Search Library

If you know the name or author of the document you are looking for, type it below. You can also search for documents related to specific countries, regions or organizations.

 

Editors’ Picks

There are many documents in the Library, and it might be hard to know which are the best ones to read. This section calls attention to some of our favorites. We’ll change the list every month or so. 

 For November, here is our recommendation:

Governing the Oral Institution 

Check this out this paper by Brett Matthews. It is extremely well-researched and written. Warning: it’s long but well-worth the read. If you are a practitioner and find yourself low on time, skip to page 25. The next twenty pages are filled with intelligent insights. They include tips on how to interact effectively with isolated communities whose behaviors are embedded in traditions, habits and modes of communications that may differ wildly from those of the field worker or the project designer. 

For October, here were our recommendations:

Beyond Financial Services-A Synthesis of Studies on Combining Savings Groups and Other Development Activities.

This paper sumarizes the findings of AKF’s Learning Initiative into the important area of combining SGs and other activities.  It explores the internal and contextual factors that influence sustainability, replicability and outcomes. It helps readers place their projects on the continuums of risk, and the degree of free choice that group members have to participate in the Other Actitivy, and what the outcome means for the moral responsibility of the facilitating agency. An important work that begins to define good practice in an area that will become more and more important, as the developmental potential of SGs becomes increasingly apparent. 

AUTHORS: P. RIPPEY; B. FOWLER (AKF, 2011)

Bringing Financial Services to Africa’s Poor-Microfinance in Africa-State of the Sector Report

This state of the sector report reviews formal and informal microfinance offerings across the African continent. The report also places special emphasis on Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs), detailing their history and the basic principles of their operations, and speaking to their resilience in the face of manmade and natural disasters and their potential for women’s empowerment and improved livelihoods. The report talks about the outreach of the CARE VSLA programs in Africa and other SavingsGroup programs across the continent.

AUTHOR: CARE (2009)

 

Online Savings-led Library


Most of these documents were collected by the SEEP Savings Led Working Group, and we are delighted to partner with SEEP to make them available to you. 

We add new documents to the library continuously.

Interested in contributing your organisation’s studies? Please email Eloisa Devietti.

  • Folder

    Briefs on AKF case study series

    This folder contains briefs of a series of case studies (to be completed) by the Aga Khan Foundation describing how Savings groups may be used as platforms for other development initiatives. AUTHORS: AKF (2010)
  • Folder

    Empowering Better: Report on economic strengthening for OVC caregivers in Uganda

    This “Summary of Findings” report presents evidence illustrating the role that WORTH, a women’s empowerment program centered on village banking, has played in The Salvation Army’s “Sustainable Community Support for Orphans and Vulnerable Children” project in Uganda (heretofore known as the “TSA OVC” project). The aim of the project, funded by PEPFAR, was to improve the welfare of “orphans and vulnerable children” (OVC) affected by HIV/AIDS. (April 2010).
  • Folder

    Oxfam America key studies summary (2008-2010)

    Brief descriptions of Oxfam America's key studies of the Saving for Change Program. Summarized studies include the following: 1) Baseline Study of Saving for Change in Mali: Results from the Segou Expansion Zone and Existing SfC Sites, 2) Cambodia Saving For Change in Mali: A Study of Atypical Groups from Sikasso to Kayes, 3) Ensuring Continued Success: Saving for Change in Older Program Areas of Mali, 4) Longitudinal Evaluation of SfC in Cambodia. AUTHOR: Janina Matuszeski (Oxfam, 2010)
  • File
  • File
  • File

    Apples to Apples

     (378K)
    Reviews the current cost calculations for measuring efficiency of savings groups programs and suggests standardizexd criteria for evaluation. AUTHOR: J. ZOLLMAN (2009)
  • File

    Ark and the Box.doc

     (37K)
    This essay is about the multi-dimensional role that savings groups could take if properly understood and properly mobilized. Focusing solely on financial services is serving the real role of groups in the lives of women. AUTHORS: KIM WILSON, MALCOLM HARPER, MATTHEW GRIFFITH
  • File

    Banking on Change - Strategy Summary

     (86K)
    Outlines the defining characteristics of PLAN and CARE's partnership with Barclays to bring formal financial services to the poor in Asia, Africa and South America. The parnership aims at scaling up, deepending impact, and bringing informal savings groups into the formal financial system.
  • File

    Banking on the Poor-Cambodia Feasibility Study Report

     (551K)
    This feasibility study addresses issues and implications for the implementation of the Saving for Change (SfC) program in Cambodia. Specifically, it aims to gain an understanding of the rural economic conditions in the country and assess the demand for the Self-Help Group methodology. It also poses recommendations for program implementation. AUTHOR: S. GROVE (2005)
  • File

    Baseline Study of Saving for Change in Mali- Results from the Segou Expansion Zone and Existing SfC Sites

     (2.5M)
    This report provides baseline results from the Segou expansion zone of the Saving for Change Program. The baseline information is based on large-scale quantitative survey research conducted by IPA in 500 villages in the Segou region and complementary qualitative analysis by BARA in 8 of those villages. Follow-up studies in 2012 will help determine the program’s impacts for participants. This report also focuses on evaluating the current functioning of the existing SfC programs in five villages in Mali. Research in these villages is oriented toward gaining a qualitative understanding of how savings and credit systems function in relation to local livelihood strategies. These results build upon information collected by BARA during a prior study of 4 villages in 2008. Report also available in French. AUTHORS: BARA/IPA (2010)-COMISSIONED BY OXFAM, FFH, AND STROMME
  • File

    Beyond FInancial Services: A Synthesis of Studies on the Integration of Savings

     (987K)
    This paper summarises the findings of AKF's Learning Initiative regarding the sustainability of SGs and of the other activities, as well as the benefits of the other activity. It explores the internal and contextual factors that influence sustainability, replicability and outcomes. Finally, it concludes with some preliminary thoughts about good practice and some areas where further research would be useful. AUTHORS: P. RIPPEY; B. FOWLER (AKF, 2011)
  • File

    Beyond Financial Services - WORTH Nepal

     (1021K)
    This research study is one of a series of studies sponsored by the Aga Khan Foundation and the MasterCard Foundation to examine how SGs are used as platforms for development activities and how linkages to other services take place. It considers how financial services combined with other development activities add value for individuals, groups, and the community. The initiative also explores the sustainability and reliability of SGs, thus examining long term access to financial services for the poor. AUTHORS: M. ODELL (AKF 2011)
  • File

    Beyond Financial Services Chars Livelihood Programme Bangladesh

     (1.5M)
    This research study is one of a series of studies sponsored by the Aga Khan Foundation and the MasterCard Foundation to examine how SGs are used as platforms for development activities and how linkages to other services take place. It considers how financial services combined with other development activities add value for individuals, groups, and the community. The initiative also explores the sustainability and reliability of SGs, thus examining long term access to financial services for the poor. AUTHORS: D. Pnetta; K. Conroy (AKF 2011)
  • File

    Beyond Financial Services_Combining Savings Groups with Agricultural Marketing in Tanzania

     (1.4M)
    This research study is one of a series of studies sponsored by the Aga Khan Foundation and the MasterCard Foundation to examine how SGs are used as platforms for development activities and how linkages to other services take place. It considers how financial services combined with other development activities add value for individuals, groups, and the community. The initiative also explores the sustainability and reliability of SGs, thus examining long term access to financial services for the poor. AUTHORS: B. FOWLER; C NELSON (AKF, 2011)
  • File

    Beyond Financial Services_Improving Access to Basic Financial Services and Agricultural Input and.pdf

     (1.5M)
    This research study is one of a series of studies sponsored by the Aga Khan Foundation and the MasterCard Foundation to examine how SGs are used as platforms for development activities and how linkages to other services take place. It considers how financial services combined with other development activities add value for individuals, groups, and the community. The initiative also explores the sustainability and reliability of SGs, thus examining long term access to financial services for the poor. AUTHORS: B. FOWLER; D. PANETTA (AKF 2011)
  • File

    Beyond Financial Services_Marketing Solar Lamps through Savings Groups in Uganda

     (1.4M)
    This research study is one of a series of studies sponsored by the Aga Khan Foundation and the MasterCard Foundation to examine how SGs are used as platforms for development activities and how linkages to other services take place. It considers how financial services combined with other development activities add value for individuals, groups, and the community. The initiative also explores the sustainability and reliability of SGs, thus examining long term access to financial services for the poor. AUTHORS: P.RIPPEY; C. NELSON (AKF 2011)
  • File

    Beyond Financial Services_The Permanence and Value of Savings Groups in CARE's COSALO Programme

     (3.2M)
    This research study is one of a series of studies sponsored by the Aga Khan Foundation and the MasterCard Foundation to examine how SGs are used as platforms for development activities and how linkages to other services take place. It considers how financial services combined with other development activities add value for individuals, groups, and the community. The initiative also explores the sustainability and reliability of SGs, thus examining long term access to financial services for the poor. AUTHORS: M. ODELL; P. RIPPEY (AKF 2011)
  • File

    Bringing Financial Services to Africa's Poor-Microfinance in Africa-State of the Sector Report

     (3M)
    This state of the sector report reviews formal and informal microfinance offerings across the African continent. The report also places special emphasis on the Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs), detailing their history and basic group functioning principles, and speaking to their resilience in the face of manmade and natural disasters and their potential for women's empowerment and improved livelihoods among other topics. The report outlines not only the number of CARE VSLA members in Africa But also that of other VSLA-inspired programs across the continent. AUTHOR: CARE (2009)
  • File

    Buddhist Economics

     (98K)
    This famous short article by E.F. Schumacher, from his book Small is Beautiful, challenges many notions of modern economics. It states that Buddhist Economics would be based on maximizing human happiness, rather than production, and suggests what that would look like in practice. Only eight pages long - an easy and enjoyable read!
  • File

