From the Editors,
In the late summer issue of the newsletter, we would like to highlight topic of access to financial services and the importance of savings. Today we are faced with an array of financial crises and periodic shortages of liquidity. As a consequence many people do not easily get access to financial services and are more oriented in safe investments and saving. Many donors and investors have long recognized the importance of savings services for poor people. CGAP developed a Technical Guide, Advancing Savings Services: Resource Guide for Funders to help guide donors and investors who wish to support savings mobilization. The guide provides advice on actions related to client demand, institutional supply, intermediation, and regulation and supervision. It also includes instruction on how funders can assess their own organizational capacity to support savings mobilization and discusses the most effective use of different funding instruments.
Additionally, the FAO paper "Rural Women's Access to Financial Services: Credit, Savings and Insurance" discusses rural women’s access to financial services and a key factor of successful rural development strategies. The paper argues that it is important that development strategies that aim to boost rural women’s productive capacity must enhance women’s direct access to financial services. These include technical innovations that improve access to existing financial services, changes in product design to better tailor products to women’s preferences and constraints, and the development of new products such as microinsurance.
In the news we would like to highlight two major events taking place during the month of October. First is the XIV Foromic. Foromic is the principal venue for topics related to micro and small enterprise development and finance in Latin America and the Caribbean. This year it will focus on women entrepreneurs, their challenges, and exceptional economic gains that the region reaps from fostering growth in their businesses. In addition, the participants in the Foromic will consult on responsible microfinance, innovative technology for financial inclusion, rural finance, and value chains. The event will be held in San Jose, Costa Rica from October 10 - 13, 2011.
A second event is the Arusha Savings Groups Summit (ASGS), which will be the first global event for practitioners of savings group methodologies. It will be held October 4th through 6th in Arusha, Tanzania. The aim of the ASGS is for participants to share experiences with savings groups in order to identify responses to common problems, uncover demand-driven innovations, and explore the frontier of the savings movement. The Summit hopes to build a vision for the role that savings groups play in financial inclusion, social protection, and empowerment.
With the best regards,
The RFLC editorial team