Unlike other Latin American countries, the Dominican Republic has a conditional in-kind transfer system, rather than a cash transfer system, which distributes prepaid cards that are accepted at neighborhood grocery stores for the purchase of food items on a predetermined list. Proyecto Capital had to adapt to the local Dominican context, designing a financial inclusion strategy for recipients of Progresando con Solidaridad (Progressing with Solidarity) that begins with the creation of local savings and credit groups who can then go on to access and use formal financial services in accordance with their needs.
Savings and credit groups have proven a powerful tool to generate changes in behavior and attitude around planning, saving and responsible credit. In time the groups require a place to keep their collective savings safe and to store any personal surplus that cannot be deposited into the group fund. In a joint effort with banks like ADOPEM, BHD León, La Nacional and Banreservas, we have made easy-to-open products available to the groups to facilitate their inclusion in the financial system. And these financial institutions have worked to expand their coverage, incorporating new correspondent agents and designing accounts that do not require a minimum amount to open.
Results have been very positive, and in August 2015 the Office of the Vice-Presidency of the Republic declared the financial inclusion through savings groups model to be public policy, announcing a scale up of the project to the national level. To date, 587 savings groups with more than 9,000 members have been created, of which 900 members have opened savings accounts. This was achieved thanks to the efforts of the more than 2,000 PROSOLI supervisors trained by the project, who will work over the course of the next four years to integrate some 200,000 families into savings groups.
Target population: Women, Youth, Minorities, Rural population, Urban population, People living in poverty, People living in extreme poverty, Entrepreneurs, Recipients of CCTs
Objective: Financial inclusion among participants of social programs that make conditional cash transfers.
Financial inclusion of families receiving conditional transfers through the PROSOLI program, with an initial emphasis on the creation and development of savings and credit groups that can then go on to be included in the formal financial system.
587 savings groups formed across the country.
9,003 savings group members.
Increased banking coverage achieved through the installation of banking agents as a result of the influence of savings groups.
An easy-to-open account designed by BHD León with no required initial amount.
900 savings accounts opened.
The group savings accounts that have been opened have a monthly average of USD $462 per group.
2,200 PROSOLI officials have been trained to create savings groups and enhance their experience.
Current project phase: Scale-up phase
Office of the Vice-Presidency of the Republic, Office of Social Policy Coordination, Progresando con Solidaridad, Banks (ADOPEM, BHD, ALNAP, BanReservas)
Related projects: Proyecto Capital General