The MasterCard Foundation Releases First Report Highlighting Early Learning from its Development Programs


TORONTO, July 23, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The MasterCard Foundation today released a summary of early learning from its program work, entitled Change that Matters: Learning from our Partnerships. The report is based on a review of evaluations, research and publications produced by the Foundation's projects and touches on subsequent strategies for future work. The report can be downloaded at:

"We believe that openly sharing what we have learned and elevating the voices of the people we serve is critical to maximizing our impact," said Reeta Roy, President and CEO of The MasterCard Foundation. "Our findings revealed important insights that are taking us in some new directions. Our hope is that others may also benefit from our experiences and insights."

The report highlights results from a number of MasterCard Foundation partners, such as Opportunity International, CARE, One Acre Fund, FINCA and International Finance Corporation.

"Opportunity International is a learning organization and a leading innovator in the delivery of financial services," said Colin McCormack, Managing Director, Africa Region for Opportunity International.  "As such, we greatly value the partnership with The MasterCard Foundation and our shared commitment to actively identifying and effectively sharing knowledge and best practices that emerge from both our successes and failures."

Some insights highlighted in the report include:
•    New learning about how those living in poverty can access needed financial services through community-based savings groups.   A partnership with CARE Rwanda showed that participants in a savings group project were able to almost triple the amount of money they held in a savings account – from $5.56 to $16.42.

•    One study shows how both smallholder farmers and financial institutions can benefit from coordinating efforts around financing and agricultural training.  An impact assessment of the Foundation's partnership with Opportunity International and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation showed significant benefits in terms of improving productivity and household income.

•    How comprehensive skills training and access to financial services can help prepare young people living in poverty to succeed in the new economy.  Young people participating in our Learn, Earn, and Save projects highlighted the importance of skills training and said it significantly impacted their confidence and their ability to confront and overcome obstacles.

About The MasterCard Foundation

The MasterCard Foundation is an independent, global organization based in Toronto, Canada, with approximately $9 billion in assets. Through collaboration with partner organizations in 46 countries, it is creating opportunities for all people to learn and prosper. The Foundation's programs promote financial inclusion and advance youth learning, mostly in Africa. Established in 2006 through the generosity of MasterCard Worldwide when it became a public company, the Foundation is separate and independent from the company. Its policies, operations and funding decisions are determined by its own Foundation Board of Directors and President and CEO. For more information, please visit


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