Financial Literacy on Debt Management

Ujjivan Financial Services and Parinaam Foundation developed a financial literacy program for low-income, low-educated urban populations in India

This is part of the Unitus Labs’ India Microfinance Innovations initiative

Financial literacy programs are often viewed as ‘preachy’, with a common complaint being the lack of tangible skills within such programs. MFIs have seen limited benefits from rolling out such trainings, which can often be expensive, and can consume significant time and resources.

This is why Ujjivan Financial Services and Parinaam Foundation decided to develop quality materials by partnering with high-quality creative consultants. They developed a film and training that resonates with their customer base, and which became highly popular amongst their customers. The film was subsequently translated into 10 regional languages.

Right from the onset, customers remained highly engaged, which showed that there is indeed demand for a customer-centric financial literacy training. While there were several logistical and scheduling issues, the classroom style training, developed by their NGO partner, Parinaam Foundation, utilized creative comic strips, a workshop format, and unique incentives (such as a free calculator, financial diary, certificates etc.) to achieve high attendance rates. Unusually, the Diksha Program also has an Impact Evaluation component. Over the years, Unitus Labs has come across several financial literacy trainings – and are convinced that this is by far the most effective financial literacy toolkit for low income populations within India.

NOTE: This is published in the spirit of open source. You may use and modify this content with the condition that you provide credit and intellectual property rights acknowledgement to Ujjivan Financial Services and Parinaam Foundation and provide a link back to this page.

Download Ujjivan-Parinaam Financial Literacy Project Report (PDF – 2MB)

Download Parinaam’s Diksha Financial Literacy Program Trainer Manual (PDF – 41MB)

Download Parinaam’s Client Financial Diary (PDF – 8MB)

Watch SANKALP Financial Literacy Training video

Watch full video: Hindi (with English subtitles)HindiMalayalam, OriyaGujarati, KannadaMarathi (with English subtitles)Bengali, Telugu, Tamil, Assamese

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About Ujjivan

Ujjivan Financial Services Pvt. Ltd pioneered urban microfinance in India, starting its operations in Bangalore in November 2005. Ujjivan’s mission is to provide financial services to the economically active poor to enable them to lead a better life. With six years of operations, Ujjivan is present in 20 states with more than 300 branches and has reached over 1,000,000 customers, disbursing over $600 million with a repayment rate of 98.21%.

About Parinaam

Parinaam Foundation is a not-for-profit organization which provides social services to poor women and their family members in India. Recognizing that poverty manifests itself in various forms and financial support alone cannot help the poor, Parinaam provides critical ‘social’ support to urban poor families. We provide services in the areas of healthcare, education, professional development and community development initiatives.