This two-page brief summarizes the report titled "A REVIEW OF STUDIES INVESTIGATING PSP NETWORKS AND APPRENTICES PERFORMED BY EXPANDING FINANCIAL INCLUSION (EFI) IN AFRICA."
EFI researchers interviewed PSP Network members and performed focus group discussions and participatory ranking activities with Network Management Committee members. These study focused on Network operations, activities, benefits, and challenges. One role of the PSP Network is to manage the Apprenticeship process. To understand this work better the questions asked to PSPs were supplemented with 40 interviews with Apprentices.
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.