wang, X. H., & Van Wart, M. (2007). When public participation in administration leads to trust: an empirical assessment of managers’ perceptions. Public Administration Review, 67(2), 265–278.
[68] Whetten, D. (1989). What constitutes a theoretical contribution? The Academy of Management Review, 14(4), 490-495
[69] World Bank (2012). Citizen participation handbook. People's Voice Project International Centre for Policy Studies.
[70] World Bank (2018). Financial inclusion. Retrieved December 4, 2019 from
[71] World Data Lab. (2019). The Percentage of Nigerians Living in Extreme Poverty could Increase by2030. Retrieved from World Poverty Clock:
[72] Yani, A.A., Hans, A., Tadjang, S., Hidayat, A.R., Yunus, A.Y., & Agam, A.N. (2017). Measuring Quality of Citizens’ Participation in Local Development. Advances in Economics, Business and Management Research (AEBMR), volume 43 International Conference on Administrative Science (ICAS 2017).
[73] Young, I. M. (1990). Justice and the Politics of Difference. Princeton University Press.
[74] Zhou, T. (2013). An empirical examination of continuance intention of mobile payment services. Journal of Decision Support Systems 54 (2013) 1085–1091
[75] Rajasekhar, D., Kesavan, S., Manjula, R. (2017). Are our contributory pension schemes failing the poor? Economic and Political Weekly, 52 (27), pp. 77-85
[76] Dufhues, T., Geppert, M. & Buchenrieder, G. (2003). Combining quantitative and participatory methods in conjoint analysis - Designing microsavings in Northern Vietnam. Savings and Development 27(3), pp. 281-294
[77] Cortés, J. (2019). Process, theory, and practice in direct democracy: Avenues for new research. Politics & Policy, 47(4), 673-698. doi:10.1111/polp.12317
[78] Smith, G. (2009a). Democratic Innovations: Designing Institutions for Citizen Participation-Theories of Institutional Design. New York: Cambridge University Press
[79] Wong, S. (2012). What Have Been the Impacts of World Bank Community Driven Development Programs? 69541. Washington, DC: World Bank
[80] Chilisa, B. & Preece, J. (2005): Research methods for adult educators in Africa. Cape Town: UNESCO/Pearson Publications
[81] Maguire, R. (1981). Bottom-up Development in Haiti. Inter-American Foundation, Rosslyn, VA.
[82] Edwards, M. & Hulme, D. (1996). Too Close for Comfort? The Impact of Official Aid on Nongovernmental Organizations. World Development 24(6), 961–973.
[83] Monaheng, T. (1995) Rural development and community participation in Lesotho, University of South Africa, Pretoria,
[84] Brown, L.D. & Korten, D. (1991). Working More Effectively with Non-governmental Organizations. Non-governmental Organizations and the World Bank, eds. Paul Samuel and Arturo Israel. World Bank, Washington
[85] Salamon, L.M. (1987). Partners in Public Service: The Scope and Theory of Government-Non-profit Relations. The Non-profit Sector: A Research Handbook. ed. Powell, Walter W. Yale University Press, New Haven.
[86] Tendler, J., (1997). Good Government in the Tropics, Baltimore & London: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
[87] Narayan, D., & Ebbe, K. 1997, “Design of Social Funds −Participation, Demand Orientation, and Local Organizational Capacity”, World Bank Discussion Paper N° 375, Washington, DC: The World Bank.
[88] Brown, L.D. & Kalegaonkar, A. (1999). Addressing Civil Society’s Challenges: Support Organizations as Emerging Institutions. Institute for Development Research (IDR) Reports Volume 15, Number 2 1999.
[89] Rietbergen-McCracken, J. (2010). Participatory policy-making.
[90] Rietbergen-McCracken, J. (1996). Participation in practice: The experience of the World Bank and other stakeholders (World Bank discussion paper, no. 333). Washington, D.C.: World Bank.
[91] FAO (2005). How to do participatory policy development. A publication of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)
[92] Talò, C., & Mannarini, T. (2015). Measuring participation: Development and validation the participatory behaviors scale. Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-Of-Life Measurement, 123(3), 799-816. doi:10.1007/s11205-014-0761-0
[93] Nabatchi, T. (2011) A Manager’s Guide to Evaluating Citizen Participation. A publication of the IBM Centre for the Business of Government.
[94] Nan, R., & Ouyang, F. (2020). Influence of social networks on citizens' willingness to participate in social governance: evidence from China. Complexity, 2020.
[95] Brandsen, T., Steen, T., & Verschuere, B. (2018). Co-production and co-creation: engaging citizens in public services (Ser. Routledge critical studies in public management). Routledge.
[96] Galasso, E. & Ravallion, M. (2000). Distributional Outcomes of a Decentralized Welfare Program, mimeo, The World Bank, Washington.
[97] Conning, J. & Kevane, M. (1999). Community Based Targeting Mechanisms for Social Safety Nets, mimeo, Department of Economics, Santa Clara University, Cal., USA
[98] Involve (2005) The True Costs of Participation: A Brief Literature Review. London: Involve. Involve is funded by the Government of United Kingdom as a National Advisory Group.