Meredith Walker and OECD Rome 

Cutting-edge strategies for improving financial education efficiency is event focus

ROME, ITALY – JUNE 16, 2010 – Operation HOPE (HOPE) Economist and Director of the HOPE Office of Innovation, Research and Assessment Meredith Walker was invited to take part in the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) international symposium on financial literacy at the Bank of Italy in Rome on June 9, 2010. Two hundred delegates representing fifty countries participated, uniting experts worldwide to advance financial literacy as an international imperative in the wake of the global financial crisis.

The one-day symposium was hosted by OECD Deputy-General Ambassador Richard Boucher.  Panelists, including U.S. Treasury Department Director of the Office of Financial Education Dubis Correal, noted that people often feel at the mercy of the financial system and applauded OECD and national education efforts aimed at economic inclusion of disenfranchised communities. Panelists also focused on new methods to assess gaps and evaluate impacts of financial education efforts, insights from behavioral economics and economic psychology to design programs that take into account emotional decision making surrounding money, and the dire need for improved financial education in the shift from defined benefit to defined contribution pension plans to protect retirees.

"The OECD symposium confirmed the correctness of the Operation HOPE approach to financial literacy: it is the combination of knowledge, goal setting, and achievement that changes lives," said Meredith Walker. "The interactions with researchers and practitioners from the OECD and Italy, and other nations including China, South Africa and Brazil, will help define the innovation, assessment and expansion of HOPE initiatives in the United States and abroad."

HOPE's Office of Innovation, Research and Assessment identifies new opportunities to reach underserved communities, conducts economic research to improve financial literacy programming, including the new Gallup-HOPE Financial Literacy Index, and analyzes the impact of HOPE programs and services on youth, adults and the community at large.

The OECD was established in Paris in 1961 and is funded by the governments of its member states, which are committed to democracy and the market economy. The OECD Project on Financial Education launched in 2003 to develop financial education both as a life skill and a key component of domestic and international financial stability and economic development. In 2008, the OECD established the International Network on Financial Education and the International Gateway for Financial Education, the first clearinghouse on financial education covering over seventy countries.


About Operation HOPE, Inc.

Founded in 1992, Operation HOPE is a Los Angeles-based global nonprofit and social empowerment organization providing financial literacy, credit counseling and management, computer training, lending services and inspiration to the economically disadvantaged. Operation HOPE has assumed the responsibility of piloting the Silver Rights Movement towards making free enterprise and capitalism relevant to all underserved communities. With more than 400 private sector partners, 3500 nonprofit organizations and schools, and 100 government partners in 70 major U.S. cities and seven provinces in South Africa, HOPE has raised more than $500 million in its pursuit of educating, assisting and inspiring the next generation of global stakeholders in financial literacy, economic empowerment and silver rights. To learn more visit

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