4.3.6 Focusing on Savings Alone is Potentially Risky

Results from Population Council’s evaluation of its Kenya and Uganda programs revealed that girls who were saving only and as not part of a group, were more likely to be robbed and harassed by men and boys. This important finding highlights the need to look beyond simple account opening. Rather, programs should be designed to learn what works for girls and then provide them with the necessary support services that will encourage them to save and grow their assets. The Council also experimented with different sequences of activities in Kenya and Uganda where some girls opened an account first and then joined a group and vice versa. The Zambia program has settled on a model whereby girls first join a group and then open a savings account. In this way, The Council can recruit the most vulnerable girls, based on a vulnerability scale, and ensure that the platform or foundation is established prior to providing any of the asset building services.