- Technical Tracks
- SG2018 Committees
- Engage with #SG2018
- Peer Exchanges
- Technology Fair
Tuesday, May 22: Day One
9:30 AM - 10:45 AM | Beyond Savings and Credit – Savings Groups as Catalysts of Social & Economic Change
The short and medium-term benefits of membership in Savings Groups are well-known: access to financial services; greater control over financial and economic assets; investments that result in an enhanced standard of living in the household; stronger social capital that builds confidence and leads to greater empowerment. These significant benefits mostly impact individual members, their household and their groups.
Yet, there is also evidence of members expanding their vision and goals to effect wider socio-economic development and become catalysts for community change, including:
This session will explore how certain individuals and groups were able to go beyond a narrow, internal-focused agenda to develop a broader vision, a commitment to community change and the capacity to undertake a more complex set of activities.
4:15 PM - 5:45 PM | Debate: For the Savings Groups sector to achieve scale and quality, donors must exit to allow the private sector and government to take over group formation and ongoing support.
Since the beginning of the Savings Groups movement, not-for-profit facilitators paid from donor funding have promoted adherence to best practice procedures and group rules and respect for the principles of democracy, transparency and autonomy. Their work has produced high quality groups and raised sensitivity to the importance of consumer protection. Donors continue funding innovative practice which helps keep the movement fresh and alive. On the other hand, the amount of donor funding will always be insufficient to meet demand and donors have begun to show waning interest in the sector. Financial service providers (FSPs), technology firms, and social entrepreneurs increasingly recognize Savings Groups as an entry to untapped markets and governments see their potential for meeting national financial inclusion goals and for complementing pro-poor safety net programs. Thus, market forces and the interests of national policy will become the long-run drivers of Savings Groups expansion and sustainability.
Join us for a lively session to debate if the private sector and governments should take over the formation and ongoing support of Savings Groups.
Wednesday, May 23: Day Two
9:30 AM - 10:45 AM | Scaling Outreach, Social Safety Nets and the Delivery of Public Services: Savings Groups and the Role of Government
In recent years, several governments have recognized the potential of Savings Groups to contribute to national financial inclusion and poverty reduction strategies and, as a result, deepened their engagement in the sector. Current initiatives include: the development of policies related to Savings Groups within national financial inclusion strategies; the integration of Savings Groups within social safety nets; and the delivery of public services through Savings Groups.
Join us for an engaging dialogue among national policy makers on the role of government in the Savings Groups sector, featuring effective strategies to promote and leverage Savings Groups for broader financial inclusion and development objectives.
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM | Debate: Formal financial institutions can and should take responsibility for the formation and ongoing support of Savings Groups.
Savings Groups are good potential clients for financial service providers (FSPs). They represent significant financial assets and millions of individuals who have developed financial literacy and discipline. Closer ties will result in a broader range of financial services for members. FFIs increasingly see Savings Groups members as an untapped market, with digital technology and advances in other tools and processes making communication and linkage with rural populations easier and more cost-effective. Yet many FFIs do not possess the corporate culture to motivate them to understand and adapt products and processes to this vast new market. The lack of a convincing business case has also caused widespread hesitation. Another fear is that financial incentives meant to encourage FSPs to work with groups will result in group ‘capture’ where unsuspecting members will open accounts and take loans before they fully understand the consequences of their choices.
This session will feature an engaging debate on FSPs taking responsibility for the formation and ongoing support of Savings Groups.
Thursday, May 24: Day Three
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM | Consumer Protection, Inclusion and Women's Empowerment: Initiatives of SEEP's Savings-Led Working Group
Please join us for a public gathering of SEEP's Savings-Led Working Group (SLWG) where we will review progress on this year's ambitious learning agenda. Working group members will share updates and solicit feedback on three initiatives – the release of the state of practice report on Savings Groups and inclusion; preliminary findings from a multi-country risk assessment of Savings Groups; and a new learning partnership on Savings Groups and women's empowerment. Whether a long-time participant in the SLWG, a new member, or just interested to check out our work, all are welcome.