Women’s World Banking (WWB) 1 has provided technical assistance on the development of innovative youth savings programs at four of its affiliated network member institutions over the past five years. It began the process in Mongolia at XacBank for youth ages 14-24 and at Banco Adopem in the Dominican Republic for youth ages 7-24, and then it carried lessons learned over into its work with Kenya Women’s Finance Trust in Kenya. WWB is now providing technical assistance to PEACE MFI S.CO in Ethiopia to replicate the successful youth savings work for youth ages 12-14. More than 26,000 youth are already saving at these four financial institutions, and WWB has plans to continue replicating its lessons learned to additional financial institutions in the coming year.
The Population Council (the Council) 2 has also been working to promote its unique asset building model for vulnerable girls, ages 10-19, in Sub-Saharan Africa. It began testing the model, Safe and Smart Savings Products for Vulnerable Girls, with Faulu and K-Rep Bank in Kenya, and FINCA and Finance Trust in Uganda in 2008. Lessons learned from this program were then incorporated into a revised model for the Adolescent Girls Empowerment Program in Zambia. WWB and the Council share lessons learned from their replication activities below.
- 1. The mission of the Women's World Banking (WWB) global network is to expand the economic assets, participation and power of low-income women and their households by helping them access financial services, knowledge and markets. WWB is the only microfinance network with an explicit focus on women. Its network of 39 financial organizations from 28 countries—also known as microfinance institutions—located around the world provide small loans, sometimes as modest as $100, to people to start their businesses. Women's World Banking is focused on ensuring women have access to these microloans.
- 2. Population Council has more than 600 staff members from 33 countries in 18 offices that conduct research and implement programs in more than 50 countries around the world. Working with governments and civil society organizations, they combine excellence in demographic studies, operations research, technical assistance, basic biomedical research on reproductive physiology and HIV, and the development of new contraceptives and products to prevent the transmission of HIV. Population Council also improves the research capacity of reproductive and population scientists in developing countries through grants, fellowships, and support of research centers.