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Success in rural savings: How one donor led the way

Case studies in donor good practices

Ruth Goodwin-Groen

April 2003

SARPN acknowledges the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) as a source of this document:
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As of December 31, 2002, more than 2.3 million rural Thais held average savings deposits of 83 euros. These savers were attracted by a new financial product called “Save and Get a Chance” (Om Sap Thawi Choke). The program rewards save rs who open and maintain savings accounts with prize drawings and parties that celebrate saving. Six years earlier, when the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) launched the product, there were almost no small savers. “Save and Get a Chance” had such phenomenal success because it was designed specifically for low-income clients. Technical support from Deutsche Gesellschaft fьr Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) significantly contributed to this success.

For the 24 months it took to develop the product, the German government, through GTZ, paid the salary of one international financial expert and one local expert, and contributed 50,000 euros in technical cooperation. The 191 million euros held by rural Thais in savings at BAAC yielded an impressive return on investment for GTZ and provided BAAC with a sustainable source of refinance. This case demonstrates good donor practice for developing savings services in nearly every respect, showing that savings products for the poor benefit both institution and client.

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