    CARE International's Village savings and Loan Programmes in Africa.pdf

     (2.6M)
    This monograph describes the experience of the MMD program and examines in lesser detail the evolution of several other CARE projects in Africa that follow the same basic approach—the Kupfumu Ishungu Project in Zimbabwe, the Jozani Savings and Credit Associations in Zanzibar, the Joint Encouragements of Gainful Activities in Uganda, and the Musow Ka Jigiya Ton Project in Mali. While looking at the specific ways in which CARE’s programmes have evolved, it seeks to draw conclusions about the strengths and weaknesses of the methodology and its potential for broader application worldwide. AUTHOR: H.ALLEN (2002)
  • File

    CARE’s Mata Masa Dubara (Women on the Move) Program in Niger

     (1.7M)
    CARE's Mata Masu Dubara (MMD) project is a women's time-bound accumulating savings and credit association (ASCA) program in rural Niger. Over the past decade, CARE has facilitated the creation of over 5,500 active women's groups with over 162,000, providing the purest forms of financial intermediation to their members in some of the poorest parts of Niger. CARE estimates that there is a minimum of 200,000 practicing members with over $3 million in savings. This article examines the nature of markets for rural financial services in the Sahel and the characteristics of the MMD model that respond so well to that market. It also reviews the limitations of the model, and some of the adaptations that CARE has introduced to successfully replicate the program in numerous other countries in Africa. AUTHORS: W. J. GRANT; H. ALLEN (JOURNAL OF MICROFINANCE, 2002)
  • File

    CRS From Good to Great.pdf

     (5.2M)
    The idea of this booklet is that savings groups which already exist can go from being “good” to being “great”, and that the benefits for the group can increase. AUTHOR: CATHOLIC RELIEF SERVICES (CRS) (2011)
  • File

    CRS Private Service Provider Implementation Manual

     (2.8M)
    This manual explains in detail the CRS Private Service Provider (PSP) approach to forming SGs, and ends with a description of how the PSPs are organized into sustaining, expanding networks. Author: marc bavois.
  • File

    Children and Change

     (3.6M)
    Children and Change is the flagship annual publication of Aflatoun, Child Savings International. It details the actives undertaken by Aflatoun in 2008 and the impact on children that resulted. The first section provides an overview of the Aflatoun curriculum; the second section introduces the Aflatoun Quality Assurance and Impact Assessment System, reviews existing evaluation reports and introduces research projects; the last section describes the data collection methods and provides a description of the Aflatoun program growth in the pervious 3 years, detailing outputs. AUTHOR: AFLATOUN (2009)
  • File

    Community-Managed Loan Funds--Which Ones Work?

     (189K)
    This CGAP Focus Note presents conclusions from a performance review of dozens of Community-Managed Loan Fund projects (externally funded groups, SHGs, savings-based groups) established or supported by donors and international NGOs over the past 15 years. It finds that success is strongly linked to the source of funding for the loans group members receive and that only SHGs and savings-based models appear to be viable. In fact, of the 11 savings-based projects evaluated, all were rated successful. AUTHORS: J. MURRAY; R.ROSENBERG (CGAP, 2006)
  • File

    Community-based Financial Organizations-- A Solution to Access in Remote Rural Areas

     (214K)
    This paper reviews factors that must be present for the success of Community Based Financial Organizations (CBFOs), including the mobilization of members’ own savings before accessing external capital, the clear ownership of donor funds if provided, the goal for autonomous function of CBFOs, and simple financial transaction management systems, to name a few. It concludes by giving certain recommendations for project design and implementation. AUTHORS: A. RITCHIE (WORLD BANK, 2007)
  • File

    Con el Ahorro mi Vida Mejoro'

     (6M)
    This interactive guide for community promoters of savings groups in Guatemala outlines the benefits derived from membership, the steps to group formation and the group activities. AUTHOR: CRS (2009)
  • File

    Consultancy for Community Managed Savings and Loan Groups

     (5.3M)
    This study was done for AFR Rwanda and is circulated with their generous permission. It looks at the issues around bank linkages to Savings Groups, and comes up with some very clear recommendations, that some people will consider heretical.
  • File

    Deep Outreach Financial Inclusion

     (100K)
    This 5,000-word essay by Oxfam America's Director of Community Finance Jeffrey Ashe presents the case for Savings Groups as often the most appropriate tool to bring useful financial services to the rural poor. Savings Groups can be promoted at low cost by local NGOs with proper training and support. The groups are robust and continue to function without ongoing staff support making them perhaps at least as sustainable as their cost-covering financial institution brethren. AUTHOR: J. ASHE (2012)
  • File

    Disaster Preparedness and Savings Groups - Orissa Case.doc

     (292K)
    Between 2001 and 2009, CRS built upon and expanded savings groups in Orissa, India, to strengthen its community-based disaster preparedness. This internal report describes the benefits (low cost, high performance) of this kind of disaster prevention efforts. Author: K.Wilson and CRS staff.
  • File

    Empowering Rwandan Youth through Savings Led Microfinance

     (684K)
    Reviews the experiences of CRS's Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) Program in Rwanda. AUTHORS: A. MUKANKUSI; M. MAYSON; T. CASO; W.A. ROWE (CRS, 2009)
  • File

    Ensuring Continued Success-Saving for Change in Older Areas of Mali

     (770K)
    Examines the experiences of the older SfC groups in greater depth, with an emphasis on several areas including: impacts of the program, descriptions of non-members, the degree of saturation of the program, group survival over time, collective projects that members engage in, any linkages to other MFI's or other NGO's, and SfC associations that form from the smaller groups. AUTHORS: J. MATUSZESKI; L BERMUDEZ (OXFAM, 2010)
  • File

    Etude de Reference sur le Programme EPC au Mali-Resultats Issues de la Zone d'Extension de Segou et des Sites EPC Existants

     (1.9M)
    Ce rapport donne les résultats préliminaires issus de la zone d’extension de Ségou. Les informations de base proviennent d’une enquête qualitative à grande échelle menée par IPA dans 500 villages dans la région de Ségou et d’une analyse qualitative complémentaire menée par BARA dans 8 de ces villages. Des études de suivi en 2012 aideront à déterminer l’impact du programme pour les participants. Ce rapport met l’accent sur l’évaluation du fonctionnement actuel des programmes EPC existants dans cinq villages d’autres régions du Mali. L’étude dans ces villages est orientée vers l’acquisition d’une compréhension qualitative de la façon dont les systèmes d’épargne et de crédit fonctionnent par rapport aux stratégies de subsistance locales. Ces résultats sont fondés sur des informations collectées durant une étude préalable en 2008 sur 4 villages, qui avait permis d’examiner la mise en place, la réplication, et le fonctionnement des groupes EPC. Rapport aussi en Anglais. AUTHORS: BARA; IPA (2010)-COMMISSIONED BY OA, FFH, STROMME
  • File

    Evaluation of Impact of the Tougouri Pilot Project and Establishment of Baseline Data for Phase II

     (609K)
    Evluates the impact of the Tougory project in Burkina Faso. The study found positive impacts in terms of increaseS in productive assets, increased consumption, better ability to acces health care and shchooling, better management of household resources, and increase in IGA's, among others. AUTHOR: P. BOYLE (PLAN, 2009)
  • File

    Feasibility Study Report Saving for Change Mexico

     (1M)
    This report concludes that it is feasible to implement SfC in the Oaxaca and Zacatecas regions of Mexico, where access to financial services for the poor is limited. AUTHORS: M. EGREMY; T. ESLAVA; M. M. OLAZABAL (FFH, 2011)
  • File

    Feasibility Study Report Saving for Change Peru

     (839K)
    The study confirms that there is potential for implementing SfC in the area of Iquitos Peru, with some adaptations to the methodology. AUTHORS: L. GARCIA BEDREGAL; L. FLEISCHER PROANO (FFH, 2011)
  • File

    Financial Promise for the Poor: How Groups Build Microsavings

     (25K)
    Originally written for the 2009 Conference Microfinance from Below at Tufts University, this collection of case studies is illustrative of the challenges and opportunities of Savings Groups around the world. EDITORS: K. WILSON; M. HARPER; M. GRIFFITH (KUMARIAN PRESS, 2010)
  • File

    Formal-informal financial linkages-- Lessons from developing countries

     (238K)
    This paper drwas results from 12 case studies conducted in eleven countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America that indicate that financial linkages are increasingly used by formal financial institutions (public or private) to target rural clients. A wide variety of less formal, often rural financial institutions are the linkage partners. Initial evidence indicates that the partnership seem to afford both partners the opportunity to overcome a weakness in what they can achieve on their own. But does this initial appeal translate into anything sustainable and/ or replicable? Although it is certainly too early to tell, financial linkages, while promising, are difficult to set up and manage, require strong less formal as well as formal institutions and seldom result in a significant expansion of financial services beyond credit. AUTHORS: M. PAGURA; M KIRSTEN (FAO)
  • File

    Fortalezas, debilidades y evolución a 11 años del Programa de Ahorro Comunitario

     (925K)
    eSTE estudio sobre el PAC en Ecuador documenta las fortalezas, debilidades y evolución del programa de ahorro implementado por el Cuerpo de Paz a lo largo de sus 11 años de existencia. Tambien hace recomendaciones al Cuerpo de Paz y aporta ideas respecto a la estructura que deben tener otros programas de grupos de ahorro en Latinoamérica. AUTHORS: L. FLEISCHER PROANO; M. GASH; A. KUKLEWICZ (2010)
  • File

