A Case Study of Rural Finance Self-Help Groups in Uganda and Their Impact on Poverty Alleviation and Development

The intent of this research is to study the impact of financial Self Help Groups (SHGs) on poverty alleviation in Uganda. Specifically, the intent is to focus on rural poverty and the poverty of women. Additionally, this research is intended to study the impact of SHGs on the development of their communities, both material and non-material development. It focuses specifically on the development of women. This research also focuses on documenting the successes of SHGs and the limitations and challenges they face and on making recommendations that will improve their effectiveness. The SHGs studied are under the Self Help Group Approach Uganda (SHGAU) organization.  This research was conducted in Kampala, Uganda and Masuliita, Uganda.

The main findings of the research supported the claim that SHGs are very successful in alleviating poverty in rural areas and increasing human development, especially among women. The limitations the groups faced were not so much with the groups themselves, although there may be a few very minor structural problems with the groups, but with outside forces, mostly cultural and economic. Specifically, the Ugandan cultural views of women and the poor economic market situation in Uganda hindered the impact of the groups. Recommendations, therefore, focus mainly on social equality and on a stronger economy that will make it easier for these groups to succeed and facilitate even more poverty alleviation and development.

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