From the start, feedback from SCG members has been positive.

Group members say that SCGs have brought greater social security through access to credit, either to overcome difficulties or initiate new income-generating projects. In addition to personal testimonies (link) which speak to SaveAct’s wide-ranging impact, the organisation has committed considerable time and resources to the development of an efficient monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system to accurately measure its effect and to inform its future directions.

Monitoring and Evaluation

A simplified M&E framework, incorporating refinements informed by the SaveAct’s day-to-day work over past few years and the pressing need to scale up its activities, is currently being developed. Like its predecessor, the new framework will attempt to achieve a balance between quantitative measures of outputs of SCGs -- such as savings and credit levels per group and the outcomes of Isiqalo training -- and more qualitative measures of social change, such as women’s empowerment, and economic change. To gather field data, SaveAct has implemented an effective Management Information System (MIS) that tracks the performance of SCGs by area and by field promoter.

Baseline surveys are conducted for SCGs at their inception and follow-up research is undertaken to assess changes after one to two years. Focus group discussions (FGDs) and semi-structured interviews are used, while Participative Learning and Action (PLA) tools are being explored to deepen knowledge of processes and to empower participants to reflect and act on their situations. 

To this end, SaveAct has recently piloted PhotoVoice – an innovative methodology which uses modern film and photography technologies to give a voice to marginalised people and allow them to tell their own stories, in their own words, for the first time.The project has produced a moving array of personal testimonies from SCG members and has given both members and SaveAct staff an opportunity to learn more about themselves and their work. Partnerships around M&E continue to be developed with institutions and specialists across various disciplines. Watch two PhotoVoice stories on YouTube.

SaveAct draws capacity from the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s (UKZN) schools of Psychology and Sociology, Development Studies, and Theology and Religious Studies.