Savings Groups, Community Resilience Building and Social Protection in Hatcliffe, Harare
Chineka, Tanatswa S.
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The prevailing economic environment in Zimbabwe has given rise to intricate vagaries of an economic nature that have worsened the plight of poor households. It creates a need for appropriate social protection mechanisms of a development nature that improve the resilience of households at risk. This study sought to identify ways in which Community Savings Groups (CSGs) improve community resilience. Informed by the resilience theory propounded by VanBreda (2001), this study employed a mixed methods approach with a qualitative emphasis. Data were collected through focus group discussions and a brief survey on 39 participants who are members of two CSGs operating in the Hatcliffe community of Zimbabwe. In-depth interviews were carried out with selected key informants. An analysis of secondary records was conducted to augment the primary data. The research findings showed that CSGs provide accessible credit facilities that participants resort to in times of crisis. Furthermore, CSGs improve the capacity of participants to acquire assets which are liquidated in times of need. However, institutional and structural frameworks that protect and guide the operation of community savings groups are lacking in Zimbabwe. The study concluded that community savings groups constitute a viable social safety net for vulnerable rural households. The absence of coordinating and guiding institutional and structural frameworks detract from the potential of CSGs to effectively function as social safety nets. It is recommended that government and development agencies urgently provide institutional and structural mechanisms that coordinate and protect the operations of CSGs. A review of the legal frameworks guiding the operations of informal social security schemes such as CSGs is required.
Additional Citation InformationChineka, T., & Mundau, M. (2019). Savings Groups, Community Resilience Building and Social Protection in Hatcliffe, Harare. Journal Of Urban Systems And Innovations For Resilience In Zimbabwe, 1(1&2), 133-148.
University of Zimbabwe