Two types of guide are included in this section:
Earlier versions of the guides (including an early Arabic version) are available upon request to
These manuals arose out of fieldwork in the West Bank of Palestine, where we developed a Sharia compliant model. We then discovered significant advantages in this model, which permitted loans to be taken and repaid at every meeting and makes it much simpler to calculate loan balances. We then realised that we could apply these benefits to the previous 1.06 version, also for groups that were charging interest, thereby simplifying training and the skills needed by Record-keepers. These manuals are revised from previous versions in the following ways:
Important note: If you decide to use this model, please contact VSL Associates (firstname.lastname@example.org), in order to have us adapt the service charge (interest) calculation tables to your country. This is needed because some currencies (such as the Tanzania shilling to the $US) have very large numbers, while others (such as the Ghanaian Cedi) have much smaller numbers. There is no charge for this service.
These manuals were written in 2015 and remained more or less unchanged until 2019, when the simplified 2.1 manuals were developed.
Trainers who work in the field are:
The difference between versions 1.05 and 1.06 is that 1.06 has a more complete loan record-keeping system, which permits a monthly total to be calculated, comprised of principal and interest, whereas 1.05 does not. Both manuals require loans to be taken and repaid on a monthly basis.
1.05 is in English, French, Kiswahili, Portuguese and Spanish, while 1.06 is only in English and French.
Village Savings and Loan Federations are 'groups of groups'. They consist of clusters of between five to ten VSLAs. Their principal function is to mobilise additional savings from individual VSLAs, so that any VSLA in the Federation can request a six-month loan to increase the value of its loan fund, when extra capital is in demand.
Working with Plan Tanzania, we simplified and standardised their approach to federating VSLAs, using meeting
procedures and systems based closely on how things are done at the VSLA level. This has been successful, with over 250 such VSLFs, recording high rates of return and capital formation. Oxfam in
Nigeria has also successfully adopted this model and forms a key part of their long-term programme strategy.
The manuals that we attach are in English and French and cover not only the formation and functioning of VSLFs, but changes that are needed at the level of member VSLAs in order to mobilise funds to invest in the VSLF, but also to repay loans.
Many mature projects have reached a point at which they want VSLA members to think about how to select, plan and manage income-generating activities (IGAs). There are a number of training models that do this, but the SPM model, originally developed in Bangladesh by CARE, took a different approach. It differs from other models in the following ways:
It is based on the following main modules:
For the moment this manual is only available in English.