Mikrofinans i Malawi
(Microfinance in Malawi)
In the period 2009–13, the ROCKWOOL Foundation supported a microfinance project in Malawi, implemented by DanChurchAid and SOLDEV, a Malawian NGO. The initiative focused on establishing Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLA) in 46 villages in northern Malawi. Each group consisted of 15–25 people who jointly saved up money on a weekly basis in order to lend it out to individual group members. The groups themselves set the interest rates on loans, and the interest thus earned was then distributed among the group as interest on the savings. The Savings and Loans Associations were given intensive education in the start-up phase, but they subsequently received no additional support – not even external seed capital.
The intervention was designed so as to make it possible to perform a quantitative impact assessment. Based on a randomised design with randomly selected participant- and control-group villages, this assessment produced solid documentation of the impact of the Savings and Loans Associations on a range of pre-defined parameters, including food security and prosperity measurements. The project is one of the first at international level to publish the results of an impact assessment of Savings and Loans Associations performed as a randomised trial.