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Papers/Reports | October 2, 2018

State of Practice: Savings Groups and the Dynamics of Inclusion

This state of practice report provides a comprehensive overview of the inclusion of vulnerable populations in savings groups. Over the past 25 years, development organizations have mobilized more than 700,000 savings groups in marginalized communities across 75 countries worldwide. Recent evidence, however, shows mixed results as to the effectiveness of savings group programs in targeting and reaching the most vulnerable populations.

Building on an extensive desk review, as well as key informant interviews with diverse sector stakeholders, this report provides a conceptual framework for inclusion in the context of savings groups, and an empirical analysis of the dynamics of inclusion with respect to specific parameters of vulnerability or exclusion. The parameters of vulnerability and target populations examined in this report include poverty, age, disability, gender, people living with HIV, smallholder farmers, and forcibly displaced people.

The main findings of the report are summarized in an accompanying brief.