Welcome to Samhita Financial Literacy

Financial Literacy is globally recognized as a fundamental need for all populations. When the population of interest is female and poor as is the case with Samhita members, the need is all the more critical. An effective, locally designed financial literacy program serves to pull populations into the financial mainstream, allowing them to utilize existing financial resources optimally.

Samhita Microfinance, together with its technology partner eCubeH Research Labs launched a Financial Literacy training campaign in 2010. It has been among the more ambitious of any such campaign globally, in terms of its scale, scope, target audience and local language tools. The program focuses on providing training to the women in management of savings, expenditures, debt, investments, risk mitigation tools, and financial planning for the present and the future.

Phase I - Survey / Analysis
A detailed survey of 10,001 women members of Samhita Microfinance living in the slums of Bhopal began in May 2010. A control group of non-members was simultaneously surveyed. The survey focused on knowledge of essential financial concepts, along with access to essential financial services. On the completion of the survey, the data collected underwent a rigorous statistical analysis to confirm key observations.

Phase II - Training
Based on the survey and its formal analysis, Samhita next developed a 4 module training program to help the women develop the ability to make informed judgements and effective decisions regarding the use and management of money.

The training resource material created made effective use of multimedia - a short movie in Hindi highlighting the value of financial knowledge, Hindi animation flip charts, budgeting work sheets and other tools.

Each of the 4 modules was structured as a 2 hour session, one a week, so that the entire training could be completed  over 4 weeks. All the trainings were conducted in the slums for the members' convenience. Towards the end of Phase I which completed in early 2011, the training was expanded to slums of Gwalior. The training was followed by a impact study on completion.

Phase III - Scaling up
Post the training for 10,001 women in Bhopal slums, the training modules were restructured to fit into the Member Enrollment Training of Samhita's microfinance program. The training now reaches all new and repeat members of Samhita Microfinance.

For an academic study on Samhita's Financial Literacy training, please see