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We are happy to release our newest working paper, from IMTFI researcher Woldmariam F. Mesfin: Understanding Social Relationships and Payments among Poor Individuals in Ethiopia. From the abstract:
Previous studies concerned with mobile financial services for the poor have been narrowly conceived, mainly depending on secondary data and focusing on technical design issues without having fully understood the poor’s complex relationships and needs therein. In order to fill the current knowledge gap and inform mobile money system design, this study investigates social relationships and social payment practices among poor rural individuals in Ethiopia. Key findings regarding their money exchange practices are (1) executed secretly (undocumented) or disclosed (documented), (2) money gifts can be accepted or rejected based on amount, source and purpose of the gift, (3) monies may be given as personalized gifts, and finally (4) individuals separate their money based on purpose and source. A qualitative research approach with key informant focus group discussions served as the primary means of information gathering.