New research highlights both the determinants and consequences of financial fragility in low income countries

Posted by ap507 at Oct 27, 2016 03:17 PM |
University of Leicester and Aston University researchers to showcase findings of successful ESRC-DFID bid at conference on Friday 28 October

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 27 October 2016 

A photo of Dr Johan Rewilak is available here:

The University of Leicester and Aston University panel will take place at 11am on Friday 28 October and the event will be livestreamed at the following link:

A team of researchers from the Universities of Leicester and Aston will be revealing the novel findings of a successful ESRC-DFID bid into financial fragility and recommend ways to promote stability in low income countries at a conference on Friday 28 October.

Low-income countries (LICs) have experienced substantial economic growth over the last two decades. But this growth has not been sufficiently inclusive, transformational or resilient.

The two-day conference, ‘Economic opportunities for a better future: Leveraging agriculture, innovation and financial inclusion’, takes place between 28-29 October and is co-organised by the DFID-ESRC Growth Research Programme (DEGRP) and the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC).

The conference brings together business, government and research representatives from Africa and Asia to explore what can be done to turn this situation around.

It will draw on cutting edge research to discuss how we can leverage agriculture, innovation, and financial sector development to build better economic opportunities for all.

During the conference, Dr Svetlana Andrianova from the University of Leicester School of Business and Dr Johan Rewilak, a former PhD student from the School, will be discussing the database of financial fragility and supplementing the database with two applications - one examining how financial fragility may impede economic growth beyond financial crises, and the second showing how financial inclusion may in fact help promote financial stability.  

Dr Andrianova said: “What makes the database novel is that it includes a wider variety of financial institutions that may measure financial fragility more accurately as opposed to purely using commercial banks. For example, co-operative banks and savings banks are generally more risk averse than their commercial counterparts and ignoring these institutions may overestimate financial fragility in a banking system.”

Dr Rewilak, who is now based at the Aston Business School, added: “Whilst our newly constructed indicators have proven to be good predictors of financial crises (Fielding & Rewilak, 2015), our new research to be showcased in Kenya shows that financial fragility may impede economic growth independently of financial crises.  Therefore, when low income countries are engaged in policy to promote financial stability (the inverse of fragility) they should consider to go beyond the minimum measures that avert a financial crisis, otherwise they may still face the repercussions of lower economic growth, than potentially feasible. 

“A further application using the financial fragility dataset even provides low income countries a potential solution to reduce financial fragility.  By increasing formal sector financial inclusion, fragility in the banking sector may fall due to greater asset diversification, and due to the additional cheap and stable sources of funding that banks may use for income generating purposes.”

The University of Leicester and Aston University panel will take place at 11am on Friday 28 October and the event will be livestreamed at the following link:

The conference agenda includes high-profile keynote speeches, policy panel sessions and research panel sessions.

The policy panel sessions provide an opportunity for ministers, academics and private sector organisations to debate important policy issues relating to agriculture, finance and innovation.

The research sessions will give academics and researchers a space to explore new research on these issues in more depth. 


Notes to editors:
For more information contact Dr Svetlana Andrianova on or Dr Johan Rewilak on

About the ESRC-DFID Joint Fund for Poverty Alleviation Research

This programme was set up in 2005 to fund world class social science research that addresses the goal of reducing poverty amongst the poorest countries and people globally. Part of a broader strategic partnership between the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and ESRC, the joint fund aims to fund research which provides a robust conceptual and empirical basis for development with strong potential for impact on policy and practice for poverty reduction.

Funding has been awarded in three phases to date, with regular research calls generating a portfolio of more than 130 grants across a broad range of topics. These provide a rich source of development research evidence, both from individual grants and their Pathways to Impact, and also through research syntheses and other programme-level impact activity that pulls together learning from across the portfolio. The Impact Initiative is now working to support the uptake of research funded by the joint fund and the ESRC-DFID Raising Learning Outcomes programme.

About the University of Leicester

The University of Leicester is led by discovery and innovation – an international centre for excellence renowned for research, teaching and broadening access to higher education. The University of Leicester is ranked among the top one per cent of universities in the world by the THE World University Rankings and also among the top 100 leading international universities in the world. It is among the top 25 universities in the Times Higher Education REF Research Power rankings with 75% of research adjudged to be internationally excellent with wide-ranging impacts on society, health, culture, and the environment.

Find out more:

Values and Vision

The University of Leicester is committed to a culture of collaboration.  We believe teaching and research are inseparable and that success is built on partnership and innovation. We have a focus on students and commitment to social mobility and foster a culture of equality where everyone is valued. We are committed to ensuring our successes drive local enterprise and business and contribute to the success of the city and region.  We have an international focus and celebrate the unique character of our University - a welcoming and close-knit campus in one of the most multicultural cities in the UK.

Follow us on Twitter @uniofleicester and @UoLNewsCentre

University of Leicester Expertise:

About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston University has been always been a force for change. For 50 years the University has been transforming lives through pioneering research, innovative teaching and graduate employability success. Aston is renowned for its opportunity enabler through broad access and inspiring academics, providing education that is applied and has real impact on all areas of society, business and industry. True to Aston’s Coat of Arms which bears the word ‘Forward’, in 2016 Aston will hold a year-long anniversary celebration to recognise its heritage and achievements, but with a focus to drive forward the next stage in the University’s exciting journey.

Aston's Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, Professor Alec Cameron, is the principal academic and executive officer of the University. Alec has overall responsibility for Aston's executive management and day-to-day direction.

Share this page:

Older press releases

For press releases issued before 4 October 2010, please visit the old eBulletin site.

Get in touch

T: +44 (0)116 252 5386


For out of hours enquiries, please contact:

For general enquiries about the University, contact the main switchboard on +44 (0)116 252 2522.