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Zooming in on Informal Savings Mechanisms in Zambia

This study of informal savings mechanisms (ISMs) and their users was conducted in three provinces of Zambia in 2019. Commissioned by the Savings at the Frontier (SatF) programme (a partnership between Mastercard Foundation and Oxford Policy Management) and Financial Sector Deepening Zambia (FSDZ) it was conducted by Oxford Policy Management in collaboration with Paul Rippey and IPSOS Zambia. This report is primarily intended for Financial Service Providers, though the authors expect it to be of interest and use to a wider audience, including donors, and regulatory and facilitating agencies.

The study’s intention was to provide the reader with new insights regarding users of ISMs, how they perceive their groups and formal financial service providers (FSPs), and what drives their decisions to use one service rather than another. The study is qualitative rather than quantitative – that is, it was not designed to answer questions of how many or how much, but rather why.

The Mastercard Foundation Partnership for Finance in a Digital Africa
The Mastercard Foundation seeks a world where everyone has the opportunity to learn and prosper. All people, no matter where their starting point in life, should have an equal chance to succeed. We believe that with access to education, financial services, and skills training, people can have that chance. Our focus is helping economically disadvantaged young people in Africa to find opportunities to move themselves, their families, and their communities out of poverty to a better life.

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