World Vision International
publication • Wednesday, March 8th 2017

Leveraging cash programming to build longer-term food security and resilience in Kenya: A case study

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World Vision adopted the Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA) model as an activity integrated into World Vision’s Cash for Assets (CFA) programme in January 2013. VSLAs are local financial platforms which are set up and managed by a group of village volunteers. This new approach was piloted in Kenya within the Taita Taveta CFA and later rolled out in Kilifi and Makueni. The goal of VSLAs is to graduate vulnerable, food insecure households towards a resilient and food secure future. Savings groups enable families to create productive assets as well as diversify livelihoods and income sources.
 
VSLAs provide a range of financial services aimed at promoting the stability and diversification of local livelihoods. Services include saving boxes, loans, micro-insurance against loss of crops and livestock and a relief fund for community members facing emergencies. VSLAs often times offer additional services like collective purchases of agricultural inputs or storage facilities for crops. VSLAs have shown to be an effective instrument to raise the resilience of livelihoods among families, as evidenced by the increased proliferation of VSLAs, amounts of savings registered, and access to and utilisation of other social services.