CRS’ relationship with local implementing partners is central to promoting the financial inclusion on vulnerable households.


3 partners
  • Catholic Diocese of Mansa
  • Caritas Mpika
  • Kasama Christian Community Care


  • 5,078 Groups formed
  • 1,801,024 Value of Cycle’s savings
  • 116,969 SILC members
  • 1,683,537 Value of credits in progress
  • 69% Female members
  • 35% Return on savings
  • 99.6% retention of SILC members



In partnership with Microfinance Opportunities and Kasama Christian Community Care, EFI Zambia implemented a rigorous 2-year study using the Financial Diaries methodology to better understand how households utilize the resources that SILCs provide and if they benefitted from the services.

Over a 110 week period more enumerators captured more than 200,000 financial transactions and the findings are strong:

    Financial Tool Use – Households are depositing into their savings account 3 times per month and accessing 3 loans per cycle - SILC loans were nearly four times larger than loans from informal sources.

  • Investment – SILC households increased the amount of money on business inputs during the two year study period. There was also significant increases in agricultural inputs, household assets, and education payments after households received their SILC dividend.
  • Managing Cash Flow – SILC households slightly increased their reliance on SILC loans in weeks in which they earned no income, suggesting that these loans helped with consumption smoothing.

In partnership with Financial Sector Deepening Zambia’s Women in Finance project.

CRS’ SILC partners are supporting a new project whose goal is to facilitate a low-cost, easy to access, digital school fee payment solutions and encourage accessible and affordable digital savings. By offering mothers an education payment solution, WIN aims to increase the number of children, and in particular, girls, going and staying in school by offering their mothers access to digital savings and digital school fee payments.

Poverty Outreach

In Zambia, a team of enumerators administered Progress out of Poverty Index (PPI) interviews in 63 villages to 110 SILC groups. In total, 1,198 SILC group members were interviewed.  In the same, or near-by, villages 531 PPI interviews were also administered. When comparing the SILC group members to the reference, the data show that the SILC group members were poorer.  When performing a village-by-village comparison, the researchers found that 60% of the SILC group members in Zambia came from the poorer half of their community.