• Lambert Engelbrecht Department of Social Work, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa.



The reference to financial literacy in the G8 Action Plan drafted at the Sea Island Summit 2004 (Cohen, Stach & McGuinnes, 2004) is a demonstration of the growing awareness worldwide of the importance of promoting financial education, especially in developing countries. This has led to concepts such as financial literacy and financial education creating an interest in research especially by such institutions as banking companies, government agencies and community interest groups (Piprek, Dlamini & Coetzee, 2004). These interest groups and institutions are generally concerned that their consumers lack basic knowledge of financial concepts and do not have the skills they need to make decisions advantageous to their economic well-being (Braunstein & Welch, 2002). Financial literacy is thus globally increasingly viewed as an important requirement for successful functioning in a modern society. This trend suggests that educating people to become financially literate will gradually become even more important worldwide (Sandlant, Harris & Barker, 2005), as people who are financially illiterate and therefore financially vulnerable, are increasingly excluded from the mainstream economy (INSOL International, 2001; Link, Vawser, Downes & Chant, 2004; Noble, Ratcliffe &Wright, 2004; Laderchi, Saith & Stewart, 2006; Finmark Trust, 2007).


Download data is not yet available.


BELL, E. & LERMAN, R.I. 2005. Can financial literacy enhance asset building? Washington DC: The Urban Institute.

BRAUNSTEIN, S. & WELCH, C. 2002. Financial literacy: An overview of practice, research, and policy. Federal Reserve Bulletin, November: 445-457.

BYINGTON, M.F. 1910. Homestead, the Households of a Mill Town. New York: Russel Sage Foundation Publication.

CLANCY, M., GRINSTEIN-WEISS, M. & SCHREINER, M. 2001. Financial education and savings outcomes in individual development accounts. Center for Social Development, Working Paper 01-2. St. Louis: Washington University.

COHEN, M., STACH, K. & McGUINNES, E. 2004. Financial education: a win-win for clients and MFIs. Washington DC: Microfinance Opportunities.

COLLINS, D. 2007. Focus note: Styles and profiles, investigating the financial lives of the poor. The connection between livelihoods and financial portfolios of the poor. Available: [Accessed: 28/04/2007].

DAVIS, S. 2002. Social entrepreneurship: Towards an entrepreneurial culture for social and economic development. Arlington: Ashoka.

FINMARK TRUST. 2004. Preliminary principles for expanding consumer financial literacy in SA. Marshalltown: FinMark Trust.

FINMARK TRUST. 2007. Access to savings products in the low income market. Johannesburg: South Africa Savings Institute.

FLEETBOSTON. 2003. Smarter decisions with Fleet National Survey, September 2003. Available: %202004%2Financial l%20 Literacy%20Survey%20Report.pdf [Accessed: 28/04/2007].

FRIEDMAN, P. 2005a. Providing and funding financial literacy programs for low-income adults and youth. Washington DC: The Finance Project.

FRIEDMAN, P. 2005b. Banking the unbanked. Helping low-income families build financial assets. Washington DC: The Finance Project.

GARMAN, E.T., KIM, J., KRATZER, C.Y., BRUNSON, B.H. & JOO, S. 1999. Workplace financial education improves personal financial wellness. Columbus: Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education.

GOODWIN-GROEN, R.P & KELLY-LOUW, M. 2006. The National Credit Act and its regulations in the context of access to finance in South Africa. Marshalltown: FinMark Trust.

GORDON, L.L. 1940. Review: Next steps in consumer education, proceedings of a national conference on consumer education. Southern Economical Journal, 6(3):403-405.

HARE, I. 2004. Defining social work for the 21st century. The International Federation of Social Workers’ revised definition of social work. International Social Work, 3(47):406-424.

HENEY, J. 2000. Enhancing farmers’ financial management skills. Agricultural Finance Revisited, 6:1-86.

INSOL INTERNATIONAL. 2001. Consumer debt report: Report of findings and recommendations. London: International Federation of Insolvency Professionals.


INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF SOCIAL WORKERS (IFSW). 2001. Available: [Accessed: 28/04/2007].

INTERNATIONAL LABOR ORGANIZATION (ILO). 2007. Available: [Accessed 28/04/2007].

JACOB, K., HUDSON, S. & BUSH, M. 2000. Tools for survival: an analysis of financial literacy programs for lower-income families. Chicago: Woodstock Institute.

