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Gender dynamics in rural finance

Knowledge sharing

Back in Nigeria, implement the learnings         

After the learning exchange the local group participants decide to focus on the FALS tools. The first step was a ToT by the Philippine FALS trainer to train a group of representatives responsible for testing the FALS tools in VSLA groups.  The integration of Financial Action Learning System (FALS) into Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLA) is aimed at not only building financial and economic capacities of VSLA members but to also build trust among spouse and members of the VSLA. In this regard, an on-line Training of the Trainers (ToT) on FALS was organized by OXFAM/YMCA.  The training was aimed at building and improving the capacity of the participants to drive the FALS process and mainstream gender perspective into VSLA activities in YMCA. The two days training was facilitated by Intan Darmawati a Gender Inclusion Expert.

There were 14 Nigerian participants from YMCA team, GALS facilitators and gender experts.

Some Emerging issues from the discussions

  1. Loans are for a maximum period of three months and this may be repaid in flexible installments at a monthly service charge determined by the group. Hence, in using FMC should VSLA members focus strictly on the loan period (i.e. 3 months)?
  2. The VSLA rely solely on their own savings and have no access to external funds at the moment.  In this case, what happens to the green line below - ‘loan repayment when doing analysis?
  3. How can VSLA members accurately calculate and record their cash flow and expenses considering the level of literacy among the VSLA members?
  4. Documentation of savings loans and repayments was found to be done on VSLA passbook. In this context how can members’ passbook be aligned with FMC considering that most of the financial transactions are done weekly rather than monthly?

Lesson learnt

  1. FALS provide households and groups with tools that helps in planning and make concrete financial decisions as well as address gender issues in financial management.
  2. For FALS to be well integrated into VSLA, stability and consensus within the households is essential. This is because families that work together better manage their finances thus helping them to achieve their visions
  3. In developing the tools individuals need to engage their household in planning and identifying challenges to achieving their visions. This will go a long way to deepen corporation as well as resolve some of the challenges can be handled before their become a problem.

QUOTES from participants

Learning about Financial Management Calendar is like knowing how to swim through a river of Challenges” – Musa Ndahi

FALS is a visioner, a planner and a capacity builder” – Joseph Akolo Eki

For me the training was a redefining moment for me financially. It is obvious that FALS is an important Methodology that can address financial issues in detail, making one to be fully aware of daily cashflow.  It is highly recommended for individuals, families, and organizations. Many thanks for the invite to participate- Joy Alfa

Next steps

  • Organize ToT for GALS champion to field test and adapt toolkits
  • Based on the feedback from the piloting with GALS champions, the tools will be revised before upscaling through peer sharing networks and VSLA

Full report is here

Reflection trainer is here