To address the issue of group formation being stunted after projects end and the inherent unsustainability of this approach, CRS developed the Private Service Provider (PSP) methodology. In this model, agents are recruited, but the project only pays them for a limited period of time. After 9 months of operation, agents undergo an examination process to assess the quality of their work and readiness to work independently of the project. Successful agents are certified as PSPs and, from that moment, offer their training and support services to the communities at a fee, without minimal project support.
As part of the PSP methodology CRS has developed training modules in PSP Network formation and PSP Apprenticeship training. PSPs Networks are a peer support group that can replace some of the functions of implementing partners and enhance the sustainability of the approach. One of the responsibilities the PSP Networks take is the recruiting, training and certifying of Apprentices. Apprentices are most often SILC group members interested to take on the challenge of becoming SILC trainers. From the project perspective, the Apprentice model is a sustainable way to ensure ongoing coverage of an area with qualified SILC providers.
The EFI project has performed a portfolio of research that focus on the SILC groups the PSPs have formed, the PSPs themselves, the Networks they have created, and the Apprentices they have trained.