CARE Canada’s Promoting Opportunities for Women’s Economic Empowerment in Rural Africa (POWER Africa) initiative, funded by the MasterCard Foundation, aims to improve financial inclusion in Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia and Rwanda by linking village loan and savings associations (VSLAs) with formal financial institutions.
Promoting opportunities for Financial Inclusion in Rwanda (PROFIR), as the project is called in Rwanda, aims to allow more than 180 000 people access to formal financial services. The PROFIR project began in November 2013 and will continue until December 2017.
While the goal of PROFIR is to improve people’s lives by linking their savings groups to the formal financial sector, a broader objective could be to design an intervention that has great impact and is able to be scaled and replicated in other contexts by various financial-sector players. Thus, there is emphasis on measuring the impact of PROFIR using a rigorous evaluation of the intervention.
Genesis was contracted by CARE Canada in 2014 to conduct an impact evaluation on PROFIR. The evaluation was designed to be as unobtrusive as possible without compromising its credibility and statistical validity.
PROFIR’s quantitative impact will be estimated using difference in differences, while case studies on “typical” members are being used to provide qualitative depth to the study. The baseline for the evaluation was completed in early 2015, and the end line will be completed in the latter half of 2017.