Savings-Led Working Group Newsletter
January - March 2019

Savings Groups and the Role of Government in Sub-Saharan Africa

Our new state of practice report identifies and describes 74 government initiatives in the Savings Groups sector across 20 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa – related to financial inclusion, social protection, women’s empowerment, and sector regulation and coordination.
Mid-Year Meeting of the
Savings Led-Working Group
Join us for an online meeting on May 14, to get updates on working group activities in 2019, celebrate recent achievements, explore common challenges, and discuss learning priorities. Are there any topics you want to discuss or learn more about at the meeting? Please contact SLWG co-facilitator, Eloisa Devietti.
SG4Africa Invites Chapter Proposals for New Report
The SG4Africa project (co-led by PEEP and the University of Johannesburg) is inviting researchers to submit chapter proposals for new report on savings groups. Proposals are due by March 3, 2019. Learn more.
Publications of the Year

The SLWG maintains the most comprehensive resource library on Savings Groups, with over 300 publications, and nearly 4,300 downloads last year. So which ones did you read the most in 2018? Here are the three most downloaded publications of the year.

VSLA Programme Guide
The VSLA Programme Guide was the most downloaded Savings Groups publication this year. Originally published in 2007, it remains the seminal program guide for the promotion and training of Savings Groups. A more recent, abridged version (2015) is available in English, French, Kiswahili, Portuguese and Spanish.

Understanding the Impact of Savings Groups
A systematic review of the evidence on Savings Groups, based on 53 studies conducted between 2004 and 2017 – a must read for sector specialists, funders and researchers.

Applying a Market Systems Approach to Savings Groups
This provocative learning brief develops a vision for the expansion and continued operations of Savings Groups without the assistance of development agencies. The authors outline what that might look like.

Learn with SEEP: Webinars on Demand
What We’re Working On
Savings Groups and Women's Empowerment (2018-19)
Through a one-year evidence and learning partnership with FSDA and Nathan Associates, The SEEP Network is exploring pathways between Savings Groups and women’s empowerment. Based on both extensive desk and primary research in Ethiopia and Tanzania, a forthcoming learning brief in April 2019 examines this relationship, including a review of the evidence, good practices for program design, unintended consequences, and challenges and limitations to results measurement. An associated monitoring tool, to be released later this year, provides practical instruments and actionable guidance for the measurement of women’s empowerment outcomes within Savings Groups.

Case Study Series on Savings Groups and Consumer Protection
(December 2018-April 2019)
Building upon the recent risk assessment of Savings Groups, The SEEP Network is conducting a case study series on Savings Groups and consumer protection. The series, developed in collaboration with Arora Associates and Catholic Relief Services, will provide a detailed account of various approaches to ensure that members and groups have the capacity to protect themselves, development and market actors act responsibly, and regulation, if required, is effective.
Member Spotlight: World Renew

Established in 1962, World Renew is the global development and disaster response agency of the Christian Reformed Church. World Renew has facilitated over 3,200 Savings Groups in 18 countries across Africa, Asia and Central America, combining the VSLA methodology with other initiatives in sustainable agriculture, gender equality and health to create lasting change.

Recently, World Renew has focused on mechanisms for scaling up successful VSLAs through linkage to formal financial institutions, replication in neighboring regions, and partnerships with governments, market actors and other community stakeholders.

What’s next for Savings Groups? Find out here, in recent research from World Renew.
Upcoming Events

February 25 - May 31 | Course
The Carsey School of Public Policy, University of New Hampshire

April 15-26 | Course | Kigali, Rwanda
The Carsey School of Public Policy, University of New Hampshire

The Role of Government in Savings Groups: Policies, Priorities and Partnerships
March 27 | Webinar | The SEEP Network

April 22 - June 28 | Course
The Carsey School of Public Policy, University of New Hampshire

Mid-year Meeting of the Savings-Led Working Group
May 14 | Virtual Meeting | The SEEP Network

August 26 - September 6 | Course | Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
The Carsey School of Public Policy, University of New Hampshire

September 19-20 | Conference | New Delhi, India | Sa-Dhan
For the latest news, events and resources, visit
the Mango Tree – the global resource on Savings Groups.