This two-page summary covers the main results of a study on pricing and payments observed in the EFI project, as well as CRS’s conclusions on how to implement its fee-for-service strategy moving forward. It draws on several tools deployed in support of EFI’s overall research agenda,
in order to produce as comprehensive a picture as possible, while drawing conclusions about the different conditions. These tools were:
- A survey administered to SILC groups to record payment practices and elicit
- member feedback on PSP services and price
- A modified share-out tool to measure group payments to the PSPs with respect to
- their cycle financial transactions
- A survey to examine PSPs’ income and motivation, among other themes
- Interviews with implementing partner staff to get their feedback on model variants
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.