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Advancing the inclusion of millions of people around the world into pro-poor, sustainable financial services.

Resource Library

The document library collects operational studies, program impact assessments, and training manuals relevant to the savings-led field. Member organizations can contribute their documents to this database and make them easily accessible to savings-led practitioners and the wider NGO community, thus increasing the visibility of savings-led methodologies.  To contribute your publications, please contact Eloisa Devietti at slwg@seepnetwork.org.

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Featured Resources
Private Service Provider: Implementation Manual
This manual was developed at the conclusion of CRS’ SILC Innovations project, implemented in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It is informed by the experiences and results of that project, and seeks to distill the project learning in a practical form.
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Saving for Change Impact Stories Research Report: Burkina Faso
To better understand the lives of Saving for Change members, Freedom from Hunger conducted an "impact stories" study to look at the life events, opportunities, program perceptions, food security and poverty levels of 32 members of different Saving for Change groups located in 18 villages across the northern region of Burkina Faso that were formed through the organization Association Solidarité et Entraide Mutuelle au Sahel (SEMUS). Individual stories have been written for each respondent who described her experience with the program in a holistic way, and the aggregate outcomes are described in this report.… Read More ›
Savings Groups at the Frontier
Savings Groups at the Frontier explores the issues that will shape the future of Savings Groups. What are the costs, required inputs, and anticipated outreach of these groups? How does replication take place? How sustainable are the groups? Is it feasible to integrate financial and non-financial services? … Read More ›
Within Reach: How banks in emerging economics can grow profitably by being more inclusive
To help banks better understand the nuances of the strategies and capabilities that can effect financial inclusion, CARE and Accenture joined forces to study the current capabilities and strategies of 30 leading banks across 12 developing and emerging countries. The outcome of this important research offers insights on how banks can best meet the financial needs of underbanked consumers. … Read More ›
Mid-Term Evaluation: MicroLead Expansion Programme
In September 2011, UNCDF in partnership with the MasterCard Foundation launched a sixty ear expansion of the MicroLead programme that aimed to increase access to savings driven microfinance to a minimum 450,000 low income individuals in Sub-Saharan Africa. The programme’s intention was to attract experienced institutions or networks from developed and developing countries to increase the capacity of financial institutions providing low balance savings either through the provision of technical assistance to financial service providers (FSPs) or through the establishment of greenfield institutions.… Read More ›
The Role of Financial Services in Building Household Resilience in Burkina Faso
This working paper discusses new theories of change in the microfinance industry, which suggest that the use of financial services for poor households results in resiliency. In effect, financial services help households anticipate, adapt to, and/or recover from the effects of shocks in a manner that protects their livelihoods, reduces chronic vulnerability, and facilitates growth.
To fill some of the gaps in knowledge about how financial services contribute to household resilience, CGAP engaged Freedom from Hunger to conduct a research project with two of its partners in rural Burkina Faso: le Réseau des Caisses Populaires du Burkina Faso (RCPB), a credit union that provides formal financial services, and the Office de Développement des Églises Évangéliques, a nongovernmental organization (NGO) that facilitates savings groups.… Read More ›
The Banking on Change Proposed Youth Savings Group Model
As part of the Banking on Change program, Plan International UK, CARE International UK, and Barclays have developed a YSG model to increase young people’s access to financial services and to improve their financial and business skills. The model outlines good programming principles for YSGs and, moving beyond simple financial inclusion, provides insight into their role in improving young people’s income, empowerment, and standard of living. … Read More ›
The State of Linkage Report
The report provides, for the first time, a global mapping of linkage activity between savings groups and formal financial institutions around the world. In total, we were able to identify nearly 90 financial service providers – including banks, microfinance institutions and mobile network operators – that provide formal financial products to groups across 27 countries. … Read More ›
Designing Financial Services to Respond to Household Shocks: A Case Study of RCPB's Health Savings and Loan Product
In 2014, Freedom from Hunger, with support from the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), designed a study to gather information on household resilience. A key question of the resilience research related to the financial product features that help people anticipate and respond to shocks. Given that RCPB had a health financial product on the market designed to help people anticipate and respond to health expenses, the resilience research tools and the sampling methodology included questions related to the use of RCPB’s health savings and loan product. A diary approach was used with 46 women over a seven-month period to understand how they anticipated and coped with shocks. In addition, an economic game, engaging 395 women, was facilitated by researchers from the University of California, Davis. The economic game also set out to observe the household decision making process regarding the choices they make about allocating resources in hypothetical scenarios, including the use of financial instruments designed to help people manage the risk of costly negative health shocks.… Read More ›
Resilience and Health Shocks: The potential of health savings accounts and health loans
This working paper discusses a field experiment in rural Burkina Faso aimed at understanding how households respond to shocks and build resilience to face future shocks. In arid agricultural regions such as the Passoré Province of Burkina Faso, households have access to few resources for facing numerous health and environmental shocks. Economic games were used to introduce health savings accounts (HSAs) and health loans to participants, mimicking real-life products by a local financial service provider (FSP). Participants encountered real-life scenarios and were asked to manage shocks with the resources provided through their game, and their decisions on the use of those resources were recorded. There were real economic incentives to participate; the women received monetary rewards for attendance as well as for their final wealth level at the end of the game. The research identified key strategies that households used to respond to shocks—with and without access to the HSA and loan. The research aimed to help FSPs better understand the potential impacts of financial tools created specifically to cope with shocks and build resilience.… Read More ›
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