Savings and Internal Lending Communities – SILC: Voices from Africa
This report draws on the insights, wisdom and field experience of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) microfinance practitioners, combined with a literature review on best practices in savings led microfinance and development.
CRS has designed the Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILC) approach as a holistic programming approach that offers households a strategy to protect assets, smooth cash flow and increase income. SILC provides flexible financial solutions to vulnerable groups such as women, poor farmers, orphans and youth in a sustainable manner. Conclusions include:
- Savings led microfinance programs are meeting the challenge of access to appropriate financial services for the poor effectively;
- Savings led microfinance groups also serve as the engine for many other forms of development;
- Financial, social and human capital that women develop through regular savings led microfinance group meetings gets transferred to actions that result in behavior change.
CRS believes there is sufficient evidence of the effectiveness of savings groups to warrant massive scale-up. It aims to reach millions of participants and to build on the organizational capacity and economic force of groups.