The Impact of Gender in Digital Solutions for Savings Groups
This document is one of three research briefs that highlight key insights from a study of digital savings groups (DSGs) conducted in rural Tanzania from August 2019 through February 2020. The research was conducted by the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) working with savings groups supported by PCI, a Global Communities Partner, and their Women Empowered (WE) program. The study followed two sets of WE savings groups that used the DreamSave app from DreamStart Labs. The first set of groups were mature savings groups that had been recording transactions on paper for multiple years, then switched to DreamSave (“Paper-to-Digital”). The second set of groups learned the savings group model using the app from the beginning (“Born Digital”).
This brief emphasizes the need to ensure that women and men have equal access to digital financial services and lists three lessons on gendered dynamics of DSGs: 1) Women need to be targeted for digital literacy training; 2) Building trust and confidence is critical; and 3) Digitization will increase women’s marginalization without targeted effort.