“The success of this project has changed a lot of financial institutions perspectives on working with low savers,” she said. “More and more banks are doing this out of corporate social responsibility. They understand that they will not make any profit up front, but if they allow these kids to open accounts, they will stick with them for the long haul. So banks are finally beginning to see these youth as an opportunity to build clientele for the future.”
Chowa said researchers in this country must continue to pursue evidence in a similar opportunistic manner—as the most effective way to influence U.S. policies that produce meaningful impact on people’s lives and guarantee a better future for everyone.
“After all, evidence for the sake of evidence will not help the field of research,” she said. “I am in this work to improve people’s well-being. And if I’m doing research that doesn’t really influence the interventions that are being put into place for poor people and toward their well-being, then I am not doing what is supposed to be done. At the same time, if our programs and interventions in this country are not based on evidence, then we are not doing any favors to the clients and to the populations we are serving.”