On January 29th join the Connecticut Asset Building Collaborative in New Haven for the second event in our peer learning series:
Join us on Thursday January 29rd, from 9 am to 12.00 pm, at the United Way of Greater New Haven for an open discussion on best practices on program work.
We will hear from Julia Brown, from Innovations for Poverty Action and Yale´s Household Finance Initiative on how behavioral economics can inform and improve asset building programs, and learn how front line staff can apply these lessons to become more effective. We will cover:
We will discuss these issues, and many more, in an open , freewheeling discussion with economists and program managers, all expert on this field. They will give an open, comprehensive look at best practices, good ideas and the (occasional) missteps running an asset building program.
Seating is limited, and filling up rapidly - please RSVP here as soon as possible if you want to attend.
About Julia Brown:
Julia Brown is Initiative Manager at Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA)'s US Household Finance Initiative. She works to oversee the initiative and provide strategic direction as well as project-specific guidance on design, implementation, partnership development, and fundraising. Prior to joining IPA, her work focused on evaluating business training and microinsurance services for low-income Latino immigrants in San Francisco and New York City. She has also worked on the design and analysis of multiple randomized evaluations, in areas ranging from education to sanitation. She holds a B.A. in Economics and Women's and Gender Studies from Williams College, and a Master of International Affairs with a concentration in Economic and Political Development from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs.
About Innovations for Poverty Action:
Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to discovering and promoting effective solutions to global poverty problems. In close partnership with decisionmakers -- the policymakers, practitioners, investors, and donors working with the poor around the world -- we design and evaluate potential solutions to poverty problems using randomized evaluations, the most rigorous evaluation method available. We also mobilize and support these decisionmakers to use these solutions to build better programs and policies at scale.
About the Household Finance Initiative:
Established in 2009, the US Household Finance Initiative (USHFI) leads IPA's US research. Led by researchers Jonathan Zinman (Dartmouth College) and Dean Karlan (Yale University), the initiative uses insights from behavioral economics to develop, rigorously evaluate, and scale cost-effective financial products and product innovations that help low- to moderate-income households lead healthier financial lives.
As we get close to the end of the year, it is time to have a look back and see the results of our work. We had a very busy year here at CAHS, with some of our programs having big expansions and others having a lot of bold, new ideas to move them forward. This week we will have a look back at each of our programs, and some of our plans for next year. Today, we will focus on the Connecticut Money School.
The Connecticut Money School:
The CT Money School (CMS) opened its virtual doors in 2009. CMS is our financial education program. CAHS partners with community based organizations across the state, connecting them with volunteers that we have recruited and trained to provide financial education classes. Our aim is to help our partners improve their services, building financial education to their menu of services, and enabling them to connect to volunteers that can help them to build up these programs.
Between November 1st 2013 and October 31st 2013 (it is not quite the end of the year yet, so bear with me having non-calendar year numbers!) CAHS has partnered with 15 community agencies in Hartford, Bridgeport, Bristol, New Britain, New Haven and Plainville to offer more than 30 financial education workshops. 336 people enrolled and attended classes; 69% of them to a budgeting class. Two thirds of the students were female; 23% Hispanic and 19.5% Black.
We want to thank Citizens Bank for their funding for this program, and their trust and support. We have made many changes to CMS during 2013, and their support has been invaluable.
These numbers, however, only tell part of the story. CMS is creating a network of partners that can provide financial education services; our focus is not just processing as many students as possible, but building up the capacity of our partners. This is bot We are also extending our Financial Avenue program for younger students, with very exciting results, as well as combining CMS with the rest of CAHS' programs. More on that tomorrow.
This blog post was contributed by CAHS Summer Intern Ellen Scully:
The CT Money School just launched its new, free online financial education program called Financial Avenue. Financial Avenue features a variety of learning options including short modules, interactive courses, articles, and easy tips to improve financial literacy.
The online program is flexible and allows students the option of brushing up on one or two topics or taking all of the courses. Everything is done at the students’ individual speed, making the CT Money School as convenient and accessible as ever.
"The new online component of the CT Money School allows people to access quality financial education classes from the comfort of their homes. With 16 topics, the varied curriculum meets the financial education needs and experiences of low-income residents." - James P. Horan, Executive Director of CAHS.
Financial Avenue has classes for experienced and inexperienced individuals alike. The following breakdown recommends specific classes for different groups of people.
For individuals new to banking: Courses: Budgeting and Credit Cards. Mini-Modules: Banking Basics, Insurance Basics, Saving Basics, and Paycheck Basics.
For individuals familiar with the basics: Courses: Contracts, Credit History, Identity Theft. Mini-Modules: Borrowing Money, Investing, Tackling Debt, and Taxes and You.
For college students: Courses: Paying for College. Mini-Modules: Your First Job and Working in College.
Interested individuals should visit: https://fa.financialavenue.org/ and use the access code: wqcrh6. Financial Avenue is made possible by generous funding from First Niagara.