Vsla

VSLA By the Numbers: A Comprehensive Analysis of the Impact and ROI of VSLAs

Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs) have been a foundational programmatic approach at CARE since 1991. Since then, CARE has helped over 13.7 million people join savings groups. The savings group model has been adopted and adapted by a variety of organizations globally. Through this report, we will examine the social and financial effects and returns of savings groups as well as how groups affected members’ resilience to COVID-19. The results gave an overview of the financial return on investment (ROI), group economic outcomes, savings groups costs, and individual and household effects for savings groups both inside and outside of CARE.

In order to calculate a return on investment, the financial benefit for a typical participant over three years was considered as well as the financial benefits for a replicated VSLA for two years related to the cost that the donor/implementer spends to set up and oversee the VSLA for its first cycle. Using internal CARE data such as budgets, evaluation, and impact reports, the average ROI of costs to establish a saving group was between 7:1 and 20:1. For every $1 invested by CARE, there is evidence for the savings of a typical VSLA participant to increase between $7 and $20. For the average VSLA participant, median income increased by $9.35 (+/- $0.55 USD) within the first year of joining the group for each $1 USD invested. Additionally, average income increased by $18.85 (+/-$1.15 USD) within five years of each $1 USD invested. Using industry data and internal CARE data, this analysis showed that for every $250 USD invested three net new children attended school.

The financial effect of a VSLA appears to outlast the formal lifecycle of the group. Evaluation of VSLAs as they phased out found that the return on savings (ROS) was 50% (+/-10%) during the supported formal lifecycle of the group and decreased to around 35% (+/-19%) after the VSLA is phased out. However, the positive outcomes and impact of participating in VSLAs continue even after project phase out. Members continue saving and getting benefits. Share value even increase for 57% (+/-13%) of groups in the available data.
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RESET II Project Promoting Resilient Livelihoods in Borana Final Report

Purpose: The purpose of this end line evaluation is to assess the achievements, constraints and lessons learnt and to produce sufficient evidence to show how the project performed against its overall objective. Overview of the project: Funded by the European Union (EU) through its European Union Trust Fund (EUTF) with a total budget of Є6,586,291, the Promoting Resilient Livelihoods in Borana RESET II Project was implemented by a consortium of CARE Ethiopia, Oromo Self Help Organization (OSHO) and Action against Hunger (AAH). The project focused in the geographic area of Arero, Miyo, Dire, Moyale, Dillo and Dhas districts in the Borena Zone within the Oromia region. The overall aim of enhancing the resilience of 100,000 PSNP beneficiaries, reducing irregular migration through improved access and coverage to provision of WASH, health and nutrition services, diversifying and increasing livelihood opportunities and incomes, improving Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) capacity, enhancing research and knowledge management systems as well as reducing barriers to women empowerment, the project begun implementation October 2016 and end in December 2020. CARE’s Pastoralist Resilience Casual Model (PRCM) using proven CARE’S Village Saving and Loan Associations (VSLA), Climate Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment (CVCA), Social Analysis and Action (SAA), Participatory Scenario Planning (PSP) and AAH’s as well as Assisting Behavior change (ABC) methods and approaches were utilized throughout the project. Read More...

Enquête Trimestrielle pour le Rapportage du Plan de Mesure de Performance Projets “OLAM VSLA” & “TOUTON VSLA”

Dans le cadre de cette enquête trimestrielle, la méthode d’échantillonnage utilisée est le sondage aléatoire systématique stratifié au premier degré. La taille de l'échantillon de l'enquête trimestrielle des projets OLAM VSLA et TOUTON VSLA a été calculée et s’établit à 339 membres de VSLA. [7 pages] Read More...

