Working to Enhance Community-Managed Savings Groups

8 people dressed in white tshirts with orange designs pose for a photo in front of blue water, blue skies and a mountain in the distance.

As part of a 2024 partnership between World Vision Philippines and the Business on the Frontlines Program, our team traveled to the Philippines to conduct research on the overall effectiveness of and find areas for improvement for the Community-Managed Savings and Credit Association to objectively provide information that aligns with WVP’s mission and aspirations for the program.

In less than two weeks, the ND Team and WVP staff visited more than ten barangays in Leyte and Samar and conducted fifteen interviews with various stakeholders, community members, CoMSCA members, Agents, WVP staff, and more. We focused on collecting qualitative data with an emphasis on personal stories and anecdotes. Additionally, the ND Team sought to create an atmosphere of respect, trust, transparency, and approachability during the interviews and visits to the communities. This enabled more honest and open communication among the groups, naturally leading to many of our key insights.

This report contains insights and recommendations based on community engagement, expert interviews, and field research. It discusses our in-depth assessment of key success factors and how future programming can be enhanced to better serve CoMSCA communities in the future.

Based on our experiences, we developed key insights of current CoMSCA programming in order to suggest recommendations to innovate the CoMSCA process in the Philippines. While existing CoMSCA programming has proven to be highly effective and beneficial to the community members it serves, there are opportunities to create more consistency across CoMSCAs, increase loan sizes, support new business growth, and leverage data for WVP programming. 

Strengthen Agents: These recommendations address the variability of engagement and efficacy of Agents in CoMSCAs across the regions. 

  1. Information sharing system between Agents

  2. Agent certification

  3. Consistent benefit offerings

Increase Access to Capital: These recommendations address the need for greater loans in order for members to make significant entrepreneurial investments.

  1. Savings reinvestment after share-out

  2. Formalize joint-loaning between members

Empower Entrepreneurs: These recommendations address the need for education and training for members who seek to start their own businesses.

  1. Encourage greater productivity fund

  2. Build entrepreneurial skills

  3. Provide platform for collaboration

Leverage Data: These recommendations address the lack of transparency and communication between CoMSCA groups and World Vision Headquarters.

  1. Standardize data collection across CoMSCA networks 

  2. Potential data management solutions