The group savings resource book - A practical guide to help groups mobilize and manage their savings

This book, written by Ji-Yeune Rim & John Rouse for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) provides detailed guidance on setting up group savings plans.

The book is broken into two parts with the first focusing on the advantages and disadvantages of saving in a group and the constraining and enabling factors to consider when starting a group saving activity. The second part of the book focuses on various tools that can be used to collect information on the village when starting a saving activity.


"Group saving approaches have had notable successes when they are responsibly managed, and when the savings are felt as an asset by their members. Many of these successes have occurred when women have been significantly involved in their constitution and management, as has been seen in the case of the Grameen Bank experience in Bangladesh. By providing a means to safely pool their savings, these approaches can help the poor and disadvantaged accumulate productive resources more efficiently. Group savings also help build solidarity among members and provide a safety net against exploitative money-lending. Ample evidence of this exists in the widespread use of informal and formal group saving approaches around the world: rotating savings and credit groups, savings clubs, village banks, credit unions, and so on. The fact that they must be essentially self managed, gives the opportunity to generate group self-confidence, the first step towards sustainable poverty elimination."


  • CHAPTER 1: Saving first 8
    • What is saving? 8
    • Why people save 8
    • How people save 9
    • What about borrowing? 11
    • How can the poor save more? 12
  • CHAPTER 2: Getting started 14
    • Factors enabling or constraining saving 17
    • Keys to success 22
    • Tips for group facilitators 26
  • CHAPTER 3: Saving as a group 29
    • Rotating Savings and Credit Association (ROSCA) 30
    • Accumulative Savings and Credit Association (ASCA) 38
    • Credit Union (Savings and Credit Cooperative) 48
    • Linking up with banks and other financial institutions 53
  • PART B: TOOLS 59
  • CHAPTER 4: Knowing the village 60
    • Village social map - Who is living where? 61
    • Wealth ranking - Who is who? 64
    • Venn diagram - Who is doing what? 66
  • CHAPTER 5: Money management 70
    • Household economy map 70
    • Cash flow tree 72
    • Seasonal calendar 75
    • Counting and basic calculations 76
  • CHAPTER 6: Planning for growth 78
    • Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats 79
    • Business plan 81
    • Participatory monitoring and evaluation 82


Rim, J., & Rouse, J., (2002), The Group Savings Resource Book - A Practical Guide to Help Groups Mobilize and Manage Their Savings, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Retrieved from:

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