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Evaluations/Assessments | August 5, 2019

Savings Groups and Consumer Protection: Risk Mitigation through Community-Based Structures

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Savings and Internal Lending Communities, or SILC, model is based on an innovative fee-for-service delivery channel that trains and certifies Private Service Providers (PSPs), local social entrepreneurs who form and train Savings Groups for a fee paid by the group. As the portfolio of a PSP grows, it can be challenging for them to provide adequate support to an ever-increasing number of groups.

Several of the 39 PSPs certified by a CRS project in Togo found that, given their time limitations and travel distances between groups, their portfolios required more support than they could provide. To allow them to devote more time to supporting new Savings Groups – and to further foster the independence and autonomy of the more mature groups in their portfolio – some PSPs have facilitated the establishment of SILC Committees, representative bodies composed of multiple groups in a given area. This case study examines four SILC Committees in Togo in depth, and draws strategic lessons from their experiences.