Financial Linkages and Savings Groups Digitization

Short Course

Monday, December 3, 2018 to Thursday, December 6, 2018
Mika Hotel, Kabulonga – Lusaka/Zambia

Course Description

Savings Groups (SGs) are community-based, self-managed groups, in which members mobilize and manage their own savings, investing this money in a loan fund from which they can borrow in amounts as small as $1. This approach is proving to be low cost, highly sustainable, and extremely profitable for the member-owners and achieving significant massive scale.  It is estimated that SGs are now established in more than 75 countries worldwide, reaching more than 12 million members in over 600,000 groups.

It is becoming generally accepted that un-conventional microfinance approaches like Savings Groups (SGs) are best suited to reach the majority of the rural poor (particularly in Africa) with a suite of appropriate financial services. SGs can operate profitably in the most remote areas; are immediately sustainable and provide very high average returns on savings as well as flexible, convenient and accessible loans.  Their self-management and self-capitalizing capabilities provide them with decisive cost advantages compared to more conventional approaches that depend on the creation and survival of formal institutions.

However, SGs are becoming increasingly over capitalized and require linkages to formal financial institutions. This calls for a more strategic engagement with relevant formal financial institutions in terms of products development, service provision (channels) and digitizing operations.

Learning Objectives

  • Expose participants to the methodological approaches and training tools employed by the major implementing organizations
  • Guiding financial inclusion practitioners through a focused roadmap of financial capability, addressing customer needs, technology-enabled business models and client protection to effectively improve lives and boost economies
  • Introduce participants to the concept and framework of SG linkages
  • Introduce participants to digitizing of SGs concepts (digitizing records and cash box)

Learning Outcomes

  • Improve your savings groups programs by learning about sound practices and innovations in community-based approaches to microfinance and financial linkages around the world.
  • Build practical skills in designing and managing context-appropriate community development programs; access tools and training material for planning and implementation in the context of financial graduation.
  • Gain in-depth understanding on subjects such as product design, governance, networking and partnership development leading to financial linkages between community-managed microfinance and financial service providers such as banks, MFIs and micro-insurance providers.
  • Learn with global sector leaders, fellow practitioners, and experienced facilitators.
  • Understand and apply a Do-No-Harm approach to savings groups linkages by understanding consumer protection principles

Organizational benefits

  • Strengthen program design and management capacity in community-managed microfinance and financial linkages approaches that reach remote rural populations and underserved urban/peri-urban low-income/high-density communities.
  • Increase program outreach and impact by linking informal community groups with formal financial institutions and other market actors.
  • Strengthen capacity to analyze policy issues and influence financial inclusion agenda.
  • Positioned to develop policies and procedures that lead to sustainable and profitable financial linkages between SGs and Financial Services Providers (e.g. Banks, MFIs, micro-insurance etc.)

NGOs and other development actors can better articulate financial linkages approaches and benefits to potential partners and donor institutions.

Target Audience

Ideal for medium to senior level professionals in NGOs promoting financial inclusion, Financial Institutions (Banks, MFIs, Cooperatives/Credit Unions and Insurance Companies), Rural Finance practitioners, government agencies, trainers, and donors promoting community-managed microfinance approaches. Two years’ experience in financial inclusion sector and community-managed microfinance will be beneficial during classroom engagement.

Cost plus Accommodation:

Half board accommodation and tuition fees: $1,600 per person. This includes accommodation, conference package, industry guest engagement, training materials (flash disk), tuition and practitioner certificate.
Cost minus accommodation:
$1,300 per person

Organizer MEFI Associates
Email contact@mefiassociates.net
Telephone +254717609265
Related Region / Country Global /
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