    GSL Impact Assessment

     (1M)
    'Group Savings and Loan Associations' (GSLAs) in Nyanza and Western provinces are having a vital impact on the ability of members to manage their savings, access loans and by extension take greater control of their livelihoods and futures. GSLAs in Kenya are serving a segment that is mostly outside the formal financial sector; a segment that values the groups advice as well as services. Over time, groups are also expanding the market for sound institutional governance. AUTHOR:B. H. MATTHEWS (FSDK TRUST, 2010)
  • File

    Geraldine O'Keeffe presentation at SG best practices workshop.pptx

     (2.5M)
    Presentation for FSD Zambia 16 January 2014.
  • File

    Getting Down to Business: Women's Social and Economic Empowerment in Burundi

     (280K)
    This report examines if adding a discussion series for couples is more effective in increasing decision-making and reducing violence, rather than just an economic program on its own. Results of the evaluation show that adding the discussion series to the IRC's EA$E program resulted in significant reduction in the incidence of partner violence. The discussion series also positively affected attitudes towards violence against women, as well as brought about relatively significant and positive changes in household decision-making and negotiation between couples. AUTHOR: IRC
  • File

    Governing the Oral Institution

     (415K)
    This paper draws on the pioneering studies of orality by Walter J. Ong, and the work of Ronald Coase and Oliver Williamson on transaction costs, to develop both a theoretical framework and practical tools for overcoming the failure of rural financial markets through village-based, savings-led financial institutions. AUTHOR: B. H. MATTHEWS (MATHWOOD CONSULTING COMPAMY, 2009)
  • File

    Group Savings and Loan Associations Impact study

     (1M)
    The goals of this study are to determine the impact of group savings and loans associations (GSLs) in Kenya on their users’ livelihoods, and to assess the potential market for GSLs to inform a possible scale-up. AUTHORS: B. H. Matthews; C. Musoke; C.Green.(DAI-Commissioned by FSD Kenya; 2010)
  • File

    Group Savings and Loans Associations gain efficiency from new approaches

     (560K)
    Reviews the risks and accomplishments of CARE's innovative COSALO program. AUTHOR: P. Rippey (FSDK, 2010)
  • File

    Haitian Informal Finance

     (177K)
    Reviews the array of informal financial services in Haiti including Mutuelles, Borlettes, and Rotating Savings Clubs. AUTHOR: K. WILSON (2010)
  • File

    Harnessing the Power of Savings and lending Communities to Drive Agroenterprise Development in Ghana

     (1.1M)
    Farmers in Ghana face a number of constraints that result in low productivity. To address this challenge, CRS introduced an innovative program that combines improved access to finance through savings groups and enhanced outreach of agricultural extension officers. As a result of this initiative, farmers have seen increases in heir income, improvements in farming techniques and better exchange of ideas. AUTHORS: R. ASOMBOBILLAH (CRS, 2011)
  • File

    Health Market Research with Saving for Change Groups in Mali

     (450K)
    The overall goal of this market research study is to understand the health needs and healthcare services available to members of the Saving for Change Savings Groups. AUTHORS: DR. M. CISSE; N. DIALLO (FFH, 2010)
  • File

    How Gambians Save

     (2.5M)
    This remarkable piece of writing takes a deep look into financial perceptions and behaviors of savers in Gambia. It describes local savings groups but looks beyond to describe savings practices in general. Concepts of liquidity, interest rates, savings and debt are researched and described in rich detail. Written in 1990 its analysis is relevant today. AUTHOR: Parker Shipton (1990)
  • File

    How Savings-Led Microfinance Has Improved Chickpea Marketing in the Lake Zone of Tanzania

     (376K)
    This paper looks at how savings-led microfinance has helped smallholder producers in Tanzania successfully address challenges of loan access and cash flow management. AUTHORS: CRS (2010)
  • File

    Human Faces of Microfinance Impact

     (3.2M)
    This paper presents the impact story methodology of carefully collecting and analyzing stories of randomly selected microfinance clients, which has proven to be a meaningful tool for evaluating impact. AUTHORS: L. JARRELL; B. GRAY; M. GASH; C.DUNFORD (FFH 2011)
  • File

    Impact Evaluation on WORTH Ethiopia Literacy-led Savings and Credit Program

     (1.2M)
    This evaluation of the WORTH program in Ethiopia, which started in 2006, found that it has successfully met its objectives of organizing 9,000 women into 390 savings groups. The survey results show that WORTH members are actively participating in the groups, with 75% having taken out loans at least once. In addition, thanks the program’s literacy curriculum, 33% of members learned to read and write. Sample respondents are also more involved in the education of their children and are increasing their participation in decision-making at the household and community levels. About 70% of members have engaged in one or more business activities, leading to 66.4% of responders reporting that their income had increased in the past year. However, members cited lack of business experience and lack of star-up capital as difficulties in starting a new business, especially since the amounts saved in the groups are deemed too low. Going forward, the program must consider ways to foster sustainability in the form of networking and clustering of groups and in building partnerships with local state and non-state actors before exiting target areas. AUTHOR: S. ABEBE; B H. SELASSIE (PACT, 2009)
  • File

    Impact and Programme Evaluation of Plan and UHIKI joint VSL Programme in Tanzania

     (1.4M)
    Evaluates PLAN's Community Managed Microfinance Program in Tanzania. Impacts of the program include improvements in the mon-productive asset base of households and their number of IGAs; decreases in school absenses; improved access to medical services and increased awaremess of child rights, among others. The study also noted a decrease in the use of MFIs and SACCOs in favor of savings groups. AUTHOR: H. ALLEN (PLAN, 2009)
  • File

    In Their Own Hands, Chapters 1 and 2. Draft

     (224K)
    Chapters 1 and 2 of In Their Own Hands: How Savings Groups Are Revolutionizing Development, by Jeffrey Ashe and Kyla Jagger Neilan. This is a draft for comment. Please see the "In Their Own Hands" page to leave comments.
  • File

    Increasing Savings and Solidarity among Households with Orphans and Vulnerable Children in Rwanda

     (923K)
    CRS linked the SILC (Saving and Internal Lending Communities) methodology with its OVC (Orphans and Vulnerable Children) program with the intention of providing OVC households with reliable and safe financial services and financial education. This evaluation reviews the program’s success and also briefly discusses some challenges and lessons learned. AUTHORS: L. DILLS; M. MAYSON; A. MUKANKUSI; W. ROWECRS; (CRS, 2008)
  • File

    Informal Mutual Aid Associations among Ethiopian Taxi Drivers in Boston

     (205K)
    This paper explores Ethiopian mutual aid associations. For generations, communities in Ethiopia have managed their financial needs and life risks through informal mutual aid associations. The most prominent of these associations include the iddir, an emergency and funeral insurance group, and the iquub, a rotating savings and credit association (ROSCA). AUTHOR: E. MENGESHA (2013)
  • File

    Informe del Estudio de Factibilidad Ahorro Comunitario Peru

     (837K)
    El informe confirma que hay potencial en la zona de Iquitos, Peru para implementar el programa de Ahorro Comunitario con algunos ajustes a la metodologia y en temas educativos. AUTHORS:L.GARCIA BEDREGAL; L. FLEISCHER PROANO (FFH, 2011)
  • File

    Informe del Estudio de Fctibilidad Ahorro Comunitario Mexico

     (875K)
    El estudio concluyó que es factible implementar el programa de Ahorro Comunitario en las zonas de Oaxaca y Zacatecas, donde hay muy poco accesso a otro tipo de servicios financieros. AUTHORS: M. ENGREMY; T. ESLAVA; M. M. OLAZABAL (FFH, 2011)
  • File

    Integrity Without It Nothing Works

     (420K)
    Important work by Michael Jensen on Integrity as a Production Factor. Where there is a gap between what we say and what we do, there is struggle and stress. Take, for instance, reported attendance in the MIS....
  • File

    Jipange Sasa- A little heaven of local savings, hot technologies and formal finance

     (229K)
    This article follows community activist, Lukas Alube, on his rounds in the slum of Kibera, Nairobi. The protagonist and his savings groups ingeniously weave together a web of deposit collectors and money transfer services to create and build their savings and loan funds. The outcome of their work includes healthy groups able to save and finance a variety of activities, despite their grim surroundings. AUTHOR: K. WILSON
  • File

    Kibara Mission Hospital HIV Project, Tanzania—Phase II Savings and Internal Lending Communities

     (852K)
    As part of SEEP’s Promising Practices Case Studies, this report describes the second phase of the Kibara Mission Hospital Project, when The Internal Saving and Lending Communities (SILCs) were added to the existing HIV-AIDS programming. The study describes the SILC methodology, its implementation process, the costs of the program, and the results of the intervention. It concludes with outlining the program’s major strengths and limitations. AUTHOR; L. PARROT (SEEP, CRS, 2008)
  • File

    Lean Research Declaration Sept. 10.docx

     (37K)
    This is a declaration by academics and practitioners that promotes better research with better research defined as respectful, right-sized and relevant.
  • File

    Les groupes d'epargne: que sont-ils?

