1. To understand the extent and quality of the existing literature on how people with disabilities access, or are excluded from, various aspects of the formal financial sector in Kenya
2. To understand how formal financial institutions perceive the design and use of their services and products by people with disabilities
3. To understand how diverse groups of people with disabilities, with and without experience of accessing the formal banking sector, perceive the accessibility of different services and products available in the Kenyan market

Learn more about our findings from the research by listening to our podcast.

Main objectives

Financial inclusion has been identified as an enabler for seven of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and the World Bank Group considers it a key enabler to reducing poverty and boosting prosperity. While there has been progress towards greater financial inclusion in the recent past, many people with disabilities remain financially excluded.

Sightsavers, in collaboration with Kenyatta University, United Disabled Persons of Kenya (UDPK) and the Association of Microfinance Institutions, Kenya (AMFI-K), conducted research in 2022 to generate robust and solution-oriented evidence aimed at improving financial inclusion for people with disabilities in Kenya.

The research took place between April and October 2022 involving a rapid review of literature, focus group discussions with people with disabilities and in-depth interviews with financial institutions representatives in Migori and Nairobi counties in Kenya.

Key findings

  • People with disabilities experience many barriers to accessing financial services and products. These include barriers in infrastructure and physical location, communication and information packaging, technology, systems and services, lack of policies, lack of awareness or willingness to support them, attitudinal and personal economic factors.
  • People with disabilities often report digital channels as a key enabler to access to financial services and products, however, much needs to be done to improve their accessibility for all.
  • Financial institutions face barriers in designing and providing products and services for people with disabilities because of the lack of official statistics on people with disabilities both in literature and at institutional level; absence of accessible infrastructure, technology and communication channels; lack of policies; lack of awareness of how to support people with disabilities; attitudinal and economic factors (potential high costs associated with modifying forms or mobile applications to make them more accessible and to collect data on disability status, training staff on disability inclusion, modification of buildings and infrastructures to improve accessibility).
  • The government has a critical role to play in ensuring that the requisite oversight mechanisms are in place to enforce compliance by financial institutions in ascertaining that their services are available and accessible to people with disabilities.


Policy and practice implementations

The study recommends training on, and enforcement of, existing national and international polices and accessibility guidelines that seek to improve inclusion of people with disabilities within financial institutions.

It also recommends the development and implementation of institution-level policies to facilitate access of financial products and services for people with disabilities.

Study details
Start date
April 2022
Finish date
March 2023
Main contact
Sheru Muuo
Research associate, policy and programme strategy
  • Association of Microfinance Institutions, Kenya (AMFI-K)
  • Kenyatta University
  • United Disabled Persons of Kenya