KAKWANI, N. 2006. Poverty and wellbeing. International Poverty Centre, UNPD, Poverty in focus, December: 20-21.

LADERCHI, C.E., SAITH, R. & STEWART, F. 2006. Does the definition of poverty matter? Comparing four approaches. International Poverty Centre, UNPD, Poverty in focus, December: 10-11.

LINK, P., VAWSER, S., DOWNES, S. & CHANT, G. 2004. Summary presentation: research on financial exclusion in Australia. Victoria, Australia: ANZ, Chant Link & Associates.

LOMBARD, A & DU PREEZ, J. 2003. Overcoming the challenges of building partnerships in social development. Paper delivered at the social development conference, 5 June 2003. Stellenbosch: stellenbosch university.

LUSARDI, A. & MITCHELL, O.S. 2006. Financial literacy and retirement preparedness: Evidence and implications for financial education programs. Michigan Retirement Research Center, Working Paper 2006-144. Michigan: University of Michigan.

MAVRINAC, S. & PING, C.W. 2004. Financial education of women in Asia Pacific: An INSEAD working paper. Singapore: INSEAD Campus.

MILEY, K.K., O'MELIA, M. & DU BOIS, B. 2001. Generalist social work practice. An empowering approach. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

NASH, J., JENKINSON, A., VAYRO, A. & SANDLANT, R. 2005. Understanding personal debt and financial difficulty in Australia. Melbourne: ANZ & ACNielson.

NOBLE, M., RATCLIFFE, A. & WRIGHT, G. 2004. Conceptualizing, defining and measuring poverty in South Africa – An argument for a consensual approach. Centre for the Analysis of South African Social Policy (CASASP), Department of Social Policy and Social Work. Oxford: University of Oxford.

PIPREK, G., DLAMINI, P. & COETZEE, G. 2004. Financial literacy scoping study and strategy project. Final report. Marshalltown: FinMark Trust, ECI Africa Consulting (Pty) Ltd.

POLLARD, E. & DAVIDSON, L. 2001. Foundations of child well-being. Paris: UNESCO, Action Research in Family and Early Childhood.

RAND, D. 2004. Financial education and asset building programs for welfare recipients and low income workers: the Illinois experience. Washington DC: The Brookings Institution, Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy.

RICHMOND, M.E. 1917. Social diagnosis. New York: Russel Sage Foundation.

ROBINSON, L. (ed) 2002. Guide to financial literacy resources. San Francisco: Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Community Affairs Unit.

SALEEBY, D. 2002. The strengths perspective in social work practice (3rd ed). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

SANDLANT, R., HARRIS, A. & BARKER, N. 2005. AZN Survey of adult financial literacy in Australia. Melbourne: AZN & ACNielson.

SCHAGEN, S. 1997. The evaluation of NatWest Face 2 Face With Finance. London: National Foundation for Education Research.

SEN, A.K. 1985. Commodities and capabilities. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

TAYLOR, Z. 1999. Values, theories and methods in social work education. A culturally transferable core? International Social Work, 42(3):309-318.

TERMINOLOGY COMMITTEE FOR SOCIAL WORK. 1995. New dictionary of social work. Cape Town: CTP Book Printers.

UNITED NATIONS. 2000. United Nations Millennium Declaration. Resolution adopted by the General Assembly (A/55/L.2).

US DEPARTMENT OF LABOR. 2001. Dollars & Sense: implementing financial education in a one-stop setting. Washington DC: Office of adult services, Division of welfare-to-work.

WARNER, A.G., QUEEN, S.A. & HARPER, E.B. 1894 American charities and social work (1st ed). New York: Thomas Y Crowell Company Publishers.

WARNER, A.G., QUEEN, S.A. & HARPER, E.B. 1930. American charities and social work (4th ed). New York: Thomas Y Crowell Company Publishers.

WEINER, L., BARON-DONOVAN, C., GROSS, K. & BLOCK-LIEB, S. 2005. Debtor education, financial literacy, and pending bankruptcy legislation. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 23:347-366.

WILLIS, E.L. 2008a. Evidence and ideology in assessing the effectiveness of financial Literacy education. Public law and legal theory research paper series. Research paper no. #08-08. Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Law School.

WILLIS, E.L. 2008b. Against financial literacy education. Public law and legal theory research paper series. Research paper no. #08-10. Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Law School.




How to Cite





Most read articles by the same author(s)