     (1M)
    Le présent document vise à étudier et expliquer la nature des groupes d’épargne et les diverses approches adoptées par les agences facilitatrices (AF) et projets les plus expérimentés qui opèrent en Afrique essentiellement. AUTHOR: H. ALLEN; D. PANETTA (SEEP, 2010)
  • File

    Linkages between CARE's VSLA's with Financial Institutions in Rwanda

     (508K)
    Based on a belief that savings rather than lending services are more appropriate for and in higher demand by the rural poor, VS&L programs have emphasized savings mobilization through unregulated and usually informal groups that depend on member savings for their loan fund capital rather than external loans. One of the exceptions is the VS&L program by CARE Rwanda, in which Savings and Loan Associations (SLAs) are linked through federations (called Intergroupments, IGs) to external loan funds (provided by CARE) at the Banques Populaires. The main purpose of this case study is to critically document and analyze the SLA linkage to external credit in Rwanda. Taking into account the Rwandan context the case study describes the rationale for the linkage to external credit, lists strengths and weaknesses, and offers recommendations for VS&L and other savings-based financial service practitioners considering to replicate or adapt this model. AUTHOR; J. MAES (2007)
  • File

    Linking Poor Rural Households to Microfinance and Markets in Ethiopia

     (1.6M)
    This report presents the findings of the first two stages of an assessment of the PSNP Plus project in Raya Azebo woreda in Tigray. These assessments are part of a broader longitudinal impact study of the PSNP Plus project, which targets poor, rural households in food insecure areas that benefit from the Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP). The goal of PSNP Plus is to move households towards graduation from PSNP through market-driven approaches to diversify their livelihoods, build assets and link to financial services and markets. AUTHORS: J. BURNS; S. BOGALE (FEINSTEIN INTERNATIONAL CENTER, 2010)
  • File

    Making Financial Services and Business Skills Development Available to African Children and Youth

     (360K)
    Evaluates PLAN's Youth Financial Service (YFS) pilot. Although only one of the original goals of the program was achieved to date, the author nonetheless draws important lessons: empowerment of children participating in SGs is both social and economic; members are not graduating as intended; boys are less attracted to the program than girls; non financial services seem to have had little impact on participants; operational issues will require attention for scale up; etc. AUTHOR: P. BOYLE (PLAN, 2009)
  • File

    Making Micro-Finance Work in Remote and Rural Areas with Low Population Densities

     (230K)
    This paper, written for the Micro credit Summit, 2002, describes the roles of SCOs in providing access to financial services in remote and deprived communities of Nepal and argues that, for the sustainable development of the SCOs, members must eventually take responsibility and run their activities by themselves. The paper describes the modalities of a federative model, as well as advantages, disadvantages, and conditions for federations. The paper further describes principles and practices for designing financial services that may reach the poor in the Hills of Nepal. The context of existing financial services in Nepal and its major players is also examined. AUTHOR: N. SHARMA (CENTRE FOR MICROFINANCE NEPAL, 2002)
  • File

    Mapping Tandas in the US: Cells of Savings Security

     (232K)
    Mexican Roscas in the US, called tandas, have elaborate mechanisms to keep their membership secret. Unlike most Roscas where members know one another, the author maps this 41 member Rosca to learn that very few members actually have ever met face to face. AUTHOR:A FRANGOS
  • File

    Market Research Report--Advancing Integrated Microfinance for Youth in Senegal

     (1.6M)
    The goal of the AIM for Youth project is to improve the capacity of youth living in poverty to access and use financial services as a way to enhance future economic opportunities presented to them. The study identified the most appropriate approaches to empower young people in their access to and use of financial services, and their complete assimilation of the foundations of financial education. AUTHOR: P.GARNIER-CRUSSARD (FFH, 2011)
  • File

    Meeting the Microsavings Challenge, Scalably.

     (144K)
    The option to store value and to transact from a safe savings account is the foundation of financial inclusion. There is a need for developing banking models that allow poor people to save daily, as they earn money, right from their neighbourhoods and villages. This requires leveraging existing non-bank retail outlets to serve as cash transaction points acting on behalf of licensed financial institutions, and mobile operators acting as channel managers and transaction aggregators. Such schemes need to be commercially viable for all players involved, without having to rely on credit as a driver of profitability. AUTHORS; B. CRISTEN; I. MAS (2009)
  • File

    Microfinance and Energy Poverty- Findings from the Energy Links Project

     (925K)
    This report summarizes the results of the Energy Links project, a three-year pilot aimed to determine how the established microfinance sector in African countries can alleviate energy poverty by increasing access to small-scale clean energy solutions at the household level. The project focused its outreach on Savings Groups. AUTHORS: D. LEVAI; P. RIPPEY; E. RHYNE (ACCION INTERNATIONAL, 2011)
  • File

    Microfinance from Below Exchange- Continuing the Dialogue

     (373K)
    Compilation of an online dialogue by attendees to the Microfinance from Below Conference, held at Tufts Universtiy March 26th to the 28th, 2009. The document opens with an initial thought piece by Jeff Ashe (Oxfam America) with comments from Hugh Allen (VSL Associates) and Kim Wilson (Tufts Universtiy), and compiles responses and reactions from conference participants. AUTHORS: J.ASHE ET AL. (2009)
  • File

    Microfinance in Africa - State of the Sector Report - Closing the Gap

     (2.6M)
    This review focuses on the potential for the savings-led microfinance (MF) movement in sub-Saharan Africa to close an important gap in MF so that all poor people can access the financial products and services. The three sections include (1) taking stock of where the savings-group (SG) movement fits within the larger MF sector and what different facilitating agencies (FAs) are doing in SG programming and where; (2) assessing program integration, in which SGs are implemented with other development programs, and linkage, in which SGs can opt into the formal financial sector; and (3) urging advocacy for changes in financial regulatory systems. AUTHOR: CARE (2011)
  • File

    Microfinanzas basadas en Auto Ahorro y Prestamos-Trabajo con Grupos de Ahorros de Jóvenes, niños y niñas (Spanish)

     (155K)
    The results of this pilot project show that groups formed by youth operate much like their adult counterparts, and have varied sources of savings, including cash received from parents., day-labor, remittances, selling of products, etc. No group has made loans, as youth interests are oriented toward saving for school fees, books, clothes and the like. Because of members’ age, it is deemed appropriate that youth groups do not issue loans. The program now reaches a total of 346 youth in 22 groups. AUTHOR: (CRS, 2009)
  • File

    Microfinanzas basadas en Autoahorro: Guia de Formacion personal tecnico

     (3M)
    this guide presents the basic steps for the implementation of savings and lending groupsand is part of the project: Promoviendo la Agricultura para necesidades basicas (A4N). CRS (2009)
  • File

    More! Better! Cheaper! Savings Groups as Commodities.pdf

     (36K)
    This essay takes a hard look at the expansion of savings groups and questions how groups and the savings-led movement will push into the nooks and crannies of villages and neighborhoods. It draws on lessons from savings group practitioners but also surprisingly MFIs. The article examines platitudes around efficiency and pulls in examples from education, where efficiency is paramount, not just in terms of dollars received and spent - a donor driven perspective - but also effectiveness. It ends with recommendations on how the industry might approach the challenge of scale. AUTHOR: P. RIPPEY (2010)
  • File

    My Skills, My Money, My Brighter Future in Zimbabwe.pdf

     (2.4M)
    CRS examines three economic strengthening approaches for vulnerable teenage girls in Zimbabwe—vocational training, Junior Farmer Field and Life Schools (JFFLS), and Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILC)to determine how effective they were in helping girls overcome barriers to their economic empowerment. AUTHORS: C. MILLER, M.SAWYER, W.A. ROWE (CRS, 2011)
  • File

    No margin, no mission? A Field Experiment on Incentives for Pro-Social Tasks

     (1M)
    Abstract: A substantial body of research investigates the design of incentives in firms, yet less is known about incentives in organizations that hire individuals to perform tasks with positive social spillovers. We conduct a field experiment in which agents hired by a public health organization are randomly allocated to four groups. Agents in the control group receive a standard volunteer contract often offered for this type of task, whereas agents in the three treatment groups receive small financial rewards, large financial rewards, and non-financial rewards, respectively. The analysis yields three main findings. First, non-financial rewards are more effective at eliciting effort than either financial rewards or the volunteer contract. The effect of financial rewards, both large and small, is orders of magnitude smaller and not significantly different from zero. Second, non-financial rewards elicit effort both by leveraging intrinsic motivation for the cause and by facilitating social comparison among agents. Third, contrary to existing laboratory evidence, financial incentives do not crowd out intrinsic motivation in this setting. by Nava Ashraf (HBS and NBER); Oriana Bandiera (LSE); Kelsey Jack (Tufts)
  • File

    Oral Information Management Tools

     (876K)
    This paper by Brett Hudson Matthews addresses the challenge of innumeracy and illiteracy in financial inclusion, with frequent reference to savings groups. Practitioners know that these constraints can cause people to avoid savings groups, or use them sub-optimally. The paper introduces oral information management (OIM) solutions. It includes examples from Cambodia, Bangladesh and the Solomon Islands, proposes a set of core principles for OIM development and design, and reviews the theory behind the practice. For the convenience of the time-starved reader, it includes an executive summary and a series of illustrative appendices.
  • File

    Outside Funding and the Dynamics of Participation in Community Associations

     (3.5M)
    This study by Mary Kay Gugerty and Michael Kremer, and published in the American Journal of Political Science, addresses the injection of outside capital into any civic groups and community organizations, not only SGs. The authors "find little evidence that outside funding expanded organizational strength, but substantial evidence that funding changed group membership and leadership,weakening the role of the disadvantaged. The program led younger, more educated, and better-off women to enter the groups. New entrants, men, and more educated women assumed leadership positions. The departure of older women, the most socially marginalized demographic group, increased substantially." These findings are consistent with observed effects when SGs receive outside funding, even in the form of loans to the group.
  • File

    PACT's Women's Empowerment Program in Nepal--A Savings and Literacy Led Alternative to Financial Institution Building

     (323K)
    This paper is based on the evaluation of Pact's WEP in Nepal and highlights the following findings: (a) the poor can meet most of their credit needs through internally generated savings, (b) savings groups replicate with minimal outside assistance, showing the sustainability of this approach, (c) WEP serves as a time-limited catalyst to create large number of independently functioning, locally controlled savings and credit groups. AUTHORS: J.ASHE; L. PARROT (PACT, 2001)
  • File

