This event is a closed meeting, by invitation only.
Over the last decade, development organizations have invested at least $150m to expand the scale and impact of Savings Groups. These investments include initiatives to mobilize and train groups, develop and introduce tools, facilitate relationships between Savings Groups and financial service providers, and expand the body of knowledge through research and sector events.
A growing and increasingly robust body of evidence suggests that participation in Savings Groups contributes to increased savings, access to credit, asset accumulation, business investment, consumption, food security, social capital and resilience. By the end of 2016, it is estimated that there are at least 20m active members of Savings Groups across 75 countries; and improved efficiencies over the last decade have reduced unit costs to about $20 per member. Savings Groups are, perhaps, the most efficient approach to expand access to basic financial services in marginalized communities.
Nevertheless, there are clear limits to the scale and sustainability of the system. Recent estimates suggest that the demand for Savings Groups by women in sub-Saharan Africa, alone, is approximately 125 million. There is simply no prospect of sufficient donor funding to meet this demand based on current approaches. And so, what investment strategies are most likely to reach large numbers of marginalized individuals and communities, and contribute to positive development outcomes that are sustainable in the long-term?
This event is a donor meeting convened by the SEEP Network in partnership with FSD Africa, the Mastercard Foundation and Itad. Its purpose is to support the coordination of effective investment strategies by funders, to expand the scale, sustainability and impact of Savings Groups based on a market systems approach.
Diane has managed and provided technical support to a wide range of programmes in West, Central and East Africa, South and Southeast Asia and the Balkans, as well as the United States with a focus on a systemic approach and implementing innovative solutions in fragile contexts. She has designed and delivered courses on a market systems approach with the Springfield Centre, the FSD Academy and Adam Smith International. Diane has recently co-authored Applying a Market Systems Approach to Savings Groups, in collaboration with the SEEP Network; and is currently designing and delivering a series of trainings for funders on a Market Systems Approach to Financial Inclusion with the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP).