Social Media Campaign Builds Awareness about Financial Management

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អត្ថបទ​នេះមានជាភាសា៖ enEnglish

The National Bank of Cambodia reports that access to banking services has increased up to 51% in 2015 compared to 8.7% in the last 10 years. Financial services from microfinance extend across the country, especially in rural areas, with more than two million borrowers and outstanding loans of USD$3 billion. With this rapid growth of the financial sector in recent years in Cambodia, new opportunities have risen alongside new risks. Limited access to financial information and lack of familiarity with financial management practices, especially for garment factory workers, can make it challenging for them to save money, avoid debts, and maintain financial security. Additionally, cultural barriers often exclude women from financial discussions in households.

 

To address this, The National Bank of Cambodia, in partnership with the international NGO Good Return, launched the Let’s #TalkMoney Campaign in March 2016 with public service announcements (PSAs)  on social media, TV, radio and SMS to stimulate dialogue within Cambodian households on financial decision making and increase financial awareness. With support from USAID’s Development Innovations (DI), NGO World Education and the NGO Cambodian Women for Peace and Development, the campaign led workshops to involve youth in the content development of the PSAs and dissemination through face-to-face educational sessions with young people in schools and factories.

 

Development Innovations also supported the creation of two Let’s #TalkMoney campaign PSA videos and the campaign’s social media presence, which included a Facebook page, the most popular social media site in Cambodia. In May, the PSA videos posted through Facebook had been shared more than 11,000 times, with the two DI-supported videos garnering over 100,000 complete views. On television, the campaign videos were disseminated on two channels with an estimated audience of 325,000 viewers.

 

The campaign’s interactive, blended learning approach focuses on creating awareness around opportunities for longer term changes in financial behavior (including developing savings habits and borrowing only within one’s means). In addition to the campaign’s digital media, the project conducted educational sessions with 505 garment factory workers (the majority of whom were female). In each session, young workers watched the PSAs and discussed, reflected and exchanged ideas about household financial management practices like savings, remittances, and loans alongside two facilitators. This project targets young workers as they play influential roles in their family as income generators and therefore can spread financial management information through their communities. Besides factory workers, the educational sessions also reached an additional 700 youth and almost 500 parents and community leaders.

 

Research from focus group discussions after the campaign show participants feeling more comfortable talking about financial issues with their friends and family members as well as seeking information before taking financial decisions. 95% of focus group members reported talking more about financial issues after the session than before. Many said that after attending the educational sessions, they could make commitments to save more money than before. One of the participants, Sok Van Heng, age 25, said, “I believe I can [now] save more money than before this information session. I can focus my spending on necessary expenses first and commit myself to save more!”

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Miss Sok Van Heng discusses changes in behavior after Let’s #TalkMoney Educational Sessions during Focus Group Discussions at the New Orient Garment Factory. [Photo Credit: Cambodian Women for Peace and Development]

The National Bank of Cambodia, Good Return and World Education are continuing to build on the success of Let’s #TalkMoney and utilize the campaign’s engaging, educational content to stimulate learning through other mediums, such as youth comic books and face-to-face discussions with student-led organizations.

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