    Participation and Exclusion in SFC groups in Pastoralist and Migrant Communities

     (1.1M)
    Qualitatitive study carried out in Northwestern Mali to asess the participation of Pastoralist and Migrant communities in Saving for Change. AUTHORS:T. DEUBEL (OA/FFH, 2012)
  • File

    Paul Rippey presentation at SG workshop 16 January 2014.pdf.zip

     (2.9M)
    Presentation given at SG Best Practices workshop for FSD Zambia
  • File

    Paying for PSP Services--The Journey Towards a Sustainable Fee-Based Approach

     (368K)
    This paper highlights some of the findings from CRS and its partners in the three countries as they work with PSPs and communities in understanding the market value for SILC services through a fee-based approach. AUTHORS: S. KAROKI; C. KASSASE, M. KATAMBIRA; W.A. ROWE (CRS, 2011)
  • File

    Poor Peoples' Savings--Q and As with Experts

     (6M)
    This document, presents interviews that cover key savings topics such as savings demand, products, delivery models and policy issues. Particularly, experts explain why poor people save, how they manage their money, suggest ways for commercial MFIs to mobilize savings from the poor on the large scale while remaining profitable, discuss the challenges that financial intermediaries face when they start mobilizing small-scale savings, and examine the role of member-owned financial institutions (MOFIs). AUTHOR: CGAP (2006)
  • File

    Poverty Outreach in fee-for-Service Savings Groups

     (794K)
    This is CRS's first research paper, ‘Poverty Outreach in fee-for Service Savings Groups’, coming from their large-scale Randomized Control Trial. The key findings were that their SILC groups are indeed reaching the very poor, and that is so both if the community has to pay for services (PSP approach) or not (FA approach). It shows that market-based delivery systems can reach poor people at scale. AUTHOR: Michael Ferguson, Ph.D.
  • File

    Poverty outreach in fee for service SGs

     (567K)
    One of a series of research briefs conducted by CRS. Among the findings: Poverty outreach is deep— as many as 41% of SILC members are below National Poverty Lines. Two-thirds of group members in Tanzania fell below the $1.25/day poverty line, as did 30-40 percent of members in Uganda and Kenya. There was no significant difference in depth of poverty outreach between the PSP- and FA- supported SILC members.
  • File

    Pray For Money: The Secret Life of Savers in Lower Assam

     (147K)
    This paper traces groups in a village in lower Assam, a state in India. There, women have been saving across forty years in Nam Parties, or prayer groups. The groups have saved in ASCAs, using their savings to fund weaving activities as well as singing troupes that offer, for money, prayers to local families celebrating special events. Every hamlet in the village has at least one group that weaves, saves, and prays for money. AUTHOR: K. WILSON (2010)
  • File

    Private Service Provider Delivery Model - Program Brief .pdf

     (204K)
    Describes the features of CRS's Private Service Provider model (PSP). AUTHOR: G. VANMEENEN (CRS, 2011)
  • File

    Programme Evaluation of Plan and Reseau Marps VSL Programme in Burkina Faso

     (903K)
    Operational evaluation of PLAN's Program in Namentenga, Burkina Faso.This program demonstrated extraordinary outreach productivity--about double the norm--while maintaning good group quality. Areas of weakness include poor record keeping systems and lack of transparency in money counting processes; low productivity of animateurs indeigenes; and existence of subsidies preventing the emergence of market based solutions that are essential for animateur's indigenes to work independently. AUTHOR: H. ALLEN (PLAN, 2010)
  • File

    Providing Access to Basic Financial Services in Marginalized Rural Areas of Mexico

     (1.5M)
    The Community Savings Funds (CSFs), promoted by the Ministry of Agriculture in Mexico, has set up 540 CSFs in 12 states with over 12,800 members and savings totaling 4.45 million pesos (US 5445,000). This paper describes the characteristics of the CSF model and the results to date. It discusses implementation problems and issues of sustainability and growth in light of the new regulatory environment. It also debates the viability and desirability of autonomous savings and credit groups at the community level and the advantages and disadvantages of their inclusion into the formal financial sector. AUTHOR: G. ZAPATA (JOURNAL OF MICROFINANCE, 2002)
  • File

    Quality of Delivery Study

     (635K)
    The Quality of Delivery Study (QDS) assessed the outreach, value added and consumer protection of project-formed and locally-formed Savings Groups (SGs) in Western Kenya. Donors have invested in Savings Group formation assuming that these investments lead to more outreach, better products, and more security, compared to spontaneous Savings Groups, traditional ASCAs or ROSCAs. The QDS sought to test this assumption. The research involved 1,370 households in three sites where SG projects were known to have operated, and a control site. The study found that outreach had increased substantially in sites where SG projects had been operating, reducing overall levels of financial exclusion in those areas. Overall, the QDS makes a valuable contribution to benchmarking and assessing the development value of investments in financial sector deepening through informal infrastructures.
  • File

    Rapport d'etude de Marche' Sante' des groupes EPC au Mali

     (478K)
    L’objectif général de cette étude de marché était de comprendre les besoins de santé et les services médicaux accessibles par les membres des Groupes d’épargne EPC. AUTHORS: DR. M. CISSE; N. DIALLO (FFH, 2010)
  • File

    Rapport de l'Etude de Marche--Microfinance Integree pour les Jeunes au Senegal

     (1.3M)
    Cette etude identifie les approches appropriées permettant de capabiliser les jeunes en termes d‟accès, d'usage de services financiers ainsi que leur appropriation des fondements d'une éducation financière. AUTHOR: P. GARNIER-CRUSSARD (FFH, 2011)
  • File

    Reaching rural Kenya with Group Savings and Loan Associations

     (1.3M)
    Short description of CARE's COSALO program,which is testing the use of Community based Trainers paid directly for their services by the groups they form. AUTHOR: FSDK (2009)
  • File

    Reaching the Hard to Reach- linkages and Networking of Member-Owned Institutions in Remote Rural Areas

     (327K)
    Seven cases were chosen for this study: the SHGs in West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh in India, some village savings and loan associations (VSLAs) in Niger, the MC2s in Cameroon, and a rural cooperative in Mixtlan in Mexico, The Muntigunung LPD (Lembaga Perkreditan Desas) in Bali, The Jardín Azuayo Cooperative in Ecuador. The study briefly discusses the purpose and nature of the linkage relationship and the services provided by each linkage, and summarizes the implications of each type of linkage. Although the information presented is insufficient to accept or reject linkages, the study draws on general lesson and makes some recommendations. AUTHOR: M. HARPER (COADY, 2008)
  • File

    Reaching the Hard to Reach-Regulation and Supervision of Member-owned Institutions in Remote Rural Areas.pdf

     (304K)
    This study is based on seven selected cases of Member-Owned Institutuions (MOIs), three of which operate in Asia: The PACS-Self Help Group (SHG) linkage in Andhra Pradesh, India, the Self-Help Group Federation in India, as well as LPDs in Bali, Indonesia were studied. In Latin America, Mixtlan SACCO within the UNISAP Federation in Mexico and the Jardín Azuayo Rural Credit Union in Ecuador were studied. In Africa, the Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLA) in Niger and Mutuelle Communautaire de Croissances (MC2) in Cameroon were studied. These cases represent the variety of legal and regulatory frameworks within which MOIs operate and integrate and discusses key features of these environments together with an analysis of how conducive or detrimental these features are to the outreach function and the governance of these MOIs. AUTHOR: R. CHAO-BEROFF (COADY, 2008)
  • File

    Reaching the Hard to Reach—Savings and Spider Plants, What is Good Governance for Member-Owned Institutions in Remote Areas

     (382K)
    This study is based on seven selected cases of Member-Owned organizations (MOIs): the PACS-Self Help Group (SHG) linkage in Andhra Pradesh, India, the Self-Help Group Federation in India, the LPDs in Bali, Indonesia, the Mixtlan SACCO within the UNISAP Federation in Mexico, the Jardín Azuayo Rural Credit Union in Ecuador, the Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLA) in Niger, and Mutuelle Communautaire de Croissances (MC2) in Cameroon. The study examines different structures of MOIs and seeks to draw conclusions on good governance, risks and controls mechanisms, decentralization, and trust and ownership issues, among others. AUTHOR: N. LEE (COADY, 2008)
  • File

    Results of a study of Post-project replication of groups in COSALO

     (563K)
    This study shows the remarkable degree of post-project group formation in one area of Kenya. Among the key findings was that replication was the norm, with the average group creating nearly two additional groups in the 14 months since the project ended. Three quarters of all groups had replicated. The most important drivers of group creation in the sample were: First, members of existing groups creating new groups,often by upgrading an existing ROSCA. Second, clusters of COSALO groups bringing new groups into their cluster. Third, CBTs creating new groups on a fee-for-service basis. Given that the number of groups far outweigh the number of CBTs, group- driven replication was by far the dominant mode of post-project group formation. For every group visited, more than 2 new groups had been formed by members. Although CBTs had also created new groups after the project ended, they were much less productive: in fact, they only created one new group for every 10 COSALO groups they had worked with during the project. The study was sponsored by FSD Kenya and carried out by Digital Data Divide
  • File

    Road to Wealth: Father Joy and the Savings Groups of Mankidi

     (119K)
    Villagers living in the remote, hilly areas of Orissa have found a way to have their cake and eat it too. With the help of a local priest, they have established government-linked self-help groups from which groups receive important subsidies and opportunities and local savings groups which operate autonomously of the government and banking system. Villagers, able to clearly distinguish the benefits of each kind of group, still stash money in the forest to store individual savings. AUTHOR: K. WILSON (20O9)
  • File

