This study explores the following questions:
- To what extent are extremely poor households included in SILC membership?
- Has the inclusion of extremely poor households increased as SILC formation has progressed in the research sites?
- What elements of the Pro-Poor Package work to attract and retain the poor households in SILC programs?"
EFI was a 4-year project whose core goal was to ensure that vulnerable households experienced greater financial inclusion to improve their resilience. To this end, EFI formed savings groups using CRS' Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILC) and Private Service Provider (PSP) methodologies in Burkina Faso, Senegal, Uganda, and Zambia. The EFI project aimed to create 19,200 new SILC groups with 502,320 members and had targeted its areas of operation using financial exclusion criteria; criteria which may well stand as a strong proxy for poverty. To try to bring in poorer households, EFI made critical adjustments to the SILC methodology, known collectively as the "Pro-Poor Package" (PPP) and contrasted with "Normal" SILC programming. The PPP adjustments included, for example, training PSPs to identify and mobilize poor households, replacing a minimum savings with a "target" savings, removing fines for failure to save and reducing the pressure to take loans.
Other research reports related to this project are available here.