Host: The SEEP Network
9:00 - 10:00 am EST
To what extent do Savings Groups reach and effectively serve vulnerable populations? And how can we do better?
Savings Groups provide access to basic financial services in underserved markets, and contribute to both financial inclusion and broader development objectives. The community-managed model requires minimal infrastructure and no long-term investment; and reaches poorer and more vulnerable populations than formal financial service providers (FSPs).
Recent evidence, however, suggests mixed results of Savings Group programs to target and effectively serve more vulnerable populations. Building on the State of Practice Report: Savings Groups and the Dynamics of Inclusion, this webinar will:
Benjamin Allen, Technical Advisor for Microfinance Research, Catholic Relief Services
Having joined Catholic Relief Services in 2016, Ben Allen is responsible for learning related to CRS’ primary savings-led microfinance initiative, Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILC). Dr. Allen has led research on the effectiveness of CRS’ Financial Education curriculum in SILC in Ecuador, El Salvador, and Guatemala; evaluated the agency’s Sharia-compliant SILC pilot project in Mauritania; and developed and implemented field research tools for the Mastercard Foundation-funded four-country Expanding Financial Inclusion in Africa (EFI) project. A social scientist trained in quantitative and qualitative research designs and methods, Dr. Allen earned his Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, in 2015.
Joel Cox, Director of Operations, Seed Effect
Joel Cox joined Seed Effect in 2016 and currently advises, trains, and provides strategic support to Seed Effect’s work in northern Uganda. Seed Effect promotes Village Savings and Loan Associations among South Sudanese refugees as well as Ugandans living near the refugee settlements while using the groups as a platform for Christian discipleship and spiritual growth.
Prior to joining Seed Effect, Joel worked at BNSF Railway in Fort Worth, TX for 8 years in various roles including strategic studies, pricing, business analysis, and sales. Joel is active in his church, Trinity Chapel Bible Church in Fort Worth, TX where he serves as an elder. Joel has a BBA in Accounting and Finance and a Masters in Accounting from the University of Oklahoma. Joel is married to Andrea Cox and has one son with a daughter on the way.
Angela Kohama, Inclusive Livelihood Policy Officer, Humanity & Inclusion
Angela Kohama designs, promotes and coordinates technical assistance on inclusive livelihood strategies to mainstream economic development partners, and supports field teams in designing, implementing and evaluating high quality inclusive economic development programs across Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. Prior to her role at Humanity & Inclusion, Angela worked for disabled people’s organizations in India, Timor-Leste and the U.S. Angela hold a MPA in Development Practice from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and a BA from University of Oregon in International Studies, with minors in Special Education and Religious Studies.
This webinar is hosted by The SEEP Network in partnership with FSD Africa.