Training on Savings Group Methodology

  • August 03, 2017

  • Accra, Ghana

UNDP, in collaboration with UNCDF, organized a four-day seminar on Savings Group (SG) methodology under the theme, “Bringing Informal to Formal Using Technology.” The seminar, facilitated by UNCDF consultant Noel da’Cruz, guided participants through learning principles, SG community entry, the various group formation models and digitalization of the record-keeping processes within savings groups.

Every successful community intervention depends on three basic issues: community entry protocols, asking questions, and getting people involved. People get involved with savings groups when the best facilitation skills are put into practice – when respect is shown to potential members, when their experience is leveraged as the basis for knowledge acquisition and change, and when facilitators understand that community members bring valuable knowledge to the table and should, therefore, be engaged.

Even though there are many models, SGs emanated from CARE International Village Savings and Loan Associaiton (VSLA) model. which is the oldest among the SGs.

As part of the program, participants got out of the classroom and traveled to Teiman to visit three SGs and observe their operations. Participants engaged the groups, comparing what they witnessed at the meetings with what they learned about SGs during the training.

Seminar participants pledged to replicate the training in their institutions to drive financial inclusion project through savings groups. Individual organizations drafted plans for the implementation of the knowledge acquired and submitted them to UNCDF for further technical support. The seminar, held in Accra from the 25th to 29th of July, was part of UNDP's and UNCDF's support for national financial inclusion. Twenty-five participants from various financial institutions, NGO's, fintechs and other stakeholders, took part.

By Noel da’Cruz, Consultant, UNCDF