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POWER Africa – Baseline Report

Publication Date: 15/02/2015

Description of the document: POWER Africa aims to increase financial inclusion in Côte d’Ivoire, Burundi, Ethiopia and Rwanda through the VSLA approach while also creating a platform for sharing lessons learned within and between the four target countries. In this context, it is vital to be able to access (and assess) the experience of each country, which can only be achieved by carrying out an in-depth base-lining exercise to identify the current situation in the lives of rural people in the target countries – and then measure progress against that situation. The consulting company has been contracted to design and implement an extensive baseline study, to build local capacity and enabling the tools and database to be used effectively to conduct further studies at mid and end-line points. The study shows that: 1. Proportionally, more VSLA women and saving than non-VSLA women; 2. VSLA women are saving larger sums than VSLA men and non-VSLA women and men; 3. Resorting to loans from the VSLA solidarity fund is reducing the strain on already hard-pressed relatives and neighbors; 4. 87% of VSLA women and one or more IGA (78% for non-VSLA women); 5. VSLA men tend to have just one IGA; 6. VSLA women (42%) are taking out loans to fund their IGAs, as opposed to only 26% non-VSLA women; 7. VSLA men are not using their loans for IGA development; 8. VSLA women are already reporting feeling more positive and confident about expressing their opinions and participating in household decision-making; 9. VSLA men are aware of the benefits of including women in decision-making and say they committed to encouraging it in their households.

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