Passbook page with graphic oral information management tools, Kampong Os, Cambodia.

Passbook page with graphic oral information management tools, Kampong Os, Cambodia.

On October 31st 2014, My Oral Village, Inc. published a paper entitled Oral Information Management Tools: Lighting the Path to Financial Inclusion. This paper seeks to change the way we go about achieving financial inclusion. Wherever innumeracy is common, it makes the case for integrating ‘oral information management’ (OIM) tools into financial services delivery, and provides examples of OIM tools developed by Brett Matthews of My Oral Village, Inc. in Cambodia, Bangladesh and the Solomon Islands.

Oral Information Management Tools punctures several myths that obstruct our mission of global financial inclusion. These myths include:

• it is impossible to provide innumerate and illiterate people with personal real-time information about their own transactions;

• fixing an illiterate person’s thumbprint to a document full of text is both natural and entirely acceptable;

• financially excluded individuals would all prefer to save in financial accounts if they could access them;

• the main ‘financial literacy’ gaps involve interest rates and understanding financial product design; and

• innumeracy and illiteracy are rapidly disappearing from the face of the earth.

Oral Information Management Tools was published by My Oral Village, Inc.; a Canadian not-for-profit corporation dedicated to accelerating the passage out of poverty for oral populations by building their numeracy and literacy capabilities, and making the information systems they need to manage their own institutions and access financial services more usable and informative.

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