"You cannot save alone": Financial and Social Mobilisation in Savings and Credit Groups
The point of departure for this study is an assumption that group dynamics and 'self-help' participatory approaches have an interest far beyond their practice. The particular focus is on the widely practiced and increasingly supported phenomenon of people's owned savings and credit groups. The intention is to improve knowledge on some of the practices and methodologies available, in order to make them more accessible for the operations they suit. This study endeavour to facilitate for an exchange of experiences; between organisations, within countries as well as continents. Group formation in South Asia, illustrated by cases in Sri Lanka in this study, is based on members assisting each other in planning and implementing their individual projects. The African cases are from Malawi, where groups were established to develop a common business. Once the business is generating income and surplus, the members are encouraged to take their share of the invested capital to form their own individual businesses. Elsewhere in Africa, one can observe a variety of practices, ranging from individual businesses to the more community-action based approach. These need to be well adapted to the specific cultural environment of strong social cohesion, while the Asian environment is more conducive for individual action.