Wednesday, July 30, 2014

COMSIP

Community Savings and Investment Promotion (COMSIP) is a capacity enhancement initiative designed to inculcate the culture of savings and investment in both rural and urban communities.  COMSIP will transform traditional savings and investment practices to formal savings and investment ventures thus generating income hence enabling the poor to come out of the poverty cycle. The main thrust is on savings mobilization and capacity building required by the poor communities to make savings decisions, and eventually invest from what they save.

2.0       Rationale:

COMSIP intervention has been introduced for the following reasons;

  • To enable the poor see the value of saving, hence making them decide to save from the meager resources they have;
  • To reach the poorest of the poor in both urban and remote areas who are not aware of formal savings and still do not have appropriate place to save; To target the poor who are always not considered by other initiatives;
  • To promote savings and investment as well as capacity enhancement to the poor;
  • The intervention is open and available to any interested poor person, thus will not be  for specific groups;
  •  It is believed that liquidity exist in the communities at very informal organizations, COMSIP will facilitate liquidity to come out of informal organizations and move on to formal institutions;
  • To enable savings groups to form associations where the members will have the opportunity to interact, get various information such as marketing opportunities and effect development communication;
  • Saving is important for future expenditure for any individual.

     

    3.0       Objective

    The main objective of COMSIP is to promote savings culture amongst the poor, through awareness creation on savings and investment and support capacity building activities. 

    Specific objectives are to:

    • Mobilize savings groups;
    • Strengthen the capacity of the poor to save and invest,
    • Empower the poor by ensuring access to credit and markets, skills development and employment;
    • Create opportunities for urban and rural communities to access financial services from the savings groups, associations and other financial institutions;
    • Support a creation of a network to enable them share information on how to effectively operate their savings schemes
    • Facilitate linkage between savings and investment groups/associations and Financial Institutions.

       

      4.0       Guiding Principles

      • Voluntary formation of savings and investment groups of 10 - 15 members
      • Fostering democratic participation by members in the decision making process at all levels
      • To Enhance capacities for groups to ensure adequate returns, security and timely access to financial services
      • COMSIP will provide saving opportunities and market information to enable  the poor  save and invest
      • Promote participation of women in the formation of groups
      • Group leadership should constitute women members (where applicable)
      • Membership in a COMSI Group does not prevent participation in other saving and credit activities run by other  projects or organizations.
      • When an association want to graduate to a Community bank, they will be required to adhere to policy and regulations of the respective financial institution

         

        5.0       Target Groups

        The main target group is the poorest of the poor individuals. First priority will be given to those interested individuals who participated and benefited from NVF component particularly from Vulnerable Groups and Able bodied but food insecure households’ interventions.     The intervention also target the poorest involved in non formal employment, including plantation workers, those involved in selling labor, peasant farmers, hawkers, “mama lishe” etc.How ever other interested parties may be allowed to use the model.

        6.0             Coverage

        This intervention is implemented in 44 LGAs in the mainland and two islands in  Tanzania Zanzibar. See List of LGAs by region Annex1

        7.0             Institutional set up

        TASAF is organized in a decentralized manner to facilitate greater autonomy and empowerment to local Government structures and the community. COMSIP is implemented through TASAF II institutional set up which is set to operate within the three spheres of Government, i.e. national, LGA and village levels. It is expected that TASAF II main organs, namely NSC, SET, TMU, LGA,VA and VC will discharge related functions to facilitate delivery of the COMSIP intervention. The idea is to make use of the existing governance structures.

        8.0             COMSIP Sub project cycle

        COMSIP will use CDD approach where eight stages will be followed during implementation of its activities. These stages are: Identification, Desk Appraisal, Field Appraisal, Approval, Launching, Implementation, Supervision, Completion and inauguration. Annex 2 Special attention will be given to training on specialized skills which is expected to be done just after the launch of the group activities. This will enable group members implement investments of good quality.

        9.0             Preparation of a constitution

        It is expected that all activities will be initiated by group members at community level. As such a guide /constitution is prepared to guide their operations. This activity is carried out during the initial training, and is ready for use when group activities start. Annex 3

        10.0         Roles and responsibilities of different levels

        Key roles and responsibilities of different levels are highlighted below:   
        S/N LEVEL ROLE/RESPONSIBILITY
        1.GROUP LEVEL
        • Receiving Training  on record keeping, group management,  Loan management etc
        • Receiving financial stationeries
        • Making savings and investments
        • Participatory Monitoring of group performance
        • Registration of  association
        • Develop a constitution for the association
        • Facilitate linkage to other financial institutions
        • Facilitate formation of groups and Associations
        • Overseeing performance of groups and associations
        • Registration of COMSI groups and Associations
        • Train COMSI groups
        • Train Village Association members
        • Facilitate registration of village association
        • Monitor performance of groups and Associations
        • Distribution of various documents e.g. Guides
        • Identification and training of LSP
        • Facilitate Specialized training for group members
        • Link Village Associations, COMSI groups to Financial Institutions/Private Sector
        • Prepare and submit reports to TMU
        • Organize exchange visits for Village Association and COMSI groups
        • Develop manuals and guides
        • Conduct ToTs to LGAs and LSPs
        • Facilitate Training of community facilitators
        • Facilitate Training of COMSI groups
        • Facilitate Training of Village Association members
        • Facilitate Monitoring performance of Association
        • Distribution of various documents e.g. Guides etc
        • Facilitate Identification and training of LSP
        • Facilitate Specialized training for COMSI groups ·   Facilitate Linkage of  Village Associations and COMSI groups to Financial Institutions/Private Sector
        • Consolidate  reports from LGAs
        • Facilitate exchange visits for Village Association and COMSI groups
        • Provide technical support
        • Conduct Impact evaluation
        2.ASSOCIATION LEVEL
        3.VILLAGE COUNCIL/MTAA COMMITTEE/SHEHIA LEVEL
        4.LGA LEVEL
        5.TMU LEVEL

         

        11.0         Achievements

        To date the following have been accomplished

        • Preparation of documents for implementing the intervention was done where a COMSIP Flier and Facilitators guide has been developed and is used by LGA staff during community mobilization, group formation and training of the groups;
        • ToTs to five staff from the 46 LGAs has been done, to enable them undertake community mobilization activities and group formation;
        • Community mobilization has been done to five communities in the 46 LGAs. This makes 230 villages/mtaa/shehia reached by this initiative;
        • A total of 1720 groups have been formed. The groups are comprised of 21712 individual savers
        • 17 Associations have been formed in 7 LGAs of Bagamoyo, Ilala, Kibaha DC, Songea MC, Songea DC, Rufiji DC and Unguja.
        • Distribution of Financial stationery has been done to 1000 groups. The stationeries  include: safe boxes, savings and loan ledgers, Secretary book, cash book, 
        • Receipt book, pens and rulers  Initial training on group management, formulation of constitutions, savings  mobilization techniques, loan management, record keeping procedures etc has been done to 1000 groups
        •  Individual savers are now making their savings, and the members are receiving small loans from their groups guided by their constitution which have a set of internally agreed collaterals.

           

          12.0         Monitoring and evaluation activities

          LGA staff has the role of monitoring the group’s performance. A monitoring and evaluation form has been prepared and used by LGAs Annex 4

          13.0         Challenges

          •  High demands for support from communities within  and outside selected 
          • LGAs/Islands on COMSIP intervention
          • Nurturing and Sustaining the formed groups and associationsMeeting the demands of the savers

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