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Catalysing Pro-Poor Development, the Role of Savings and Savings Organizations

Diana Mitlin

Working paper, 23 pages

Innovative strategies to enhance shelter finance based around the strengthening of savings and savings organizations can transform conventional finance into a catalyst for empowerment and development. Savings and loans increase local community development options by building confidence, securing recognition from state agencies and providing financial assets. In such programmes, money is no longer simply a means of exchange enabling the poor to participate in financial markets; money becomes a unifying force enabling people to enhance the resources that are immediately available to them and develop their collective skills. There are multiple benefits for local groups including the improvement of housing and neighbourhoods. The report summarises discussions at a workshop in June 2004 with participants from Africa, Asia and Latin America.

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Mitlin D (2005) Catalysing Pro-Poor Development, the Role of Savings and Savings Organizations. Human Settlements Working Paper Series Poverty Reduction in Urban Areas No. 15. IIED, London.

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Around a billion people live in informal settlements. Drawing on the knowledge and practical experience of our partners in Asia, Latin America and Africa, IIED is working to reduce urban poverty, and to change misleading views about urbanisation and rural change.

More at www.iied.org:
Introduction to urban poverty

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