Professor Adele Atkinson

Professor Adele Atkinson

Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology
Professor of Practice in Financial Literacy and Wellbeing (CHASM)

Contact details

Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Professor Adele Atkinson has recently returned to academia after more than a decade working in developing policy, research, and practice in the field of financial literacy and financial well-being at the national and international level for various bodies including the OECD, the G20 and its Global Partnership on Financial Inclusion, and the UN Capital Development Fund.


  • PhD in Human Geography (2010)
  • BSc (Hons) in Economics and Accounting with Law (2000)


Professor Atkinson has over 20 years of professional experience in researching and finding solutions to policy challenges relating to financial literacy, and is widely considered to be an international expert on this topic. In May this year, she joined the Centre on Household Assets and Savings Management, at the University of Birmingham, UK, as Professor of Practice in Financial Literacy and Wellbeing. Adele also continues to work closely with the United Nations Capital Development Fund on financial inclusion and digital financial literacy, and provide professional consultancy around financial education design, delivery and evaluation.  Prior to her return to academia, Adele was Head of Financial Education at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), where she was responsible for a network of over 120 countries, providing technical assistance, developing international policy guidance and undertaking novel research.


  • Contributing to MA Policy Futures

Postgraduate supervision

Professor Atkinson will commence postgraduate supervision in January 2023.


Research interests

Adele's interest lies in finding effective solutions to problems related to individual and household financial management, including their financial literacy and wellbeing. In particular, she is interested in developing relevant measures, evaluating programmes and considering comprehensive policy solutions looking at both the demand and supply side of financial services.

Adele also believes that we need to further explore the mechanisms that lead to better financial wellbeing, including those operating within the household and those related to culture and current context.

Current projects

Adele is currently finalising work on Financial Inclusion Monitor, looking at consumer experiences across the UK. This project is funded by Barrow Cadbury Trust and Friends Provident Foundation. 

Other activities

  • Advisor to UNCDF Pacific on the measurement of Digital Financial Literacy.
  • Research partner on a project on understanding financial wellbeing with Tartu University, Estonia and Erste Foundation.
  • Expert consultant to the Prudence Foundation Cha-Ching Curriculum.
  • Senior Advisor to Good Good Piggy, a financial education FinTech start up in India.
  • Previously advisor to: Cyprus Central Bank (financial Literacy); EC (competency framework: financial literacy); US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (financial well-being); Money Advice Service (measurement and evaluation); Hong Kong Investor and Financial Education Council (research and evaluation). 


 AFI (2021). Financial Consumer Protection during a crisis. Guideline Note No. 49

OECD. (2021). Financial consumer protection and financial literacy in Asia in response to COVID-19. Paris: OECD publishing. Retrieved from

OECD. (2020). Advancing the digital financial inclusion of youth. Paris: OECD publishing. Retrieved from

OECD. (2020). Personal Data Use in Financial Services and the Role of Financial Education. Paris: OECD publishing. Retrieved from

OECD. (2020). PISA 2018 Results (Volume IV): Are Students Smart About Money? Paris: PISA, OECD Publishing. Retrieved from

OECD. (2020). Strengthening seniors’ financial well-being. Paris: OECD Publishing. Retrieved from

Panos, G. A., Karkkainen, T., & Atkinson, A. (2020). Financial literacy and attitudes to cryptocurrencies. Working Papers in Responsible Banking & Finance.

G20. (2019). G20 Fukuoka Policy Priorities on Aging and Financial Inclusion. Retrieved from



View all publications in research portal