Blue Rhino supported KMP with a country desk review on community-based financial institutions to explore existing practices by agencies promoting CBFI and SGs, considering the areas (geographic) where they operate and the people they serve. The focus of this paper is on IFAD-funded programmes in six countries: Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia. Attention has also been given to other programmes promoting similar models of time-bound savings groups.
The paper provides six recommendations:
- Linking CBFIs (SGs) to the formal financial sector requires that some factors be fulfilled.
- Aggregating CBFIs (SGs) so that they can access better services and effective market linkages
- The need for formal financial institutions to understand the informal financial sector in order to better design products with features that add value to the users of informal financial services
- Enhancing the mobile money infrastructure to expand financial inclusion among the unbanked
- Establishing and supporting meso-level structures such as SaveNET in Zambia and the ASCA forum in Mozambique
- Linking the informal financial sector with other government and NGO programmes that provide additional financial and non-financial services such as adult literacy programmes.