Curiosity Collective: Evidence of social changes for women in savings groups

CARE has been working with Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLA) since we first launched the model in Niger in 1991. Over the years, VSLAs have reached more 7.6 million members, 81% of them women. The economic impacts of the VSLA groups are well documented. Less formally documented is the impact that VSLAs have on women themselves and on the social fabric of their communities.

Women often point to increases in self-confidence, independence, and a greater belief in their own ability to change things in their lives, as the VSLA impacts that are most important to them. Recognizing that the evidence around women’s increased self-confidence and solidarity to act is less systematically documented than the economic impact, in 2018 CARE’s West Africa regional team embarked on the Curiosity Collective, a review of more than 48 evaluations across CARE since 2010 that shed light on how women use the VSLA model to increase their human and social capital, in addition to their incomes. A combination of quantitative and qualitative evidence shows how VSLAs are transformative well beyond the act of saving and the ability to increase credit and incomes.

  • Countries: Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Cote D'Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Togo
  • Co-authors: Emily Janoch, Kassie McIlvaine
  • Published: November 2019

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