Strategic partnerships is one of key pillars of RUFEP’s implementation strategy. Strategic  partners have an established working relationship with RUFEP through signed Memorandums of Understanding(MoUs) or Partnership agreements.

  • Bank of Zambia
  • Development Bank of Zambia
  • SaveNet
  • Association of Microfinance Institutions of Zambia(AMIZ)
  • Financial Sector Deepening Zambia(FSDZ)
  • University of Mannheim

Under Window 1, RUFEP is collaborating with the University of Mannheim to conduct a Randomized Control Trial (RCT) which is regarded as a golden standard of impact evaluations. Over 500 CBFIs under four local implementation partners were allocated to either a Control Group or specific Treatment Groups based on randomization of savings groups – individually or clustered into one unit to minimize spill-over effects.  University of Mannheim (UM) evaluates two CBFI-based interventions, with 3 treatments and one control group in total, as detailed below:

(i) UM evaluates the establishment of linkages between CBFIs and formal financial institutions like ZANACO or NATSAVE facilitated by the four implementing partners. Linking allows VSLAs to gain access to the formal financial market thereby helping to increase financial inclusion.

(ii) UM evaluates the effect of informal insurance systems. Participating CBFIs strengthen their inherent social fund as an insurance pool to cover socio-economic shocks, such as funerals and food-shortages, of members and their families. The increase of this insurance pool seeks to improve CBFIs resilience to cope with social economic vulnerabilities and shocks.

Consequently, the three treatment groups consist of (a.) a group receiving linkage component and training; (b.) a group benefiting from training and the social fund component; and (c.) the last group would participate in training and both social fund and linkage intervention.

Over the course of three years, three extensive data collections are conducted within the RCT capturing both general CBFI information, socio-economic information about households of savings group members and their individual situation and behaviour. This creates a unique data set with a one-of-a kind coverage. After the end line survey in May 2019, the RCT design allows for precise effect measures and a causal inference on treatments effects.