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.
The purpose of the SfC research study is to examine the current operations and impact of the program 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.
The research included extensive fieldwork, combining qualitative and quantitative methodologies. It was conducted over a period of 5 weeks in Banteay Mean Chey and Kampot provinces, in 8 villages in which SfC is operational and 16 baseline villages in which the program will be introduced over the next two years.1 The research also relied heavily on interviews with 18 RACHA staff, ranging in level from senior management to field officers, as well as meetings with OxfamAmerica personnel and industry experts, and a review of previous SfC studies. A key strength of the research methodology was the complimentary blend of individual and RACHA interviews, and FGDs, offering significant insight into operational aspects of the program, as well as its impact.