    SAFI Project Learning Document on Financial Linkages

     (1M)
    This report analyzes the SAFI project’s VLSA groups linked to Vision Finance Company to document current processes and lessons learnt in CARE Rwanda. It also seeks to understand the challenges and successes of the current financial linkage and make recommendations for future actions for Rwanda and sub Saharan Africa. AUTHORS: S. BAKLIWAL; M. UMOH (CARE, 2011)
  • File

    SAFI Project Learning Document on Poverty Targeting and Financial Inclusion

     (1.1M)
    This report aims to understand the client targeting methods employed by the SAFI project and the extent to which inclusion was achieved in the context of Rwanda. It is also a critical analysis into why low savings and loans are registered by the SAFI/CARE Rwanda groups as compared to other CARE VSLA implementation countries with recommendations on how to improve the savings and borrowing capacities of VSLA members. AUTHORS: S. BAKLIWAL, M UMOH (CARE, 2011)
  • File

    SAVEACT Savings and Credit Groups and small enterprise development.pdf

     (3.6M)
    This study conducted for FinMark Trust by Aislinn Delany and Silvia Storchi examines strategies and opportunities to promote livelihoods, including agriculture, through a savings group program in a rural setting.
  • File

    SEEP SLWG meeting notes 10-2011

     (328K)
    Notes from SEEP annual working group meeting
  • File

    SHGs Should Balance or Break

     (106K)
    This two-pager ‘India Focus Note’ points out that there are two possible tools for protecting savers’ funds – frequent distributions (as in the case of ASCAs) or periodic balancing of accounts. Most SHGs in India use neither tool, and the result has been low savings balances and low accumulations of savings over time. AUTHORS: T. DEVI; B.H. MATTHEWS (MICROSAVE, 2009)
  • File

    SILC Innovations Learning Update--PSP Network Development.pdf

     (366K)
    Reviews key lessons learned in Uganda regarding network formation, as well as the training and technical support needed to ensure a sustainable PSP model. AUTHOR: M. KATAMBIRA; W.A. ROWE(CRS, 2010)
  • File

    SILC Research Brief 2: Agent productivity

     (3M)
    One of five Research Briefs produced by CRS. Among its findings: In Kenya and Tanzania, without project financial support, PSPs achieved 70-90 percent of FA productivity. Variance in productivity is substantially higher among PSPs than FAs, and some PSPs responded to entrepreneurial challenges better than others. The difference in results between countries is wide.
  • File

    SILC Research Brief 3 group_performance.pdf

     (2.1M)
    One of five Research briefs produced by CRS. Among the findings: PSP-supported groups are outperforming FA-supported groups on key financial measures, such as individual savings levels, group assets, and loan sizes. PSP-supported groups are outperforming FA-supported groups on member growth rates and showing comparable results on drop-out rates and gender composition.
  • File

    SILC Research Brief 4 Agent Earnings

     (434K)
    One of five CRS research briefs. Among the findings: PSP and FA households showed comparable results on many welfare indicators, including income and income sources.PSP households were more active as entrepreneurs, with deeper investment in enterprise, including some higher-risk ventures. FA households seemed to favor a more conservative route, with greater emphasis on subsistence cultivation. PSP households took on significantly higher levels of credit, and showed greater likelihood to engage effectively with formal and semiformal finance for both credit and savings, as compared with FA households. PSP households were more likely to have both savings and credit linked to business activity.
  • File

    SILC Voices from Africa

     (2.4M)
    This paper describes CRS's postive experience with the SILC program in Africa. SILC groups learn how to democratically elect leaders for transparent governance; empower women; improve the health and education of children; take care of orphans and vulnerable children; support people living with HIV; collectively buy and sell farmer inputs; and stimulate community-based problem solving to address local development issues. AUTHOR: G. VANMEENEN (CRS, 2010)
  • File

    SILC research brief 5 Household Impact

     (2.6M)
    One of a series of CRS briefs. Among the findings: PSP and FA households showed comparable results on many welfare indicators, including income and income sources. PSP households were more active as entrepreneurs, with deeper investment in enterprise, including some higher-risk ventures. FA households seemed to favor a more conservative route, with greater emphasis on subsistence cultivation.
  • File

    SILC, a basis for Integral Human Development

     (2.6M)
    Describes the Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILC) model and its contributions to CRS's commitment to Integral Human Development (IHD). AUTHOR: G. VANMEENEN (CRS, 2006)
  • File
  • File

    SaveAct Annual Report 2013

     (756K)
    The South African organization's annual report for 2013.
  • File

    Saving for Change CaseStudies Research in Sirakoro

     (2M)
    This study seeks to learn how women members of Saving for Change (SfC) value the program and whether they credit any change in their lives to SfC. The study specifically looks at (i) members' family situtions and how they defined their relationships with their husbands; (ii) how members accessed money when financial emergencies arose before and after joining their savings groups; (iii) how they managed their Income Generating Activities (IGAs) and farming activities before and after joining SfC; and finally (iv) how they thought joining a SfC group had affected their lives, including the benefits and the challenges of membership. AUTHOR: P. GARNIER CRUSSARD (OXFAM AMERICA, 2011)
  • File

    Saving for Change Impact Stories Research

     (501K)
    To better understand the lives of Saving for Change members, Freedom from Hunger conducted an “impact stories” study to look at the life events, opportunities, program perceptions, food security and poverty levels of 41 members of Savings Groups formed through the organization Le Tonus in Mali. Individual stories have been written for each respondent that describe their experience with the program in a holistic way. A few sample stories, as well as a description of the aggregate outcomes, are included in this report. AUTHORS: J. MILLER; M. GASH (2010)
  • File

    Saving for Change Program Assessment, El Salvador

     (1.1M)
    This operational study of the Saving for Change Program in the Chalatenango region of El Salvador reviews the program's achievements to November 2007. The program is well placed for future expansion, as promotoras and partners have exceeded group formation targets and women members of groups are gaining self-confidence and social capital. Economic gains were more difficult to detect, with no significant differences between the status of members and non-members. AUTHORS; J. MATUSZESKI; E. DEVIETTI (OXFAM, 2008)
  • File

    Saving for Change in El Salvador

     (665K)
    The Saving for Change (SfC) pilot project evaluation in Chalatenango, El Salvador, examines the project’s implementation by Oxfam America (OA) and its two partner organizations, Caritas and CCR, from April to November 2007. Saving for Change has demonstrated significant worth in El Salvador as group members, animators and partner organizations have quickly internalized the SfC methodology and are enthusiastic about its success. The evaluation highlights both successes and challenges and makes recommendations for program expansion. AUTHOR: J, OSLIN (OXFAM, 2007)
  • File

    Saving for Change in Mali: a Study of Atypical Groups from Sikasso to Kayes

     (337K)
    This is a qualitative study of 30 Saving for Change (SfC) groups, either atypically successful or unsuccessful. The former are engaged in collective social projects that benefit their village, large-scale collective investments and entrepreneurial activities that, in certain cases, take the SfC model to a new level. This study also evaluates groups that have experienced unusual and sometimes extreme challenges, which have resulted in the loss of members, the failure of projects or the shutting down of their groups, temporarily or permanently. The final section focuses on completely uncharted territory: the newly discovered children’s groups and their possible role in the larger SfC context. AUTHOR: R. EDWARDS (OXFAM, 2010)
  • File

    Saving for Self Reliance Initiative in Cambodia-Qualitative Evaluation Report

     (805K)
    This Qualitative study summarizes the findings of a series of 10 reports conducted in six Provinces in Cambodia. Specifically, the studies seek to understand the groups’ internal processes, their relations with credit institutions and informal financial sources, and the perceptions of group members, non members, village authorities, elders, government servants and credit agents on the program. The series of studies concludes that SfC is valuable in promoting access to financial services to the rural poor and in strengthening community solidarity. It also outlines emerging issues for further consideration. AUTHOR; S.SENG (OXFAM, 2007)
  • File

    Saving for Self Reliance-Control Group Baseline

     (1.3M)
    This Baseline study compares quantitative findings of the social and economic conditions of Saving for Self-Reliance members and non-members. It measures variables such as household assets, landholding, sources of income, adoption of the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), undertaking of new economic activities, improvements in health and education, etc. AUTHOR: S. SENG (OXFAM, 2007)
  • File

    Savings Groups and Coping Strategies in Rural El Salvador.docx

     (440K)
    This paper presents the results of a study examining how poor rural households in El Salvador deal with shocks and the role of micro-savings groups in their coping strategies. The savings groups in this study have been formed with the help of local development partners supported by Catholic Relief Services, as part of its Agricultural for Basic Needs (A4N) Project. AUTHOR: E. JAHNS (2012)
  • File

    Savings Groups: What are They?

