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Promoting Inclusive Markets and Financial Systems


Adaptive Problem Solving and Programme Design for Savings Groups, SACCOs, and other Member-owned Models

Oct 10, 2016 (Mon) - Mar 10, 2017 (Fri),

Course Description

Savings Groups (SGs), SACCOs and other member-owned models have demonstrated strong ability to support unserved and marginalized populations in saving, borrowing, informal insurance and other social supports. Unfortunately, unpredictable risks, shocks and conflict are ever-present and these populations are even more exposed to risks. This course addresses the dire need to build capacity of local practitioners who can think and problem-solve "on their feet." Participants in this course will build skills in adaptive on-the-job problem solving for member-owned models. Taking a key organizational issue, participants will learn, experiment and adapt in real time in their organizations and communities through an action learning assignment running the length of the course. Content modules and case-studies will support this process. Click on the outline below for more details. Organizations benefit from staff attending a course focused on key organizational challenges and outcomes. Participants gain valuable problem solving skills that can be applied to any position particularly those in succession for leadership.

Photo courtesy of: Jeff Ashe

Feedback from past participants:

“This course taught me not what to think but how to think.”

“It’s like that saying…the toughest thing you’ll ever love.”

“You just do your job day to day in a bit of a haze without really thinking. I didn’t realize that until this course.”

“I feel better able to bring my voice to these discussions now. I think people were surprised by how I spoke in the last meeting.”

Course Objective

This course aims to provide mid-career savings group, SACCO and other member-owned model practitioners and policy makers with an opportunity to critically analyze their context and experiment with key strategic changes to their savings group programs and policies.

Each month, a different topic will be explored through articles/readings, video clips, expert panels, discussion forums, small group applications and a cumulative organizational learning assignment.

Course Content

  • Key skills in adaptive problem solving and field research
  • Relative role of informal and semi-formal finance within the financial sector
  • Drivers and trade-offs between various forms of outreach (scale; depth; cost; viability; worth/value to members; range of products and services)
  • Good governance, social capital and risk mitigation
  • Innovations in the field through global case studies (including scaled models, digital finance, mobile banking, agent banking, marginalized areas and populations)


  • At least one year experience working with savings groups or other member owned models such as SACCOs, etc.
  • Policy makers and development practitioners who provide oversight and technical support to savings groups and other member-owned models are also welcome with an understanding that the course is focused on emerging practice. 


Apply today at: https://carsey.unh.edu/smdp/online/registration 

For additional information please contact:

William Maddocks, william.maddocks@unh.edu

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