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What financial inclusion obstacle are we supporting low-income people to navigate? What financial capability are we attempting to enable or develop? What – gives you access to MFO’s select publications organized around the content of a financial education curriculum or training manual. You can also gain access to the full set of Global Financial Education Program materials here.

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October Surprise: Everything is (almost) Back to Normal for Garment Workers in Bangladesh

In MFO’s most recent blog post at MFO and SANEM bring the Garment Worker Diaries study up to date in Bangladesh for a full seven months from April through October. What we are finding is that for most garment workers life and work is continuing its slow return to pre-COVID times.

One thing this means is that cash payments (whether factory wages or financial transactions among workers) are regaining territory that digital payments had carved out in the wake of the pandemic. Worker illness, injury and food insecurity are also trending down in October. Most workers are paying their rent on time.

In an effort to understand even more how COVID-19 is affecting workers and what they know about, this month we began asking workers COVID-specific questions, which we’ll continue asking from now on. You can find the workers’ responses to our questions near the end of this week’s blog.

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Cash or Bytes? Garment Workers’ Payment Preferences

In MFO’s most recent blog post at MFO and SANEM share garment workers’ payment preferences within the context of receiving either cash or digital wage payments. Over the past eight months, the majority of garment workers in Bangladesh have been given their first-ever opportunity to experience receiving digital wages due to logistical payment challenges surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Over that timeframe, garment workers’ attitudes towards digital and cash payments have been changing, as as the implications for receiving either a cash or a digital payment extend beyond simply cash-in-hand or electronic account deposit concerns. Take a look at the full blog to see where these garment workers are at in their digital journey.

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Answers from Stakeholders in the Bangladesh RMG Sector

In MFO’s previous blog post at we suggested that data coming out of Bangladesh from interviews with garment workers raised some important questions for RMG sector stakeholders on such topics as job security in 2021, the future of digital wages, food security, illness, and the cost of credit. In our recently aired webinar MFO and SANEM gave stakeholders the opportunity to answer these questions.

This week’s blog summarizes those answers provided in the webinar. If you’d like to dig deeper you can download MFO’s full presentation from the webinar. Whether or not you watch the whole webinar, digest the full presentation, or read the distilled notes in the blog, we hope that you’ll come away with a better sense of what’s going on in the Bangladesh garment sector within this very particular COVID context.

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#OpenDiaries Campaign Launch

MFO and SANEM are excited to share with you the launch of our #OpenDiaries campaign. The goal of this campaign is to build a communication channel between everyday consumers and garment workers in Bangladesh. MFO and SANEM have laid the groundwork by interviewing over 1,300 garment workers every week for two years. By opening their financial diaries, they’ve given us a window into their economic realities. When COVID-19 struck and in-home interviews were no longer possible, we kept up the conversation over the telephone. Now we want people just like you to ask these workers your own questions about their work and their lives.

Along with opening their homes to us, garment workers have opened their financial diaries to us. The insights workers provide into their own financial lives are crucial to keeping global apparel supply chains transparent. The insights also help us understand how financial inclusion is working among low-income populations, and can indicate whether or not financial capabilities among these populations are being broadened for the better good.

In addition to direct answers to your questions, each #OpenDiaries post will feature photos of garment workers taken by the garment workers themselves. Just as the workers are sharing the answers to your questions with us, they are also sharing a glimpse into their own world. Note: the quotes in these campaign posts are not from the workers in the photos, but from different workers.

MFO and SANEM will be launching this campaign across all our social media platforms. If you have a question for the garment workers, there are three ways to ask it: 1) direct message us 2) write in the post comments, or 3) send an email to

Questions are already starting to come in and we are looking forward to reading more of them!

Please go to to read more about what is happening in the Garment Worker Diaries study, and please pay a visit to our #OpenDiaries campaign at all of our social platforms (links below):





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Garment Worker Diaries Raise Questions for Stakeholders

In MFO’s latest post in our Garment Worker Diaries blog series on, we don’t share any new data with you. Rather we have organized past data that we have posted around four topics:

  1. Job Security in 2021
  2. Wage Digitization and Digital Financial Skills
  3. Work, Food Security and Illness
  4. Cost of Credit

For each topic we raise two questions for stakeholders. Hopefully you can take a quick read of the blog and think about the questions posed in it.

MFO’s Executive Director, Guy Stuart, will be presenting the same data and raising the same questions during a webinar that SANEM is hosting on Saturday, October 31 at 8pm Dhaka time (10am EST). We will have a panel of discussants who will comment on each topic and share their insights with us.

You can register to participate in the webinar here:
The webinar will be conducted over ZOOM and broadcast live on SANEM’s Facebook page and YouTube channel

We will be recording the webinar, and in next week’s blog we will share some of the highlights as well as a link to the full recording for those interested.

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