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Savings Learning Lab Image

Learning together to support Savings sector portfolio programs in Sub-Saharan Africa and beyond.

The MasterCard Foundation Savings Learning Lab


The MasterCard FoundationItad and the SEEP Network collaborate on a 6-year, multi-country Savings Learning Lab.


The MasterCard Foundation Savings Learning Lab is a six-year initiative implemented by Itad, in partnership with the SEEP Network. The Lab’s aim is to support learning among the Foundation’s savings sector portfolio programmes through increased alignment and effectiveness of monitoring and evaluation, and through the generation, synthesis, curation and dissemination of knowledge.

BACKGROUND

Hundreds of millions of people in Africa, many of them living in poverty, lack access to basic financial products, including savings services. Savings groups and other innovative savings products have the potential to mobilize community resources, empower participants, and enable low-income people to better plan and manage their financial lives. Although it is growing, the evidence base in this area remains patchy. There is a need for more work to gather and disseminate best practices and explore future possibilities in this field.

A variety of models are being piloted to evolve the Savings groups model to make it more effective and integrated with the wider financial sector – including through closer integration with more formal financial institutions (including banks and MFIs), and the use of new technologies to facilitate more cost-effective and diverse models for financial inclusion.

The MasterCard Foundation’s Savings Portfolio currently supports savings-led programs in ten countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, applying a variety of different approaches and models for financial inclusion. This provides a strong platform for generating evidence and learning about the effectiveness of different approaches across a range of contexts.

As the Savings Portfolio Learning and Dissemination Partner, the SEEP Network will lead activities in three main areas to ensure that learning from The MasterCard Foundation Portfolio is fed into the wider Savings Sector and that the latest trends are also taken into account by Foundation Partners through high profile learning events and forums:

1. Global Savings Groups Conference – Since 2009, SEEP has led the Global Savings Group Conference series. The global learning event engages a large and diverse community of stakeholders, develops and promotes improved standards of practice, mobilizes knowledge, strengthens partnerships and alliances, and creates opportunities for learning. With support from the Savings Learning Lab, SEEP will host the biannual conference in 2018, 2020 and 2022.

2. Peer Learning Groups – A Peer Learning Group is an action-oriented learning methodology, developed by SEEP, to address opportunities and challenges in dynamic contexts.

3. Knowledge Sharing and Dissemination – SEEP will establish a SG learning website, design and host webinars on topics of shared and emerging interest, and convene national stakeholder meetings to support the effective exchange and expansion of knowledge across diverse stakeholders.

CURRENT ACTIVITIES

 

For more information, please contact Fabiola Diaz.


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