This series of technical notes focuses on savings groups (SGs) as a means of asset protection and consumption smoothing. Savings groups are most appropriate for households falling in the “protection” category of the provision-protection-promotion continuum of household economic vulnerability.
From remote rural areas to urban slums, savings groups provide cash-scarce households with a secure place to save and the opportunity to borrow small amounts on flexible terms, while earning a return on their deposits. For the more than 7 million people in 300,000 groups across the world, savings groups have become an important vehicle not only to gain access to financial services but also to learn and apply concepts of financial literacy. In addition, SG members report that their groups have increased social capital, improved gender relations, and promoted women’s leadership.
These publications are part of a practitioner-oriented technical note series featuring economic strengthening interventions. Additional technical notes in this series focus on cash transfer and voucher programs (provision) and enterprise development through value chains (promotion).