MasterCard Foundation: Savings Portfolio Learning Partner
2016-2022; Multi-country; MasterCard Foundation
Hundreds of millions of people in Africa, many of them living in poverty, lack access to basic financial products, including savings services. Savings groups and other innovative savings products have the potential to mobilize community resources, empower participants, and enable low-income people to better plan and manage their financial lives. Although it is growing, the evidence base in this area remains patchy. There is a need for more work to gather and disseminate best practices and explore future possibilities in this field.
A variety of models are being piloted to evolve the Savings groups model to make it more effective and integrated with the wider financial sector – including through closer integration with more formal financial institutions (including banks and MFIs), and the use of new technologies to facilitate more cost-effective and diverse models for financial inclusion.
The MasterCard Foundation’s Savings Portfolio currently supports savings led programs in ten countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, applying a variety of different approaches and models for financial inclusion. This provides a strong platform for generating evidence and learning about the effectiveness of different approaches across a range of contexts.
As the Saving Portfolio Learning Partner, Itad will be working with the Foundation, its various partners, and with the wider Savings Sector, to generate, distil, and share knowledge. We have developed a learning framework based on a review of portfolio background documentation, evidence gap map and consultation with key industry leaders. Going forward we will build and maintain wide buy-in for the learning framework and cultivate demand for knowledge products and sharing. We will work with partners to develop effective monitoring, evaluation, research and learning plans and continue to refine the approach to evidence generation and learning as the portfolio evolves. We will work with The SEEP Network to ensure that learning from the MasterCard Portfolio is fed in to the wider sector and that the latest trends are also taken in to account by Foundation Partners through high profile learning events and forums. We will also be responsible for undertaking several pieces of key research with the Foundation partners and the wider sector.
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