Savings Groups provide a safe place for millions of men and women to save in underserved markets across the world. As Savings Groups mature, however, they are confronted with an expanding set of risks related to money management, the safety of group funds, procedural drift, conflict between members and governance, and evolving relationships with regulatory authorities, financial service providers and private actors.
Development organizations have a moral responsibility to safeguard the interests of Savings Groups – ensuringthat members have rights and the capacity to protect themselves, development and market actors act responsibly, and regulation, if required, is appropriate.
Join our expert panel foran overview of the main findings of the SEEP Network learning series on Savings Groups and consumer protection – and the implications for stakeholders.
David Panetta, The SEEP Network
David Panetta is Program Director, Financial Inclusion through Savings Groups, at the SEEP Network; and leads the network’s initiatives to improve standards of practice, mobilize knowledge, create opportunities for learning, and strengthen partnerships and alliances among entities that promote or engage with Savings Groups. With 15 years’ experience in international development programming and research, David has worked with numerous donor agencies, consultancies, academic institutions and NGOs in over 25 countries, focused on access to finance, inclusive market systems, and knowledge management. He has led the development of Savings Group initiatives in 19 countries – working with the Aga Khan Foundation, DFID, Plan International, Mercy Corps, VSL Associates, World Vision and over one hundred local NGOs. David has a Master’s in Economics from McGill University and is fluent in English, French and Spanish.
Sukhwinder Arora, Arora Associates
Sukhwinder Arora has over three decades of experience working on private and financial sector development, covering the entire policy and program development cycle – conceptualization, scoping, policy and program finalisation, periodic reviews and evaluation. He has worked with a wide range of international and national stakeholders including donors, FSD programmes, central banks, commercial banks, mobile network operators, payment providers, non-governmental organizations, researchers and business associations. In addition to serving as Director of AAL, Sukhwinder also works on specific assignments for Oxford Policy Management, including Team Leader of the Savings at the Frontier Programme.
marc bavois, Catholic Relief Services
marc bavois has worked in pro-poor microfinance for 15 years, with field experience in over 20 countries. As Senior Technical Advisor for Microfinance, he leads CRS’s work on the SILC-PSP methodology and has written the manuals and trainer guides used in SILC programs across the agency. In addition, he has designed CRS’s master trainer program and was the technical lead for the EFI project which reached over half a million members, two thirds of them from the poorer half of their communities. Previously he worked with Freedom from Hunger, where he supported MFIs and contributed to the development of the Saving for Change methodology.
Julia Arnold, International Center for Research on Women
Julia Arnold is a financial inclusion and livelihoods expert with ten years of experience working in microfinance, digital financial services, financial capability and health, employee and agent empowerment, women’s economic empowerment, research design and data analysis, and monitoring and evaluation. She leads and supports programs seeking to improve youth livelihoods, reduce gender-based violence, improve access to financial services for low- or unbanked communities, and improve and innovate around existing women’s economic empowerment mechanisms.
Ms. Arnold has led research on behaviorally-informed digital financial tools aimed at shifting customer behavior, obstacles to women’s use of digital savings accounts, and co-authored a guide and toolkit on employee and agent empowerment which provide tools and solutions to managers to improve customer relationships and retention. She has worked on projects in Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Ms. Arnold is passionate about data and customer analytics, understanding and shifting customer behavior, building and improving livelihoods, and seeking solutions that build women’s economic empowerment.
This webinar is hosted by the SEEP Network in partnership with FSD Africa.