Post Project Sustainability Study Report: Berchi- Claiming Rights – Promoting Gender Equality: Women’s Empowerment and male engagement for gender transformation in post conflict and chronically food-insecure setting of Ethiopia” (2013-2015)

he project Berchi – “Be Strong!” in Amharic, fully named “Claiming Rights - Promoting Gender Equality: Women’s empowerment and male engagement for gender transformation in post-conflict and chronically food-insecure settings of Ethiopia” was an Austrian Development Agency (ADA)- and CARE Austria-funded project and was implemented during the period of 2013 to 2015. Its strategic objective was to empower chronically food insecure women so that they can achieve sustainable livelihood security in the Ebinat and Simada districts of South Gondar Zone within the Amhara Region of Ethiopia.

The purpose and scope of the study is to assess the impact and sustainability of these outcomes after the project has ended. These results are compared with outcomes from the end line evaluation. Furthermore, this study is tasked with assessing the extent to which the key project results and social norm changes have been sustained after the project was phased out. Read More...

Galdogob and Bursalah Stabilization and Economic Development Initiative

Through the project activities mainly VSLAs, vocational training and infrastructure projects, beneficiaries in the project location of Galdogob and Bursallah have realized improved access to financial services (savings and loans) as well as improved livelihood opportunities especially for vulnerable groups in the community mainly the youth and female members of the community.

Through successfully facilitating dialogue between communities from Galdogob and Bursalah, conducting reconciliations dialogues between clan/tribes, conducting forums for women empowerment and participation in decision-making, engaging youth in peer-to-peer dialogues and peer networks, conducting dialogues between the community and the Puntland Government and conducting talk shows and engaging the media, the project has realized increased collaboration between community members and government in local development and conflict management and also enhanced trust between community and government.

In addition, enhanced civic education-conflict management skills of community members have equipped the community with the necessary skills to address conflicts between clans in Galdogob and Bursalah while installation of solar street lights Galdogob/ Bursalah and construction and equipping of Galdogob police station were identified as important connectors between community members as well as between community members and the government through ensuring common use of resources and improving governance outcomes such as safety and security, trust and access to services. [37 pages] Read More...

Endline Survey of Cocoa Sustainability Initiative (CSI) II

This report is on the consultancy assignment to conduct an end line survey of Cocoa Sustainability Initiative (CSI II), a partnership between CARE International and General Mills Foundation (GMI). A team of consultants from GIMPA Consultancy and Innovation Directorate (GCID), conducted the survey within the period of four weeks in December 2020 across twenty communities in the Asikuma Odoben Brakwa District.

The project is targeted at improving the livelihoods of individuals in cocoa-growing communities and optimizing cocoa production through climate change adaptation. The initiative which started in 2017 and ended in August, 2020 is aimed at promoting gender equity, building farmer resilience to mitigate the impact of climate change and strengthen local capacity to initiate and own the process of development in cocoa-growing communities.

Some major significant change stories include increased yields, high adoption of good agricultural practices, improved access to financial service and improved financial decision making by women. [66 Pages] Read More...

COVID-19: Impacts, Attitudes, and Safety Nets in Haiti (April 2021)

In April 2021, CARE conducted interviews with savings group members and leaders to understand their experiences of COVID-19, and how it was changing their lives. The survey included 364 women and 175 men, for a total of 539 respondents. This follows a survey done in June 2020 to understand what was happening at that time for members of savings groups. The surveys covered Artibonite and Grand Anse.

COVID-19 continues to have important impacts for women and men in savings groups. In general, men and women in these groups were reporting similar challenges across the sample. 86% of women and men are reporting impacts in their livelihoods, and 98% of people say that COVID-19 is affecting their ability to save. 64% say they can’t meet family needs and hunger has gone up. 90% of people are reporting that COVID-19 is impacting their social lives. More women than men report that Gender Based Violence has gone up. While women are more likely to have lost influence in the household than men (39% compared to 33%), men are more likely to report that they lost social status in the community (48% compared to 43%). Read More...

