Understanding the impact of an integrated savings program designed for youth in Ecuador
This case study evaluates the performance of Freedom from Hunger’s Advancing Integrated Microfinance for Youth (AIM Youth) initiative which combined financial education and individual savings account services for youth in Ecuador. It seeks to provide an understanding of the degree to which the initiative influenced food security, economic and civic engagement, socio-financial capability, ability to deal with life-cycle events, self-confidence and empowerment, social capital, knowledge, and attitudes in money management among participants. The study also evaluates whether there were differences in outcomes among program participants and non-participants. It also analyzes whether participants were satisfied with the services and whether participation in the program facilitated or challenged youth accessing and using financial services. In comparison to non-participants, the study finds that youth participating in the program:
Report having savings in general;
Have improved knowledge about how to manage their savings account;
Report higher amounts in total savings and emergency savings;
Report saving more proportionally to the amount of money they received;
Feel satisfied with their savings amounts and were more motivated to save;
Feel less stressed about covering educational and household expenses.