- Digitization has multiple benefits for savings groups and their members, but it also comes with new challenges, risks, and uncertainties. It is crucial for all actors involved in digitization efforts to share insights and experiences with each other so that we can learn from successes and shortcomings in the sector.
- The DSG Hub is an online learning and community platform aimed at facilitating thoughtful, safe, and inclusive digitization of savings groups. We envisioned the Hub as a global destination for anyone who is planning, implementing, developing technology for, or studying digital savings groups (DSGs).
- There are many ways to participate in the DSG Hub community. We welcome and highly encourage your ideas, active involvement, and contributions.
- Browse the DSG Hub and share your feedback. Use our online Contact form or email us at [email protected] with any ideas or suggestions.
- Subscribe to our monthly newsletter, register as a member, and begin interacting with other DSG practitioners on our Community platform.
- Share your experiences and thoughts on digitizing savings groups. Review our Propose Content page, contribute resources, and write a guest blog post for the DSG Hub blog.
Why we created the DSG Hub
We are thrilled to welcome you to the DSG Hub community! As digital solutions for savings groups become more widespread and increasingly attractive to users—particularly since the initial onset of the COVID-19 pandemic—more implementers are considering digitization in their programs. Emerging evidence demonstrates that going digital may have multiple benefits for savings groups and their members. It may save time and simplify recordkeeping; reduce paperwork and errors; and promote access to formal financial services. It may also encourage uptake of mobile technologies, which is critical in the era of digital transformation and ecommerce. But digitization also comes with challenges. These include data privacy violations, cybercrime threats, and sustainability risks. In addition, digitization may feel more daunting than beneficial to many savings group members, especially those who have had little or no exposure to technology and lack knowledge, trust, and confidence in using it. Many women fall into this category and face marginalization if technology is introduced to their savings groups in a gender-ignorant manner.
In the past decade many stakeholders—from non-governmental organizations to technology and financial service providers—have developed, tested, and implemented a growing range of digital solutions in savings group projects around the world. Some have succeeded and others have been one off attempts that fell flat. Each of these projects has generated tools and lessons learned, which would greatly benefit others starting and managing their DSG projects. This information is, however, not always easy to find, especially in the absence of a shared online space for savings group practitioners. We have launched the DSG Hub to fill this vacuum and create a global destination for anyone who is planning, implementing, developing technology for, or studying DSGs.
What is the DSG Hub?
The Digital Savings Group (DSG) Hub is an online learning and community platform aimed at facilitating thoughtful, safe, and inclusive digitization of savings groups. The overall goal of the Hub is to help actors make sound decisions about whether and how to digitize savings groups effectively. The DSG Hub contains a wide variety of practical, easy-to-find, and easy-to-use resources to support savings group members and practitioners on their digitization journeys. The DSG Hub also serves as a tool for an ongoing community engagement, allowing diverse actors from across the industry to connect with one another, share insights and experiences, and learn from successes and shortcomings in the sector. The project is funded by the FAHU Foundation and implemented by Global Communities.
The DSG Hub is a dynamic, vendor-neutral, and regularly updated repository for anyone to use free of charge. We trust and hope that the Hub will of value to the entire DSG community.
How you can get involved
The success of the DSG Hub will largely depend on the input and support from our community members like you. There are many ways to contribute to the Hub.
- SHARE EXISTING CONTENT. The DSG Hub will be pleased to publish or link already existing content on our Resources page.
- PROPOSE A NEW RESOURCE OR BLOG POST. Many practitioners involved in the digitization of savings groups have either external-facing documents or internal lessons learnt and tools that can be published with minor adaptations. If you have a resource or blog post idea, please share the concept with us as a short abstract, draft, or outline.
- CONTRIBUTE TO OUR MONTHLY NEWSLETTER. The DSG Hub will be pleased to include your announcements, such as information about new resources, jobs, collaboration opportunities, or events. We would like our newsletter to be the voice of the DSG community.
- BECOME A KEY COMMUNITY CONTRIBUTOR. The DSG Hub is continually seeking Key Community Contributors who can commit to creating resources for the Hub. All Key Contributors are prominently featured on our About page.
- ENGAGE WITH THE DSG HUB COMMUNITY. We highly encourage our users to become registered members of the DSG Hub, actively engage on the site by commenting on, “liking,” and sharing published content, and interact with other members through our Community platform.
Please browse through the Hub; review our Propose Content page; and contact us via our online Contact form or at [email protected] to learn more, contribute content, and share ideas. We look forward to hearing from you!
Photo credit: Tony Tseng