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Market Systems Approach

Despite the strong evidence of benefits that members, households and communities derive through participating in Savings Groups, the system faces several constraints. First and foremost, there is simply no prospect of sufficient donor funding to meet the global demand for Savings Groups under the current model. Secondly, while most groups continue to operate independently for several years, many dissolve – partly due to the lack of ongoing support services in the community. And finally, relationships between Savings Groups and external service providers often require facilitation to ensure that service providers understand the market and members have the ability to make informed decisions.

In response to these constraints, there has been a recent shift among several funders and development organizations towards a market systems approach to Savings Groups. Some strategies include providing communities with the tools and systems to form groups themselves, leveraging Savings Groups as a pathway to formal financial inclusion, and developing technologies to improve group security and operations. As the principles of market systems development are applied to Savings Groups, continued experimentation is required, along with more evidence to determine which interventions work, why, and how.

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