Savings Groups are one of the most widespread community development initiatives worldwide. In Africa, there are about 20 million active members in Savings Groups, supported by hundreds of local and international development organizations; and a recent study identified 74 public policies and programs related to Savings Groups, across 20 countries. These groups mobilize financial resources and social capital in marginalized communities; and experience demonstrates they are at the frontlines of the local response to crisis, including the COVID pandemic. And yet, Savings Groups remain a largely underutilized platform for local economic development. Join us for a discussion with the World Bank, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, CARE, Hand in Hand International, the International Rescue Committee and World Vision on leveraging Savings Groups as a platform for local economic development in Africa.
Sybil Chidiac, Senior Program Officer, Gender Equality, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Helene Monika Carlsson Rex
Practice Manager, Social Sustainability and Inclusion Global Practice, The World Bank
Chief Operations Officer, Eastern Africa, Hand in Hand International
Senior Advisor, External Engagement & Savings Groups, World Vision
Program Director, Savings Groups, The SEEP Network
Senior Advisor, Women Economic Justice and Rights Action Coalition, CARE International
Practice Manager, Food & Agriculture Global Practice, The World Bank
Brian Ssebunya (Ph.D)
Senior Technical Advisor, Enterprise Development and Employment, International Rescue Committee
Japheth Muli is s development professional with 14 years of program management experience in microfinance, livelihoods, agriculture, natural resource management, disaster risk reduction, and resilience.
Angeline Munzara is the Livelihoods Senior External Engagement Advisor and Savings for Transformation Project Model Lead for World Vision International. Under her leadership, World Vision has supported 54,400 Savings for Transformation (S4T) groups in 34 countries with 1.3 million members (80 percent of whom are women). Angeline holds a Bachelor of Laws Honors (LLBS) and a Masters in International Relations and has over 15 years of development experience working with non-governmental organisations at the national, regional (SADC) and international levels. She is the current Global Chair for the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture Compliance Committee (2019-2021). She recently published a book: "Faith that Breaks Storms': http://angiechawira.co.za/
David Panetta leads the SEEP Network’s practice area in Savings Groups, and a portfolio of learning initiatives to improve standards of practice, mobilize knowledge and strengthen partnerships in the sector. Previously, David led the development of Savings Group programs in 19 countries, reaching approximately one million members – working with the Aga Khan Foundation, DFID, Plan International, Mercy Corps, VSL Associates, World Vision and over one hundred local NGOs. He has a Master’s in Economics from McGill University and is fluent in English, French and Spanish.
Aisha Rahamatali is as Senior Advisor, Women Economic Justice and Rights Action Coalition, Aisha currently supports CARE’s participation in the Generation Equality Forum Action Coalition on Economic Justice and Rights. Before that, she acted as CARE Regional Advocacy Coordinator in West Africa, supporting the implementation of Women on the Move, an initiative that aims to scale up Savings Groups in West Africa trough partnership and advocacy with governments. In this role she engaged closely with governments, regional institutions, and women rights organisations to advance the adoption and implementation of Savings Groups by government institutions through financial inclusion, gender and social protection policies. She is the co-author of the recent state of practice report on Savings Groups and the Role of Government in Sub-Saharan Africa and served as co-facilitator of the SEEP Network’s Peer Learning Group on The Role of Savings Groups in Supporting Graduation from Social Safety Nets. Prior to joining CARE, Aisha worked on child rights and women rights advocacy with several NGOs (Defence for Children International, International Federation for Human Rights and the International Catholic Child Bureau). She also advocated for the promotion and protection of women rights as part of the team of the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women.
Shobha Shetty is a Practice Manager, Shobha covers Eastern and Southern Africa and oversees a portfolio of agriculture and rural development projects and analytic work of over US$2 billion. From 2012-2018, she served in a similar position in the South Asia region based in the World Bank office in New Delhi. Her current work and interests span agribusiness development, women’s economic empowerment, disruptive Technology, nutrition-sensitive agriculture, urban food systems, rural youth employment, and climate resilience. In 2015 she was a Visiting Fellow at the Tata-Cornell Agriculture and Nutrition Initiative (TCi) at Cornell University, New York. She has previously worked in the Philippines, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Tunisia, Syria, Saudi Arabia on a wide range of issues of agriculture and rural development. Shobha has a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Anna University, India. She earned her Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Agricultural Economics from Cornell University, USA.
Brian Ssebunya (Ph.D) based at the IRC Hub in Nairobi, Brian has over 15 years’ experiences with market systems and private sector development in emergency, recovery and development contexts in Africa and the Middle East. Brian supports IRC’s urban livelihoods projects in East Africa, focused on skills development, entrepreneurship and financial inclusion of urban refugees, as well as new delivery models for IRC’s urban refugee livelihoods programming globally. Brian holds a PhD in Social and Economic Sciences from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), in Austria.