State of Practice: Savings Groups and the Dynamics of Inclusion

Date Published: 
Oct 2018
Benjamin S. Allen

Identifying effective strategies to improve outcomes for vulnerable populations in Savings Groups

This state of practice report provides a comprehensive overview of the inclusion of vulnerable populations in Savings Groups (SGs). Over the past 25 years, development organizations have mobilized more than 700,000 SGs 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.

Building on an extensive desk review, as well as key informant interviews with diverse sector stakeholders, this report provides a conceptual framework for inclusion in the context of SGs, and an empirical analysis of the dynamics of inclusion with respect to specific parameters of vulnerability and target populations including poverty, age, disability, people living or affected by HIV, gender, smallholder farmers, and forcibly displaced people.