New paper: the multiple roles of community savings in addressing urban poverty

November 7, 2011 | 1 Comment

A new paper on savings has just been posted on the Zunia website. Entitled “Capital, capacities and collaboration: the multiple roles of community savings in addressing urban poverty”, this forms part of the Human Settlements Working Paper Series by the International Institute for Environment and Development (iied). By Diana Mitlin, David Satterthwaite and Sheridan Bartlett, the paper includes a series of short boxes on examples of various savings initiatives around the world, including Slum/Shack Dwellers International, the Poor Peoples’ Movement in South Africa, Zimbabwe’s Gungano Fund, a savings group in Kasungu Town in Malawi which mobilized to acquire land and secure tenure. An interesting section explores the integration of community savings with financial markets and how this has been realized in specific cases. The paper offers a useful conceptual framework for understanding the variety in community savings initiatives around the world and how these experiences might be applied in specific contexts to enhance local financial capacity.


  1. anuj jain , 14 September 2012

    this is a very useful paper, shows how community based savings programs can create solidarity and collective initiative to tackle complex problems like urban housing. One of the key features of community savings is that it builds stake of the individual members in any collective enterprise, and forms the basis for advocating for rights (like shelter and housing) that are otherwise very difficult to negotiate for migrant and poor communities in urban settlements. Thanks for this paper, enjoyed reading it very much; hope this issue will continue to be explored!

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