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Expanding Financial Inclusion in Africa

This brief describes the findings of an ex-post evaluation of the Mastercard Foundation-funded Expanding Financial Inclusion in Africa (EFI) program, delivered by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and implementing partners in Burkina Faso, Senegal, Zambia and Uganda, from 2013 to 2017.


Within EFI, Private Service Providers (PSPs) formed and supported Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILC), providing vulnerable families with the opportunity to access easy, safe and regular opportunities to pool their savings, make loans to each other and earn dividends.

The evaluation assesses the extent to which the PSPs trained and certified, and the SILC groups formed, during EFI were still functioning 19 months after the program ended; and the extent to which the PSP model has contributed to the sustainability of activities and results. Of the four former EFI countries, the program in Uganda was selected for this case study as its project sites had not received follow-on support from CRS or implementing partners after EFI, making it the most appropriate country in which to assess post-project sustainability in the absence of further intervention.

The evaluation forms part of Mastercard Foundation’s commitment to
programmatic learning through its Savings Learning Lab, a six-year initiative
implemented by Itad in partnership with SEEP to support learning across
its savings sector portfolio of programs.