In mid-December an SDI Core Team meeting, comprising of key federation leaders, took place in Mumbai, India. The first day of discussions focused on reports from the countries present while broader network-wide themes were discussed on day 2.
One of the key outcomes of this meeting was the Core Team’s agreement to establish an executive committee that will draw from the membership of the existing Core team. The terms of reference and structure of the Executive Committee will be ratified at the next SDI Board and Council meeting.
This newsflash provides key snippets of the updates and discussions that took place.
Brief summary of country progress:
- In Uganda the Federation is expanding and is now present in 21 different municipalities.
- A leadership meeting took place in Kampala from the 1st -3rd December and included national leaders from Kenya, Tanzania and Ghana.
- Market upgrading projects are in the pipeline in Nakawa/kinawataka and Kakira markets
- Through citywide profiling 62 new groups have been mobilized in Dar es Salaam.
- The municipality of Dodoma has given the federation 2 acres of land for a recycling center. While the Temeke municipality (Dar es Salaam) has provided 3 plots for the construction of public toilet blocks.
- A Savings Symposium including delegations from Malawi, Zimbabwe and Zambia took place in December and focused on deepening and strengthening savings in South Africa.
- The federation is now present in 20 cities and there has been a noticeable increase in both membership and savings.
- A MoU with the City of Lusaka will be signed in January
- Evictions remain a challenge and the Zambian national leadership has requested assistance from the executive committee.
- The federation is now working in 62 informal settlements in Zimbabwe. Toilet blocks are under construction in Chinhoyi and a school toilet is being built in DZ Extension (Harare).
The core team agreed that savings should always be a tool for mobilizing people, resources and collecting information. Furthermore the key principle of daily savings should be anytime, anywhere and any amount.
Leaders should lead by example, and encourage daily savings and be accountable back down to their original savings groups. Each country should find ways to incentivize collectors and hold forums (or exchanges) for collectors and treasurers.
How do we sustain the federations in the absence of donor funding?
It was agreed that saving schemes, should be encouraged to pay for some of their costs and activities (e.g. transport). Federations should also work with professionals to identify the best financial products to earn interest for their savings.
6,000 settlement profiles have been conducted to date and housed within SDI’s internal database. Discussions around how this data should be shared and made available are needed. It was agreed that the launch of the data platform should take place after the SDI Board and Council meeting in March. It was agreed that the Federation should have full knowledge of all the profiles conducted in their respective countries and take time to validate all data before sending it to SDI.
A number of countries have expressed an interest in working with SDI (Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, and Argentina). It was agreed that South Africa will anchor the process in Latin America.