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Carlos Ballesteros, Bárbara Calderón, Blanca de Cominges, Carmen Perez, Laura Sierra, Lucia Villalobos

Proposal for a theoretical model for measuring the social impact of Community Savings. Case study: "Ahorrar para Aprender"

This work proposes a management and measurement model for the social impact of financial inclusion programs carried out through so-called Self-Financed Communities (SFC), in order to demonstrate that financial education, through the practice of community savings and self-management, is a good method for achieving positive changes in the socioeconomic conditions of the people who participate in them. With this work, the aim is to advance scientific knowledge in the field of poverty alleviation, following in the footsteps of the 2018 Nobel Prize winner in Economics, Esther Duflo.Our paper analyzes the dimensions of Self-Financed Communities from the perspective of measuring their social impact, through a case study. From the analysis of both the scarce existing scientific literature and the case's own documentation and databases, as well as information gathered from primary sources, a model for measuring and managing social impact is designed. The community-based approach, where responsibility, savings, and trust are the main inputs of this financial inclusion instrument, allows for direct impacts on different dimensions such as economic, health, psychological, social-community, gender equity, and educational through activities such as continuous training, technological and financial training, technical assistance, and community building. Additionally, an attempt is made to propose a measure of the indirect or long-term impacts of this instrument.