You Cannot Save Alone: Financial and Social Mobilisation in Savings and Credit Groups

Analyzing the importance of group dynamics in microfinance
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This study analyzes group dynamics, as experienced in microfinance, specifically in people-owned savings and credit groups. It aims to improve existing knowledge on the practices and methodologies available, in order to make them accessible to operations where they may be suitable. Using information from literature reviews together with field visits to Sri Lanka and Malawi, the report examines the potential of self help microfinance groups (SHMG) in battling poverty and encouraging development. It also highlights the issues and concerns in designing and implementing them. It recommends that:

  • SHMGs should be considered as a first-rate development tool, and should be evaluated on their own premises;
  • Specialist approach, coupled with a simple model might improve the programs effectiveness;
  • Awareness about existing SHMG good practices would help donors design and implement better programs, even though creating a blueprint is not possible;
  • Documenting experiences and exchanging such knowledge would help practitioners build and leverage this development tool.

Finally, the paper emphasizes the importance of social mobilization, reiterating that the potential of groups in empowering the poor and raising their incomes cannot be overlooked.

About this Publication

By Mersland, R. & Eggen, Q.