Inviting marginalized groups to challenge the structures creating marginality in the financial sector

Monday, 13 April 2015

The European think & do tank POUR LA SOLIDARITÉ – PLS is in charge of coordinating a participatory research activity on Financialization and Wellbeing where civil society organizations (CSOs) from 9 different countries participate. The activity aims to elicit the perspectives of economically disadvantaged on the financial system and on the reforms that these envisage in order to better tailor the financial sector to their needs.

To this end, between the 11th and 13th of February, PLS organised in Brussels a workshop with representatives of civil society organisations from 9 different countries : Belgium, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The aim of the workshop was to build up the capacity of participant CSOs to carry out research on financialisation and well-being through a participatory approach.

The workshop laid the foundation for the participatory research activity Financialization and Wellbeing to be carried out in all countries mentioned above, between April and July 2015. The questions guiding this research are:

  1. How would inclusion look like if it happened on the terms of the economically disadvantaged?
  2. What reforms do socially disadvantaged regard as crucial to either achieve involvement on their terms or have an alternative financial system better serving their needs?

The CSOs participating in the project will organize in their countries 5 workshops involving marginalized groups such as elderly, unemployed, people with different ethnic identities, and 1 workshop aiming to identify grassroots alternatives to the mainstream financial system and what constraints their development. The rationale behind involving people from different social backgrounds is to capture a wide range of perspectives on access to financial services and their impact on the wellbeing of people. The workshops are expected to produce meaningful insights into the access of the different categories mentioned above to financial services and, equally important, the reforms these groups envisage to better tailor the financial sector to their needs.

The CSOs leading participatory workshops are the following:

The results of the research will be available in English on the FESSUD website starting with the end of November 2015.

For more information about this research activity, please contact Magda Tancau or Marie Leprêtre.