Designing Financial Services to Respond to Household Shocks: A Case Study of RCPB's Health Savings and Loan Product
In 2014, Freedom from Hunger, with support from the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), designed a study to gather information on household resilience. A key question of the resilience research related to the financial product features that help people anticipate and respond to shocks. Given that RCPB had a health financial product on the market designed to help people anticipate and respond to health expenses, the resilience research tools and the sampling methodology included questions related to the use of RCPB’s health savings and loan product. A diary approach was used with 46 women over a seven-month period to understand how they anticipated and coped with shocks. In addition, an economic game, engaging 395 women, was facilitated by researchers from the University of California, Davis. The economic game also set out to observe the household decision making process regarding the choices they make about allocating resources in hypothetical scenarios, including the use of financial instruments designed to help people manage the risk of costly negative health shocks.