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The Cambridge Alternative Finance Collaboration Network (CAFCN)

The ability of fintech and digital financial services (DFS) to extend access to finance for individuals, as well as micro, small and medium size enterprises (MSMEs) is clear. Delivering reduced costs, while improving the resilience and incomes of users, means that technology enabled financial innovation can further directly and indirectly contribute to attaining the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

But fintech market development and the pace of regulatory innovation has been uneven globally, often hampered by a lack of knowledge to inform evidence-based decision making for business leaders, regulators and policy-makers. This need for informed decision making and swift policy interventions is all the more urgent against a backdrop of a global pandemic, which introduces additional complexity to an already disparate landscape.

About the CAFCN

The Cambridge Alternative Finance Collaboration Network (CAFCN) has been established, with the foundational support of UK Aid, as a knowledge network for the era of digital finance.

It is a network of regionally embedded resources and capabilities engaged in the creation, exchange and transfer of knowledge needed by policy-makers, regulators and industry to navigate the digital transformation of the global financial system.

The network catalyses in increased financial inclusion, stimulated economic growth and reduced poverty.

How does the CAFCN work?

CAFCN objectives

Knowledge creation

Knowledge transfer

Knowledge exchange

The stack view of the CAFCN

Programmatic layer

Research, digital tools, capacity building & education

Digital infrastructure layer

Building a global data infrastructure

Physical infrastructure layer

Established regional research collaborations

The CAFCN’s physical infrastructure layer is made up of strategically situated regional research collaborations that form a mesh network to facilitate the knowledge creation, exchange and transfer. These collaborations already include FSD Africa (Sub-Saharan Africa), ADGM Academy (Middle East & North Africa), European University Cyprus (Euro-Mediterranean) and ADB Institute & Cambridge CARES (Asia Pacific), with immediate future plans for Latin America & Caribbean, South Asia and North America.

Each of these collaborations will:

  • Generate regional empirical data and contribute to global research initiatives
  • Develop and provide access to digital tools for the consumer, industry and regulators
  • Deliver online and in-situ education and technical assistance programmes to accelerate regulatory innovation

To find out more about how you can engage with the network, please contact CAFCN.