Final Report

Annex III: ENEF Presentations and Panels

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Annex III: ENEF Presentations and Panels

Panel: Impact of Financial Education: What do we know so far?

The Bank presented main findings from financial education evaluations around the world. Financial literacy levels are low in developed countries, and even lower in developing countries. Furthermore, youth financial literacy levels are especially low and data confirms that they could be declining. This is an important issue, since strong survey evidence shows a positive correlation between low financial education and poor economic and financial choices. The presentation noted that Brazil is the first experimental evaluation of financial literacy in schools. The researcher ended his presentation by noting some of the challenges for financial literacy evaluation: financial education may not be effective, since behaviors are difficult to change and generic courses may not be relevant, interesting or informative to individuals, while skilled and engaging educators are difficult to find. Measuring change is often difficult. However, more and more research is being done in this field, which should help build stronger evidence and guidance for how to best implement financial education programs.

Russian Trust Fund for Financial Literacy: Impact Evaluations around the World

The Russian Trust Fund for Financial Literacy, one of the sponsors for the Brazil research, also sponsored a review of the underlying premises behind financial literacy programs around the world. The presentation drew special attention to the following points:

  • Financial capability is a complex process of knowledge, human psychology and behavior that is rarely fully rational.

  • Education and knowledge transmission is a necessary foundation but only the starting point for a more financially capable population.

  • Many complementary efforts are required: Products design, thoughtful choice architecture, consumer protection.

  • Effective design of these requires a sophisticated understanding of human behavior and the importance of culture and context.

  • Diagnostic and evaluation methods that focus on outcomes rather than inputs and outputs allow us to move in this direction.

OECD Initiatives and Findings on Financial Education

The OECD presented its approach and work on financial education around the world. The presentation highlighted the importance of financial education as one of the main elements of a national strategy for financial empowerment, along with financial inclusion and access, financial consumer protection and competition governance and prudential regulation. OECD’s approach has been to promote a global financial education strategy, and to create an International Network on Financial Education (INFE). The financial education strategy comprises three pillars: 1) Data collection, research and international analytical framework; 2) internationally recognized standard setting objectives, and 3) international dissemination and co-operation. As part of its data collection and measurement efforts, INFE developed an international measurement instrument to create the first financial literacy score that is comparable across countries. In addition the OECD and INFE have worked to produce Guidelines on Financial Education in schools, with the goal of providing high level international guidance for policymakers interested in introducing financial education in schools.

Panel: CAEd – OECD Assessing Financial Literacy of the youth

The OECD presented the new module on financial literacy to be introduced in OECD’s Programme for International Students Assessment (PISA) by 2012. Participation in this new PISA Financial Literacy Assessment is voluntary, with 18 countries so far enrolled in this exercise: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, China Shanghai, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Israel, Italy, Latvia, New Zealand, Poland, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain and USA. The goals of this project are to provide:

  • Evidence on gaps in financial knowledge and skills of youth

  • Evidence on whether financial education in schools and other external factor (socio demographic) have an impact on financial literacy

  • Comparison of financial literacy levels and related strategies between countries

  • Identification of best practices through ranking of countries

  • Comparable data over time : impact of policy options

The project is currently in its design phase, the assessment in volunteer countries is expected to take place in 2012, with data collection and analysis to be done during 2013.

CAEd presented details of the methodology behind the four survey instruments developed to measure knowledge change among students: (i) a knowledge test that tries to isolate and identify the competences related explicitly to financial knowledge; (ii) an attitudinal questionnaire; (iii) mental maps related to how students think about financial matters; and (iv) a socioeconomic questionnaire.

Impact Evaluation: evaluation of the results

Financial literacy experts discussed the implementation of Brazil's school-based Financial Education Pilot Project and the preliminary results of the impact evaluation led by the World Bank.

Through the prism of the question Who is interested in these results?, this presentation emphasized that retention of learning, skills, and attitudes is key to claim success for the initiative, highlighting the need to know:

Economic psychology consultant Vera Rita de Mello Ferreira welcomed the behavioral emphasis and focus of the evaluation effort, while providing useful recommendations to the research team. Ms. De Mello Ferreira asked important questions related to the implementation of the project, particularly of the tests and the training of the teachers.

Award Ceremony (Incentive Program – Instituto Unibanco)

A much anticipated award ceremony took place at the end of the event, where the best performing schools (teachers and students) were recognized and awarded various prizes.


Closing remarks were provided by Jorge Galvão, representing BM&FBOVESPA, José Ricardo Sartini, representing the Rio de Janeiro State Education Secretariat, Deborah Regina Aversan, representing the São Paulo State Education Secretariat, José Alexandre Vasco, representing CVM, and Rogelio Marchetti, representing the World Bank.

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