SMDP Online

Gendered systems thinking and adaptation for Savings Groups, SACCOs and other member-based finance programs

February 25 to May 31, 2019

Reduce your need for external consultants: Action research and systems thinking for emerging leaders working with savings groups and SACCOs. Informal and semi-formal savings groups, producer groups and SACCOs are important mechanisms to support households and small businesses to effectively save, borrow, build assets and cope with emergencies. These models reach vulnerable populations and regions in ways that institutions simply cannot. Yet much remains to learn about what it takes, in different contexts, to balance issues of scale, access and strong group governance and inclusion.

Systems thinking helps practitioners to think big-picture at the systemic level while action research helps to ground that thinking in practical strategic questions and adaptive problem solving. This course combines the latest research and sound practices in member-owned microfinance with support for on-the-ground strategic organizational research. By the end of this course, practitioners, whatever their research background, will have improved their leadership ability to write, be strategic, reflective and conduct research for stronger outreach, impact and structural change. With facilitator and peer support, participants will even pilot-test tools that they develop during the course.

MASTERCARD FOUNDATION Scholarships Available 


Feedback from past participants:

“This course taught me not what to think but how to think.”

“It’s like that saying…the toughest thing you’ll ever love.”

“You just do your job day to day in a bit of a haze without really thinking. I didn’t realize that until this course.”

“I feel better able to bring my voice to these discussions now. I think people were surprised by how I spoke in the last meeting.”