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PEER Exchanges


The pre-conference SG2020 peer exchanges will take place on March 9, 2020 and feature a series of field visits open to a variety of attendees – from newcomers to the Savings Groups sector to experts and practitioners of all levels of experience.

Similar to the SG2020 technical tracks, each field visit focuses on one of three unique themes, highlighting the inclusion of people with disabilities, access to digital savings platforms, and providing a general overview. While targeted Peer Exchanges are perfect for experienced practitioners, the introductory visit is designed to provide Conference attendees interested in learning more about Savings Groups the opportunity to engage with local organizations and SG members in the field.

SG2020 peer exchanges are available for an additional fee of 85 USD. As there are a limited number of spots for each peer exchange, we strongly recommend you register early.

Kindly note that the "Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLA) 101: An Overview," "How Can Savings Groups be More Inclusive?" and "What can the WeSave app do for Savings Groups" peer exchanges are now at full capacity. 

Stokvels: Savings Groups in Peri-urban South Africa (NEW)

Hosted by National Stokvel Association of South Africa (NASASA)

The formal financial sector was historically exclusionary in South Africa and savings groups commonly termed “stokvels” filled that gap. To date, most South Africans still rely on informal mechanisms as a means to access services where their needs are currently not met. The peer learning opportunity will expose conference attendees to diverging savings groups with different objectives. The two nominated savings groups have been in existence for over 4 years hence will be able to demonstrate the functioning of these groups and the benefits of member participation which go beyond conventional financial inclusion. The socio-economic background disparities of these savings groups also provides insights on how the environment influences the success (or failure) of savings groups.


Passion for Savings: The Story of a Peri-urban Group

Hosted by Siyakhula Sonke

When the formal financial sector does not cater to the financial needs of low-income earners, these needs can be met in other ways. In some cases, it takes an NGO’s passion for saving to organize communities and help them realize their financial goals. This peer learning exchange will allow delegates to experience the workings of a peri-urban NGO-led group bringing together women of all ages whose main monthly income is derived from government grants, in pursuit of meeting their individual financial goals – from saving to borrowing for varying needs, to paying for children’s school uniforms and registration fees at tertiary institutions, to home improvements.

Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLA) 101: An Overview               

Hosted by SaveAct 

In an introduction to the VSLA methodology, participants will visit a Village Savings and Loan Association in a typical rural community, located an hour and 30 minutes outside Durban. An exemplary illustration of the VSLA model, this group operates with transparency and cooperation in administering record keeping. If you are new to the field or simply want to expand your knowledge, this is a unique opportunity to learn more about the VSLA method first-hand. The peer exchange will conclude with a visit to the Nelson Mandela Capture Site located nearby.

(Now at Full Capacity)

What Can the WeSave App Do for Savings Groups?                                    

Hosted by SaveAct

The SaveAct WeSave app is a cloud-based system that aids Savings Groups in streamlining recording, securing records, and calculating share outs. It also ensures a backup of all transactions is available in the event that the physical records are lost, and may be viewed as a step towards linkage with formal finance and other digital services. In this peer exchange, participants will learn about the early experiences of SG members using the app. The exchange also offers particular value in learning from the technical team about some of the technical difficulties in their path towards creating a seamless experience for the users.

The group is located about an hour and 30 minutes outside Durban in a typical rural community. The field day will conclude with a visit to the famous Nelson Mandela Capture Site not far from where the Savings Group conducts its activities. 

(Now at Full Capacity)

How Can Savings Groups Be More Inclusive?                                              

Hosted by CREATE

It is estimated that 20% of people living in poverty in a developing country have a disability, and that some 6% of members of Savings Groups are either disabled or live with household members with a disability.  

Peer exchange participants will visit a Savings Group that has been trained and mentored by CREATE with the goal to mainstream the inclusion of people with disabilities and ensure that the most marginalized are reached. This peer exchange is an opportunity to see first-hand how CREATE has helped strengthen community-based support structures that promote inclusivity and access to resources. The site is located approximately one hour from Durban.

(Now at Full Capacity)  



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