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Refugees Can't Join Savings Groups...or Can They?

Event Date: 
Jan 16, 2020
9:00 am to 10:00 am EST
Online Event
The Seep Network


We know that Savings Groups are powerful. We know they can work for refugees and displaced people. But Savings Groups are seldom promoted among refugee populations. Why is this? Why do development and humanitarian actors working with refugees not see them as key tools in their toolbox?

This webinar is hosted by the SEEP Network’s Peer Learning Group (PLG) on Savings Groups for Refugees – composed of representatives from the Danish Refugee Council, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy of Tufts University, FSD Africa, Mercy Corps, Trickle Up, the United Nations Capital Development Fund, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and VisionFund International.

Through consultations with experts, Savings Groups and refugee and host communities over the past year, the Peer Learning Group dispelled several widely-held misconceptions – culminating in 10 tips for development, humanitarian and market actors that promote or work with Savings Groups for refugees.

In this webinar, we will discuss how these tips came to be; explore one of the tips in detail; and most critically, hear how these lessons have changed UNHCR’s approach to Savings Groups for refugees.

We will also hear from FSD Africa, UNCDF, VisionFund International and others working with refugee Savings Groups from East Africa to Jordan....let’s see if they change some of your assumptions.

We believe if we can harness the community-led, low-cost, scalable nature of Savings Groups and make them work for the 65 million individuals that have been forcibly displaced worldwide because of persecution, conflict, violence, or human rights violations, we are on our way to valuable impact.

Interested in learning more? Hear from PLG members in-person at SG2020: The Future of Savings Groups! Joined by Seed Effect, an expert panel with direct experience implementing Savings Groups in various refugee contexts will host a Peer Learning Session sharing their practical experiences, challenges, innovations, and outcomes.


  • Sarah Ward, Facilitator, Peer Learning Group on Savings Groups for Refugees, The SEEP Network
  • Mélina Djre, Financial Inclusion Officer, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Kenya

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