Promoting Inclusive Markets and Financial Systems
The MasterCard Foundation works with visionary organizations to provide greater access to education, skills training and financial services for people living in poverty, primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa. As one of the largest, independent foundations, its work is guided by its mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion in order to alleviate poverty. Based in Toronto, Canada, its independence was established by MasterCard when the Foundation was created in 2006. For more information, please visit www.mastercardfdn.org or follow us on Twitter @MCFoundation.
In northern Pakistan, the Chitral Child Survival Project (CCSP) offers lessons for the integration of Savings Groups and other services. Implemented by the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) from 2009 to 2013, and funded by USAID and the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF), the CCSP successfully integrated Savings Groups into a program designed to improvematernal and neo-natal health. CCSP increased women’s access to and use of a neo-natal continuum of care, with trained community midwives (CMWs) as the focal point. The bulk of project resources were invested in enhancing MNCH services at the community level, with one exception: Savings Groups, known in the Aga Khan network as Community-based Savings Groups (CBSGs), were introduced to help families manage the costs of the newly deployed cadre of skilled community midwives.
This document attempts to unpack these results, to tell the story of the CCSP and how groups of 20-women saving their pennies together supported the use of skilled maternal and neonatal care, making real progress towards behaviour change that will save lives. What happened in poverty-striken Chitral holds some surprises; the results should inform and inspire.