FINANCIAL INCLUSION

COOPERATIVE FORMATION: Self-help in rural areas

ACCESS’s cooperative formation program uses a framework originally developed by GIZ and modified in the Philippines. The process begins with the Rapid Savings Mobilization Technique (RSMT), which facilitates the formation of savings groups and encourages the habit of regular savings among each group’s members. After at most six months, the Informal Group Consolidation Technique (IGCT) facilitates knowledge sharing among group leaders and a sense that each savings group is actually part of a much larger activity. The “lesson” of IGCT is that it makes sense for the savings groups to cooperate rather than work in isolation.

IGCT is followed with a set of trainings on cooperative formation focusing on governance, management, and establishing policies and procedures for savings and credit, as well as audit, fund management, and accounting/record keeping. With the formation of a general assembly, selection of a board of directors and training of management, the organization is on its way toward becoming reliable, locally-owned and operated financial service provider.

SERVICES OFFERED

  • Rapid Savings Mobilization Technique (RSMT)
  • Informal Group Consolidation Technique (IGCT)
  • Cooperative Formation and Governance Course (CFGC)
  • Cooperative management courses
    • Member-Savings Operation (MSO)
    • Credit management
    • Financial management
    • Internal audit
    • Risk management
  • Membership development

INNOVATIVE APPROACHES TO SUCCESS

The traditional approach to cooperative formation starts with a relatively small number of original incorporators and seeks to expand from that base. Since the cooperative’s initial resources are limited, its ability to attract and service new members is also limited, and the cooperative cannot reach scale quickly.

ACCESS’s approach emphasizes scale at the outset to ensure not only that the cooperative can generate enough revenue to cover staff and operating costs but also that its membership––and thus its risks––are diversified.

RESULTS AND REFERENCES

  • Cooperative Formation as a Platform for Economic Empowerment in a Post-Conflict Area: USAID Myanmar, 2017-18.
  • Formation of Savings and Credit Cooperatives in Three Locations in Myanmar: New Humanity, 2017-18.
  • A Linkage Model for Commercial Bank Financing of Rural SMEs: GIZ Myanmar, 2016.
  • Supporting Financial Access via Cooperative Upgrading and Enterprise and Farm Development in Kayin State, Myanmar: European Union and Agence Francaise de Developpement, 2014-17.
  • Improving Livelihood of Small Scale Low Income Farmers affected by Typhoon Haiyan through Enhanced Institutional Capacities of Cooperatives in Eastern Visayas: Japan International Cooperation Agency, 2016-19.
  • Regional Programme on Remittances and Diaspora Investment for Rural Development: International Fund for Agricultural Development, 2015-18. International Fund for Agricultural Development, 2015-18.
  • Improving Financial Access of Small Scale Farmers in Mindanao: Japan International Cooperation Agency, 2011-14.
  • Building Wealth for Filipino Farmers: Citi Foundation & Schmitz Schtiftung, 2013-14.
  • Research on GrouptoCoop Transformation through Networking in Cambodia: Canadian Cooperative Association, 2013.
  • Improving Financial Inclusion and Social Impact toward Food Security in Southeast Asia: European Union and Agence Française de Développement, 2010-13.
  • Remittance-Building Linkages for the Development of Rural Migrants and their Families through Microfinance Services (ReBuiLD MFS): International Fund for Agricultural Development, 2010-12.