     (1.8M)
    This paper seeks to explore and explain the nature of savings groups and the varying approaches used by the most experienced facilitating agencies (FAs) and projects, which mainly work in Africa. AUTHORS: H. ALLEN; D. PANETTA (SEEP, 2010)
  • File

    Savings and Internal Communities (SILC) in Kenya

     (1.1M)
    The SILC programme in Malindi and Kilifi regions of Coastal Province of Kenya has been implemented as a component of HIV/AIDS and OVC programmes. The purpose of this study is to find out whether the programme has positive effects on participants on the six core areas of asset strengthening i.e. human and spiritual assets, social assets, political assets, financial assets, physical assets and natural assets; and make recommendations for expansion. The review revealed that the programme is meeting its goal of providing financial services to the poor and vulnerable communities with a positive effect on financial assets strenghthening. At the end of September 2007, the program in Kilifi, Mombasa and Malindi had reached a total of 3,001 members and facilitated the mobilisation of Kshs 1,543,280 (US$1 21,434) in savings. AUTHORS: R. ODERA; G. MURUKA (CRS, 2007)
  • File

    Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILC), a Basis for Integral Human Development

     (2.6M)
    This document touches on the background, characteristics and operations of the SILC program and describes its role in the Integral Human Development conceptual framework. Savings led groups lead to financial and social empowerment of individuals, households and communities, creating a platform for integral human development on which community-base problem solving may flourish. The document also describes some programming options for linking SILC to other initiatives. AUTHOR: G. VANMEENEN (CRS, 2007)
  • File

    Savings and Internal Lending Communities in (SILC) in Uganda--Program Review

     (1.4M)
    CRS supported communities in Bundibugyo, Kasese, and Kyenjojo to develop Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILC) as a pilot program. Before roll out, CRS commissioned MicroSave to carry out an evaluation of the program to assess its achievements, its challenges and from the lessons learned, make recommendations for expansion. The evaluation focused on six thematic areas (human and spiritual, financial, physical, social, political and natural and found that the program has not only enabled the SILC group members to strengthen their financial asset base but have also helped group members to diversify their income generating activities and build up physical and social capital. AUTHORS: J. K. BEIJUKA; S. ODELE (CRS, MICROSAVE, 2007)
  • File

    Savings as Forward Payments--Innovations on Mobile Money Platforms

     (664K)
    This paper presents a new framework which allows people to manage their diverse payment, cashflow management and commitment savings needs simply and intuitively, from a single account. It builds on the logic of mobile money platforms, which provide customers with the ability to initiate real-time electronic payments from their mobile phone and to keep funds in a store-of-value account. By introducing the notion of forward (or deferred) payments, it is possible to create a much richer set of uses for the basic transactional account which cater to people’s need for commitments and ear-marking of funds for specific goals. AUTHOR: I. MAES; C. MAYER (2011)
  • File

    Savings led Alternative to Financial Institution Building

     (41K)
    This short brief makes the case for savings-led approaches and answers a few crucial questions: What promise do smaller MOFIs offer for reaching massive numbers of small depositors in rural areas? What are the most salient shortcomings of MOFIs? What steps can development actors take to help address these challenges?Are smaller MOFIs a permanent fixture of the financial landscape? If temporary, what will replace them? If permanent, what should the relationship be between MOFIs and formal financial institutions? AUTHOR: J.ASHE (JOURNAL OF MICROFINANCE, 2006)
  • File

    Savings-Led and Self-Help Microfinance in Cambodia--Lessons Learned and Best Practices

     (1.4M)
    Despite rapid expansion in the past decade, the Cambodian microfinance sector continues to be characterized by substantial unmet demand. The paper notes that the WORTH initiative offers a way to reach more of the unbanked poor via a low-cost, savings-led model packaged with complimentary services including literacy, business training and empowerment of rural Cambodian women. The report closes with recommendations for enhancing the WORTH program in Cambodia. AUTHOR: M. PICKENS (PACT, 2004)
  • File

    Savings:The Forgotten Half of Financial Interventions

     (1.6M)
    Collection of posts from an online speakers corner hosted by MicroSave that seeks to shed light on three main broad subjects. The first set of discussions revolves around the needs of the poor—what do low income clients want from a savings product? Do we have lessons to learn from the different coping mechanisms that are used by low income people to mange their financial affairs? The second set of discussions look at questions arising for the supplier of microfinance services: What factors inhibit service providers from offering financial services? How will new delivery systems such as e-banking, or the growing acceptance of fee-based systems, affect this? Finally, the third set of discussions continues with a special focus on delivering savings services in difficult (for example remote or post conflict) areas – Do these areas need a special focus? Will similar products work, or do we need to think differently? AUTHORS: HOSTED BY M. MOULIK ( USAID, MICROLINKS, 2008)
  • File

    Self Replication and Sustainability of CARE's VSLAs.

     (1.7M)
    In 2008 CARE launched Save Up, a three-year, three-country initiative that aims to test a low-cost methodology of replicating VSLAs across Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda. The purpose of Save Up is to define, refine and test the VA sustainability model for ongoing scaleup and support of VSLAs. Lessons will inform CARE's Access Africa Initiative. AUTHOR: CARE (2011)
  • File

    Self-help Groups in India-A Study of the Lights and Shades

     (5M)
    This is a comprehensive of study of more than 200 savings groups (SHGs) in India. Completed in 2005, the study was commissioned by CARE and Catholic Relief Services. Chapters cover social and financial performance of groups as well as the relationship between groups and their communities. AUTHOR: EDA RURAL SYSTEMS (2006)
  • File

    SfC Evaluation study in Bentay Menchay and Kampot Provinces.pdf

     (1.8M)
    The purpose of this study is to examine the current operations and impact of SfC in Cambodia, and to conduct a baseline study. A summary of the specific research goals are: (a) To review and analyze salient aspects of SfC’s operational structure, as it is being implemented by RACHA; (b) to identify membership income and poverty levels, assessing if the “very poor” are joining; (c) to assess the impact of SfC on member household’s income and livelihoods, savings, loans, assets, health, food security, education, resilience to shocks and empowerment; (d) to examine the impact of SfC on gender roles and relationships; and (e) to measure, in the baseline villages, the level of the same economic and social factors examined in SfC villages, so as to be able to track future impacts. The research will provide the feedback and framework for adjustments to the program, and will help inform its planned expansion. AUTHOR: M. WANCER (EMC, 2010)
  • File

    SfC Impact Stories

     (501K)
    To better understand the lives of Saving for Change members, Freedom from Hunger conducted an impact stories study to look at the life events, opportunities, program perceptions, food security and poverty levels of 41 members of Savings Groups formed through the organization Le Tonus in Mali. Individual stories have been written for each respondent that describe their experience with the program in a holistic way, and the aggregate outcomes are described in this report AUTHORS: J. MILLER; M. GASH (FREEDOM FROM HUNGER, 2010)
  • File

    Sintesis del foro en linea-Grupos de ahorro en America Latina.

     (1.5M)
    SEEP learning product relating the discussion of a three day online conference with organizations implementing savings groups across Latin America. Topics of interest inlcude an analysis of different methodologies, strategies for linking groups to businesses and other intiatives, and issues of sustainability. AUTHORS: E. DEVIETTI; L. FLEISHCER PROANO(SEEP, 2011)
  • File

    Strategic Framework for Microfinance

     (95K)
    Outlines PLAN's straregic vision for its Microfinance work and provides the background for PLAN's current approach. AUTHOR: PLAN (2007)
  • File

    Strategic Framework for Microfinance (Explanatory Notes)

     (52K)
    Annex to accompany PLAN's "Strategic Framework for Microfinance". AUTHOR: PLAN (2007)
  • File

    Strengths, Weaknesses and Evolution of the Peace Corps 11 Year Old Pogram of Savings Groups in Ecuador

     (963K)
    This study of the Peace Corp's Programa de Ahorro y Credito (PAC) in Ecuador documents the strengths, weaknesses and evolution of the 11-year-old Savings Group program implemented; makes recommendations to Peace Corps and informs the structure of other Savings Group programs in Latin America. AUTHORS: L. FLEISCHER PROANO; M. GASH; A. KUKLEWICZ (2010)
  • File

    Sustainability of Savings Groups-Synthesis Online Conference, Feb, 2010

     (87K)
    This short synthesis captures the main discussion topics and conclusions from an online conference held in February 2010 to define sustainabilityin the context of the savings groups. AUTHORS: C. NELSON; E. DEVIETTI (SEEP, 2010)
  • File

    Symposium of Savings-Led Microfinance and the Rural Poor

     (532K)
    Presents an introduction to savings-led microfinance and a synopsis of case studies including PACT’s Women’s Empowerment and Literacy-led Alternative to Financial Institution Building”, “CARE’s Mata Masu Dubara Project, Microfinance for the Rural Poor that Works; “The New Microfinance: An Essay on the Self-Help group Movement in India”, “Community Savings Funds: Providing Access to Basic Financial Services in Marginalized Rural Areas of Mexico” and “Ashrai: A Savings-led Model for Fighting Poverty and Discrimination”. All case studies summarized are approximately one page in length. AUTHOR: J. ASHE (JOURNAL OF MICROFINANCE, 2002)
  • File

    Tackling the frontiers of Microfinance in Kenya-the Role for Decentralized Services

     (231K)
    This paper proposes to map the frontiers of microfinance in Kenya based on poverty incidence and population density. It then presents a spectrum of centralized and decentralized models. The paper argues that the latter, which involve greater user-ownership and management , have the potential to provide services to poorer people and in rural areas due to inherently lower cost structures and key characteristics of their services, despite many challenges to their long-term effectiveness and sustainability. The paper next reviews five organizations in Kenya that are reaching into rural areas . It concludes by discussing the implications of the models reviewed and potential strategies for their improvement as the “bottom up’ strand of a two-pronged approach which complements centralized service delivery. AUTHORS: S. JOHNSON; M. MALKAMAKI; K. WANJAU
  • File

    Tea With Money (Chai Wa Paisa)

     (1.1M)
    This paper tracks the evolution of home-spun savings groups within a minority tribe (Hazara) in Afghanistan. These all male savings groups have funded homes, weddings, and schooling for group members. Using a completely self-devised system of loan terms and share-outs, these groups provide lessons to anyone working in Afghanistan. AUTHOR: Q. AMIRY
  • File

    The Evidence-Based Story of Savings Groups

     (2.6M)
    This is a key publication which presents "A Synthesis of Seven Randomized Control Trials" of SG impact. Authors Megan Gash and Kathleen Odell, published by the Savings-led Financial Services Working Group at SEEP.
  • File

    The Role for membership based financial services in reaching the unbanked, primarily in rural areas

