Pact's WORTH Model: A Savings-led Approach to Economic Security and Combating HIV/AIDS

How can participant-owned village banking help women address problems like HIV/AIDS?
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This paper presents an overview of Pact’s award-winning WORTH initiative. It states that WORTH:

  • Is an innovative, rapidly scalable and low-cost program of women helping women through participant-owned village banking;
  • Gives importance to literacy and savings, investing groups of rural women with the skills and resources required to establish a self-sustaining, self-managed village bank built on equity rather than debt;
  • Has demonstrated impact, most notably in Nepal, where:
    • 125,000 women formed over 6,000 WORTH groups in less than three years;
    • Tripled their literacy;
    • Doubled their savings;
    • Increased the number of women with micro enterprises four-fold;
    • Saw their business incomes rise eight times to more than $10 million
  • Has crafted the village banking process into an explicit platform for women to take control of the issues facing their families and communities, including HIV/AIDS;
  • Has the capacity to rapidly scale-up financial services in rural areas that most microfinance institutions do not access;
  • Is a dynamic platform for empowering women to generate a dense network of community based responses HIV/AIDS and other issues.

The paper:

  • Relates the genesis of the WORTH model;
  • Examines the innovations that underpin how WORTH works;
  • Discusses WORTH’s evolving deployment against HIV/AIDS in a variety of hard-to-serve locales around the globe.

About this Publication

By Pickens, M., Odell, M. & Tubbs, E.