Evidence Review of Women’s Groups and COVID-19: Impacts, Challenges, and Policy Implications for Savings Groups in Africa

It has been more than a year since COVID-19 lockdowns began, and economic recovery is a top priority for governments, donors, and international financial institutions (IFIs) worldwide, including in sub-Saharan Africa. Targeted investments that increase community resilience and spur economic growth will mitigate some of the negative economic consequences of this crisis. Investment in women’s economic resilience and social support is para- mount, considering that the crisis may reverse recent progress in gender equality. Around the world, women’s groups, such as self- help groups, savings groups, and health groups, play an important role in communities; evidence shows promise in their role in promoting women’s empowerment and economic outcomes. They encompass many models, but all bring women together around a shared purpose, such as financial inclusion, livelihoods, health, and women’s rights.
This brief focuses on one specific type of women’s group in sub-Saharan Africa: savings groups. Savings groups are a common form of women’s group and serve as a reliable mechanism for people in sub-Saharan Africa to save money. Members of savings groups pool small weekly savings into a common fund, which members can then borrow against, creating opportunities for investments and women’s empowerment. Savings groups show mixed, but promising, results in improving economic and social outcomes. This brief, written by a consortium of researchers and practitioners, presents emerging evidence from studies in diverse African contexts— with a deep dive into Nigeria and Uganda—on how COVID-19 has affected savings groups and how these groups have helped mitigate the pandemic’s negative consequences in sub-Saharan Africa.
This report is 23 pages long. Read More...

Beyond Economic Empowerment The Influence of Savings Groups on Women’s Public Participation in Fragile and (post) Conflict-Affected Settings Every Voice Counts

Women’s meaningful participation and influence in public processes in fragile and (post) conflict-affected settings (FCAS) is not only necessary to achieve inclusive development but is a fundamental human right. Unfortunately, in most contexts, men are overrepresented in decision-making and women do not have equal voice in the decisions that affect their lives. Some evidence suggests that the economic empowerment of women opens up opportunities for them to participate in public decision-making processes. One such means for economic empowerment in FCAS is savings groups. Savings groups are small, community-based groups that can provide members a safe space to save money, take small loans, and make investment decisions. Globally, women have made advances in improving their income and access to savings, as well as increased their entrepreneurial endeavours as a result of their participation in savings groups. Research also shows that women’s participation in savings groups improves their confidence, skills, and ability to influence household decision-making. This prompts the question: do these benefits of women’s participation in savings groups extend into the public sphere? In other words, does women’s participation in savings groups influence their public participation1 and decision-making? Through a mixed methods investigation across five countries (18 villages) in Africa and South Asia (Burundi, Mali, Niger, Pakistan, and Sudan), using CARE’s Gender Empowerment Framework, this research investigated the differences in outcomes between women who participate in savings groups under three CARE programmes: Every Voice Counts (EVC), Women on the Move (WoM), and Latter Day Saints Charities (LDS) Recovery Support for Vulnerable Households programmes [74 pages]. Read More...

Integrated GBV prevention and response in Northeast Nigeria Endline Report

Context The ECHO-GBV prevention and response is an integrated GBV and livelihood project which was implemented as an entry point for CARE Nigeria into GBV-standalone initiatives. The project was funded by European Commission Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) under the supervision of CARE France. The project anticipated to provide direct service to displaced vulnerable women, men, girls, and boys and vulnerable host community members in Bama and Ngala, majority of the project participants were women and girls and indirectly benefits to the larger community. The intervention was anticipated to reach a total of 7,832 project participants. The global objective of the project was to contribute to the protection of the lives of vulnerable women, men, girls, and boys most affected by the crisis in northeastern Nigeria. The specific objective of the project was to enhance the access of newly displaced, vulnerable women, men, girls, and boys to life-saving GBV prevention and response services through coordinated, principled humanitarian support and community-based prevention activities. The project had six expected results:
• R 1. GBV prevention, care, and response services available and accessible to newly displaced individuals and vulnerable host community members at risk of or affected by GBV.
• R 2. Awareness, knowledge, and application of humanitarian principles and SEA prevention and response principles improved among humanitarian actors and security forces.
An end-line study was conducted as a part of the project monitoring and evaluation strategies and framework to review its projects before, during, and after the post-implementation phase. The endline was conducted by CARE Nigeria in August 2020 [31 pages]. Read More...

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