     (121K)
    This document provides a fairly new conceptual framework that looks at the market for financial services in a region and provides indications on the most appropriate institutional structure to serve that market. This framework can serve as a guide to financial institutions as they look at expansion opportunities or to donors who wish to fund financial service development in targeted areas. AUTHORS: ECI Africa; W. GRANT; Dr. G. COETZEE
  • File

    The SEEP Network Savings-led Financial Services Working Group--Ratios sub-group

     (275K)
    Outlines a set of ratios that provide information about savings led programs in the following dimensions: member satisfaction, financial performance, operating efficiency of the group, operating efficiency of the implementing organization. AUTHORS: H.ALLEN ET AL. (SEEP, 2007)
  • File

    Tiendas De Salud Final.docx

     (1.3M)
    This paper does not deal directly with savings groups. It addresses increased livelihood opportunities for rural households in Guatemala. A network of small health and medicine kiosks is becoming profitable for both kiosk owners as well as the main pharma company that provides the medicines. Rural households now have access to affordable medicine. AUTHORS NATE KENNEDY AND KIM WILSON.
  • File

    Towards Expanding the Frontier of Microfinance Services in Nepal

     (438K)
    This paper presents an overview of the Microfinance sector in Nepal, including key players and the regulatory framework. While commercial microfinance service providers (MSPs) are quite successful in urban and densely populated peri-urban areas, the community based Microfinance Service Providers have comparatively better penetration in more inaccessible areas. The paper reports on the breadth and depth of outreach of Savings and Credit Groups (SCGs) as of 2006, their return on assets, cost of operating expenses, portfolio quality, and other similar variables. It argues that although, over 55,000 Savings and Credit Groups (SCGs) promoted by government and non-government sectors exist throughout Nepal, they have been fully used to their level of potential. AUTHOR; N.H. DAKHAL (2007)
  • File

    Towards Safety and Self-Reliance- Community Finance and Public Trust in Cambodia.pdf

     (861K)
    Development practitioners downplay savings by saying 'poor people can't save, because they don't have any money.' This 602 household study in 37 villages around Cambodia proves that poor people do save -- aggressively -- both in cash and in many in-kind forms. They also plan for the future, but large and unpredictable losses undercut their plans. They need a save place to save. Village institutions set up by NGOs are poorly governed, and are not providing it. AUTHOR: B.H. MATTHEWS (CANADIAN CO-OPERATIVE ASSOCIATION, 2005)
  • File

    Transforming Lives

     (3M)
    This study investigates the role of Savings and Credit Groups in improving the coping strategies of poor, rural households affected by HIV/AIDS in South Africa. AUTHOR: A. BARBER (SAVEACT, 2011)
  • File

    Transforming Lives - can savings group membership help HIV/AIDS

     (630K)
    This study conducted in South Africa investigates the benefits of Savings and Credit Group Membership among rural women affected by HIV / AIDS. The innovative savings model implemented by SaveAct challenges traditional approaches to HIV/AIDS. The model shatters the myth that people affected by HIV/AIDS cannot save or carry out productive activity. SaveAct, a South African-based NGO that reaches 15,000 members, implements a hybrid model of community-based savings activities. The model is derived from CARE’s work in Niger and incorporates Savings and Credit Groups, Financial Education and Enterprise Training. The study surveys 52 savings group members who are known to be affected by HIV/AIDS in an isolated area of the Eastern Cape. Analysis of financial trends in times of crisis reveal strong indications of consumption smoothing amongst participants. Evidence points to a link between improved financial control and improvements in health and living standards.
  • File

    Underinvestment in Savings-led Microfinance, A Costly Market Failure

     (670K)
    This paper reviews in detail the potential of savings-led initiatives, especially as compared to credit-led movement. It takes Nepal as a case in point and highlights WORTH’s Women Empowerement Program in Nepal. It concludes that where sufficient savings can be mobilised, the savings-led approach, as pioneered by a handful of NGOs, can produce deeper impact at a fraction of the price of credit led initiatives. AUTHOR: S, DONNELLY
  • File

    Une Evaluation du Programme AVEC PLAN Niger

     (612K)
    Le présent rapport résume les constats provenant d’une évaluation du programme Associations Villageoises de Crédit et d’Epargne (AVEC) du Plan Niger, WayboreyKokaraNafo (WKN), et avance quelques recommandations. L’évaluation a constaté que la qualité des groupements est générale bonne, mais un grand pourcentage des crédits et de l’épargne partagé à la fin de l’année risque d’être utilisé pour la consommation plutôt que pour l’investissement. Les membres des groupements sont généralement très satisfaits des AVEC, mais juste à coté, un nombre important de femmes dans les villages ne sont pas membres. AUTHOR: P. RIPPEY (PLAN, 2010)
  • File
  • File

    Unidos somos más: organicemos nuestro grupo

     (6.5M)
    This guide offers key advices to understand better how to organize and manage rural grassroots’ groups. It emphasizes in the importance of constant participation and promotes ownership to the group. This guide is especially targeting rural agricultural producers, supporting their efforts to get organized and achieve their goals. AUTOR: CATHOLIC RELIEF SERVICES (CRS) (2011).
  • File

    Urwaruka Rushasha (New Generation)

     (670K)
    Brief summarizing the evaluation of the impact of a savings program and family-based intervention on household assets and the protection, development and well-being of children in Burundi: a randomized control trial. AUTHOR: A.ARMSTRONG; BUNDERVOET (2011)
  • File

    Village Financial Systems in North East India

     (61K)
    Villagers in Lower Assam are pioneers in informal finance. In nearly 4 decades of ASCA history in the two villages studied here, they have developed ‘term deposit ASCAs’ and ‘retirement ASCAs’ to supplement the more familiar recurring deposit ASCAs. The average household belongs to 5 ASCAs – suggesting the importance for households of diversifying across groups. Because many ASCAs extend up to 5 years, educated villagers active in the movement audit the accounts annually for a small fee. AUTHOR: A. SHARMA; B.H. MATTHEWS (MICROSAVE, 2009)
  • File

    Village Savings and Loan Associations -- Experience from Zanzibar

     (203K)
    The objective of the study was to examine the performance of VSLA groups in Zanzibar after several years of operations independent of CARE or other NGOs. Specifically, it sought to investigate the performance of VSLAs in terms of both outreach and sustainability in the period since CARE stopped training the groups; the role of village trainers as support service providers in ongoing support to groups and expansion of the model; the poverty outreach of the VSLAs; the usefulness of the financial services provided by the groups to the livelihoods of the members; and the experience of the groups and their members in relation to internal group dynamics. AUTHOR: CARE; E. ANYANGO; E. ESIPISU; L. OPOKU; S. JOHNSON; M. MALKAMAKI; C. MUSOKE (CARE)
  • File

    Village Savings and Loans Associations--sustainable and cost-effective rural finance

     (62K)
    This article describes how the VSLA methodology works in principle and in practice and describes evaluation results from the CARE VSLA program in Zimbabwe, where very high rates of inflation pose a challenge to any microfinance programs. The need for management information systems and for better record keeping are identified as issues that need further development. AUTHOR: H. ALLEN (CARE, 2006)
  • File

    Virtual Staff-Exploring a Franchise and Incentive Model for Group Replication

     (16K)
    This brief overview traces the progress of CARE's experimentation with a franchise model to scale savings groups in Kenya. It traces the early stages of a program where an interesting hybrid of direct implementation is coupled with partnerships with faith-based organizations. The paper begs for a follow-up to understand how the model is working. AUTHORS: A. MURATHI; N. OTIENO; P. RIPPEY
  • File

    Waiting for Rain, Reaching for Mangoes

     (1.6M)
    This paper focuses on savings groups in Swaziland's Shiselweni region. It highlights the benefits that women derive from being part of these groups, like paying for school fees, being able to afford household durables, or even elevating their role in the household. However, the paper also notes that these institutions are far from perfect and points to problems of indebtednesss, lack of transparency, low participation, and inability to meet member's needs during shocks. Most interesting is the various methods that the groups use to calculate interest (not what the may expect). This study shows what happens when groups get some assistance but are left largely to their own devices to get by. AUTHOR: J. ZOLLMANN (2010)
  • File

    Waiting for Rain, Short Version

     (2.5M)
    In this surprising study, the author researches four savings groups in rural Swaziland to reveal that practices differ widely from industry norms. AUTHOR: J. ZOLLMANN
  • File

    What evidence of the impact of microfinance on the well-being of poor people?

     (2.2M)
    This prominent report reviews a number of studies of the impact of microfinance and comes to the conclusion that "Despite the apparent success and popularity of microfinance, no clear evidence yet exists that microfinance programmes have positive impacts". It comes to this conclusion in part by assessing the rigor of the various studies, and dismissing those which are essentially based on anecdotes or flawed research techniques. It is the handful of more rigorous studies that fail to show any convincing significant positive impact. AUTHORS: Maren Duvendack Richard Palmer-Jones James G Copestake Lee Hooper Yoon Loke Nitya Rao. (DFID, August 2011)
  • File

    Why I think that community managed microfinance programmes should be careful about borrowing from banks

     (57K)
    Short thought piece on the concerns with external financial linkages, citing both personal experience and documented evidence from the field. AUTHOR; H. ALLEN
  • File

    Women Ending Poverty-The WORTH Program in Nepal

     (2M)
    This research details how 1,500 Village Banks are perfoming 8 years past the involvement of PACT and how they have survived despite the civil war and the collapse of national governance. The study also outlines how WORTH/WEP affected women’s ability to create wealth, generate new incomes, and tackle broader issues such as domestic abuse and community development.
  • File

    Women In Business-Village Banks Operational manual

     (833K)
    Manual for the formation and management of WORTH's Village Banking Program. AUTHOR: WORTH
  • File

    e-Recording manual.pdf

     (2.9M)
    Manual for the e-Recording app developed by Software Group for FSD Kenya.
  • File