In Sudan, income sources for families are often unstable and saving is an uncommon practice since most community members prefer to invest their money in assets, such as crops and livestock. Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) are one of CAREs most successful approaches to fight poverty and promote female empowerment. In a Village Saving Loan Association, 15 to 25 community members form a self-managed group in which money is saved. Members can take out loans from the savings to invest in a business or to cover sudden cash needs. In South Darfur, there are currently more than 300 Village Saving Loan Associations - 211 of which were established in Kass and Gereida localities.
Improving Resilience through Village Savings & Loan Associations
October 2016 - November 2016
What Forcier Did:
CARE International contracted Forcier to conduct an impact assessment of the organization's Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) in South Darfur, Sudan. The self-managed resource-pooling systems are intended to enable community members to apply for loans - encouraging community and household economic resilience. Forcier assessed how these loan associations were contributing to community growth and how they could further contribute to improved community resilience to shocks and crises. Forcier identified gaps in existing data, as well as gender-gaps, and examined best practices for CARE International.
Forcier focused on interviewing community members involved with Village Saving Loan Associations and key stakeholders. To kick off research, Forcier conducted a comprehensive desk review focused on South Darfur and the 300 active Loan Associations. Forcier conducted 8 Key Informant Interviews with community leaders, Loan Association leaders, CARE field staff, and local NGO partners. Focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted with a total of 8 groups; the first being a mixed group of female and male Loan Association members and the second, a mixed group of non-Loan Association members. Additionally, 8 in-depth Case Studies were completed between the cities of Gereida and Kass.