Learning together to expand financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa and beyond.
Savings Groups Evidence and Learning Initiative
FSD Africa and The SEEP Network Join Forces on a 4-year, Multi-country Savings Groups Evidence and Learning Initiative
FSD Africa and The SEEP Network have entered into a partnership to facilitate the creation, sharing and use of evidence for organizations supporting Savings Groups. FSD Africa, a program led by UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID), will invest USD 2.5 million over 4 years in an ambitious campaign to generate, curate and share a growing body of information on good (and bad) practices relating to Savings Groups and other informal savings-led groups. The engagement of an increasingly diverse spectrum of organizations (e.g. facilitating agencies, formal financial service providers, government, funders, and MNOs) will provide opportunities for cross-organizational and cross-sectoral dialogue that is essential for large-scale systems change. The intended outcome of the Initiative is to expand financial inclusion in Sub Saharan Africa and beyond.
WHY START NOW?
The Initiative will build on SEEP’s past efforts and achievements in contributing toward learning and development of Savings Groups. This partnership comes at a critical juncture in the evolution of the sector and seeks to address a number of challenges in the field:
- Limited understanding of demand for financial services amongst vulnerable populations, especially women and the rural poor
- Lack of relevant and accessible evidence to support current models and new innovations
- Academic organisations and researchers have relatively weak knowledge generation, dissemination capacity and convening power
- Insufficient protection for consumers in the context of rapid growth and greater diversity of organisations
- Replication of successful innovations is slow
STRATEGY MOVING FORWARD
The Initiative’s strategy is based on key market systems development principles, specifically the role that information, knowledge sharing, and coordination can play in influencing the behaviors of market actors. Through the Initiative’s interventions, knowledge and evidence will be generated, collected and used to help catalyze the generation of new ideas and the adoption of improved services, technologies and business models with the greatest likelihood of systemic level impact. Priority areas of inquiry and learning are likely to include formal financial services linkages, consumer protection, and the impact of the introduction and use of new technologies.
For more information, please contact David Panetta.