Saving for Self Reliance Initiative in Cambodia-Qualitative Evaluation Report
Saving for self-reliance in Cambodia is designed to support the initiative of CEDAC which addresses the need of the rural poor to access funds to invest in the improvement of their livelihoods. The concept behind this project is that “local development depends on every individual of local people who join hands to mobilize resources to solve their own problem and decide their own destiny”. Thus, the saving for self-reliance in Cambodia is not only to provides a safe place for rural people to save and lend money when they need to, but also build community solidarity and provide a forum for local people to discuss and make common sense decisions on certain subjects and to recall the culture of cooperation which was destroyed during the war period.
As the saving project in Cambodia was initially started by CEDAC, intensive support from Oxfam America is to strengthen the existing saving groups of CEDAC, as well as to form new groups, so that they can systematically manage their groups and effectively provide services to their members. It also aims to scale up this approach by forming and strengthening new groups. Oxfam America provides additional support in staff training, close supervision, and the monitoring and evaluation of the Saving for Self-Reliance (SfR).
In order to verify the hypothesis and track the progress, CEDAC is interested in conducting the evaluation in accordance with the following objectives:
- Assessing the group formation and replication of saving for self-reliance (SfR) in the villages.
- Conducting systematic assessments of group performance and group capacity to manage and utilize funds.
- Conducting the initial impact of the SfR on the socio-economic conditions of villagers. In this area, qualitative case studies will be analyzed and enquiries conducted.
- Assessing the level of understanding and interest among villagers and other stakeholders on the group of revolving funds.
This evaluation has been conducted in 18 villages of six provinces, namely, Kampong Cham, Prey Veng and Svay Rieng, (JFPR target villages) and Kampong Speu, Takeo and Kampong Chhnang (Non-JFPR target villages). These villages have been selected from different locations with regard to the distance from main roads, main centers as well as the differences of economic integration. The „village‟ is the unit of the study which consists of 2 or 6 groups using revolving funds. The study carried out a semi-structured interview, free-interviews and direct observations. Members and non-members of saving groups, village heads, village elders, and local authorities were invited to participate in the interviews and discussions.