January 2020
From the editor

Dear RFILC members,

We would like to start the January edition of our newsletter with a newly published report titled: “Zooming in on Informal Savings Mechanisms in Zambia”. This study on informal savings mechanisms (ISMs) and their users, was carried out in 2019 by the Savings at the Frontier programme (a partnership between Mastercard Foundation and Oxford Policy Management) and Financial Sector Deepening Zambia in three provinces of Zambia. It is a qualitative rather than quantitative study, it was not designed to answer questions such as how many users of ISMs there are or how much they save, but rather why specific savings decisions are made. The report provides readers with several new insights regarding ISM users, how they perceive informal savings groups and formal financial service providers, and what drives their decisions to use one particular service instead of another.

The second highlight of the month is a report by the Pakistan Microfinance Network and Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) titled: “Warehouse Receipt Financing: Tackling Financial Needs of Smallholder Farmers in Pakistan”. The study focuses on four non-perishable crops: wheat, maize, cotton, and rice.  Its overall aim is to investigate the potential of warehouse receipt financing (WRF) for smallholder farmers in Pakistan, as well as to provide key information on the current landscape in this regard. The report illustrates the key barriers to farmers’ increased participation in WRF, while also providing concrete recommendations and proposals that could stimulate WRF usage and development in this context.

Finally, we would like to remind members of RFILC of the upcoming global conference on “The Future of Savings Groups” which will take place in Durban, South Africa on March 10-12. The conference is organized by the SEEP Network with support from the FinMark Trust and SaveAct. The event offers a platform for attendees to connect, engage and learn from each other about the challenges and opportunities they face in supporting savings groups worldwide. This highly interactive and demand-driven event will bring together practitioners, private sector actors, donors, and public sector representatives from around the world. Participants will converge to share lessons learned, evolving practices, and innovative ideas through peer learning sessions, plenaries, an innovation challenge, and a technology fair. To register, please, click here.

With best regards,
The RFILC Editorial Team

We hope you enjoy your visit to the RFILC.


The Rural Finance and Investment Learning Centre is a part of the CABFIN Partnership Project which aims to promote and facilitate capacity building in rural finance. The concerns of rural finance are to ensure that people living in rural areas have access to financial services such as deposit and money transfer facilities, insurance and loan products. Effective use of these services can help to improve livelihoods and reduce rural poverty. The following CABFIN Partners have provided financial support to the RFILC: