Savings-Led Working Group Newsletter
October - December 2018
SEEP at the 25th World Congress of Savings and Retail Banks

David Panetta, SEEP's Program Director for Financial Inclusion through Savings Groups participated at the World Congress of Savings and Retail Banks in New Delhi, India on November 15-16. He contributed to the panel discussion on “Digitisation as a tool for financial inclusion and customer proximity," and concluded that digital financial services can enhance customer experience by incorporating some of the key dynamics of Savings Groups.  
Savings Groups
Practitioner of the Year Award

At the Annual General Meeting on
October 1, SEEP was delighted to present the Savings Groups Practitioner of the Year Award to Marc Bavois, Microfinance Senior Technical Advisor at Catholic Relief Services, for his contributions to the sector and the network over the past year.

Thank you, and congratulations Marc! 
Annual Meeting of the 
Savings-Led Working Group

Over 50 participants attended the annual meeting of the working group on October 1, and celebrated recent achievements, explored common challenges, discussed policy and learning priorities, and planned working group activities for 2019.

Read the meeting notes here.
Savings Groups
Sessions at #SEEP2018

At the 2018 SEEP Annual Conference, SEEP member organizations facilitated a total of seven learning sessions and two post-conference events on Savings Groups, related to results measurement, technology, government, risk, inclusion and women’s empowerment. 
Learn with SEEP: Resource Spotlight

Savings Evidence Map
The Savings Evidence Map provides consolidated access to evidence related to savings focused financial inclusion. It enables users to find existing evidence, see how the evidence is clustered as well as identify existing gaps. 

An Empirical Risk Assessment of Savings Groups
The purpose of this risk assessment is to identify and assess the main risks that affect Savings Groups and ultimately inform the development of targeted consumer protection initiatives for Savings Groups. The study – based on a survey of 1,600 groups, individual members, trainers and community stakeholders in four Sub-Saharan African countries – identifies and explores several risk factors related to group survival, membership, training and support, governance, saving and lending, and safety of group assets.

State of Practice: Savings Groups and the Dynamics of Inclusion - Main Findings
This state of practice report provides a comprehensive overview of the inclusion of vulnerable populations in Savings Groups. Over the past 25 years, development organizations have mobilized more than 700,000 Savings Groups in marginalized communities across 75 countries worldwide. Recent evidence, however, shows mixed results as to the effectiveness of SG programs in targeting and reaching the most vulnerable populations.

Savings Groups Technology Toolkit
The Savings Groups Technology Toolkit is a catalogue of the leading and emerging technologies in the sector. These tools include management information systems, mobile applications, information and communications technology, and other audio-visual tools – and facilitate a wide range of activities such as group mobilization and training, digital recordkeeping, electronic transactions, monitoring and results measurement, and access to financial and non-financial services.

Learn with SEEP: Webinars on Demand
What We’re Working On

State of Practice: Savings Groups and the Role of Government in Sub-Saharan Africa (December 2018)
The report catalogues and describes the interventions of national governments in Sub-Saharan Africa related to Savings Groups. Through a desk review, key informant interviews, a call for contributions and various sessions at SG2018, SEEP has identified 74 government initiatives related to Savings Groups, across 20 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. These initiatives are wide ranging and relate to national economic and gender strategies, quality standards, stakeholder coordination, social protection programs and regulation.

Savings Groups and Women’s Empowerment (2018-2019)
Through a one-year evidence and learning grant, Nathan Associates, in partnership with CARE International, is developing a learning brief on good practices in the design and monitoring of Savings Group programs for women’s empowerment outcomes. In addition, through the learning partnership, Nathan and its partners are developing a monitoring tool for the measurement of women’s empowerment outcomes through Savings Groups. Following an extensive desk review and primary research in East Africa from June to August, national stakeholder meetings were hosted in Tanzania (August 27) and Ethiopia (September 7) to validate preliminary findings and the conceptualization of a common approach for the measurement of women’s empowerment in Savings Groups. 

Case Study Series on Savings Groups and Consumer Protection
(December 2018 to March 2019)
Following the recent risk assessment of Savings Groups, the SEEP Network is conducting a case study series on Savings Groups and consumer protection. The series 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.   
Upcoming Events

December 11 | Webinar | The SEEP Network

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