Financial Access Surveys- Different Approaches


Survey Data on Access to Finance 

An online resource library for practitioners and researchers

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This website includes general nationally or regionally representative household surveys such as the LSMS, in some cases dating back to the 1980s, in which modules referring to financial access were included.   

A new wave of special-purpose nationally or regionally representative surveys has been progressively put in place by the World Bank and other agencies over the past several years. Methodologies used in these surveys have varied, but most have been designed to provide internationally comparable estimates of some key measures of access, thereby allowing a refinement of the approximate overall summary measures currently available for cross-country analysis.  

Numerous other types of survey relevant to measuring access to financial services exist, but do not at present form part of the main focus of this website.  These include  


  • Specialized research surveys carried out to explore particular hypotheses, sometimes in an experimental or quasi-experimental setting, often concentrating on the customers of a particular service provider.  Several of the research papers reporting on these experiments are included [in the research papers page].
  • Expert and provider surveys which inform for example about overall market size, prices and product availabilities, as well as about the cost structure of financial service providers to microenterprises and households . 
  • Surveys of access by firms.

Reference to all these sources is essential for a comprehensive understanding of supply and demand of financial services.