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Submitted by Jeffrey Ashe on

Over the past 13 years I have been working on a variant of CCTs, savings groups where villages (most all of them women) save their own money, end it to each other over the year to for income soothing, stocking a business, buying animals, and divvy up their savings according to how much saved plus a share of the profits. I directed a program, called saving for change that trained groups with 650,000 members part of a larger savings group revolution with 10 million group members. No evidence of the money being misused but a major RCT showed decreased chronic hunger, increased assets, reaching the very poorest, the viral replication of the program into control villages by volunteers eager to share what they learned and increased social capital. The total investment per village of about 1,000 people, $1,000. This is a much lower cost intervention than CCTs. My book In Their Own Hands: How Savings Groups are Revolutionizing Development on savings groups and their impact will be published by Berrett Koehler in the fall.