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VSLA Impact Brief Uganda Image

Promoting Inclusive Markets and Financial Systems

Impact Assessment of Savings Groups in Uganda

Impact Assessment of Savings Groups in Uganda

Summary

Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) implemented a randomized control trial to measure the impacts of a Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA) program on households and women. The program began in 2009 and was implemented by CARE Uganda under the Access Africa program.  Within the study period, we find that just over half of VSLA members had completed their first cycle. The impact evaluation finds impacts on financial outcomes deriving from VSLA members’ improved ability to save, along with their access to the group’s loans and social fund. We do not find significant impacts on ultimate welfare outcomes such as asset ownership and overall expenditures. However, we cannot rule out such impacts in the longer run, as members are better able to finance investments and expenditures through end-of-cycle share outs, and are able to avail of the larger loan and savings sizes associated with mature groups. In order to test this hypothesis, research spanning a longer timeframe would be needed.



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