Recap and recordings of workshop on Digital Savings Groups (DSGs)

UNCDF, the Uganda Inter-Agency Cash Working Group (CWG), and the Livelihoods and Resilience Sector Working Group (LRSWG) with support from U-Learn, organized a hybrid (online and in-person) workshop on Thursday 28th April 2022.

The half-day workshop brought together key refugee response actors – including digital and financial service providers, policy makers, donors, implementers and humanitarian actors – to encourage stock-taking of the digital savings groups landscape in the Uganda refugee response, and foster critical reflection.

Please click the video below to watch the sessions. You can also find the live-streams from this workshop on our Facebook and Twitter pages, only the first 3 sessions are part of the recording. Email us on info@ulearn-uganda.org  if you would like to see recording or notes from the breakout groups or digital savings group service providers fair.

The workshop focused on taking stock on what is in place already and establishing a digital savings groups 4W, critical reflection and learning from ongoing experience and practice in Uganda, and creating relationships between actors that are planning work on Digital Savings or already implementing to foster learning moving forward, it also provided an overview of the savings group service providers that are active in the refugee response.

The agenda for the workshop had the following engaging sessions:

Session 1: Opening remarks

The U-Learn Learning Hub manager introduced the team behind the organisation of the workshop, shared the workshop agenda and explained the flow of events for the day.

Session 2: Defining key concepts

Ronald Rwakigumba from UNCDF facilitated a session on defining key concepts, looking at two main questions; What is the digitisation, and what is digitalisation? Participants wrote down their definitions of “digitise” and “digitalise”, and shared them on relevant flip chart paper. By the end of the session, participants had a joint /common understanding of these two key terms, to enable more effective communications throughout the event.

Session 3: Landscape in Uganda

This session focused on the analysis and landscape of DSGs in Uganda – Eunice Mwende, the CWG coordinator, and Paul Mwirichiwa, the LRSWG co-chari, gave an overview of the DSG in Uganda refugee response as a way to create a baseline for the upcoming discussions in the role-play sessions.

There are other sessions of the workshop that were not recorded.

Session 4: Break – out groups:

Participants engaged in a scenario-based role-play exercise on the benefits and challenges of savings groups going digital. Each breakout group acted out a meeting to decide whether the group from the scenario would go digital or not. Group members discussed the advantages, disadvantages/challenges and risks, and then decided whether or not to go digital.

During the second half of the break-out groups, participants developed criteria/pre-requisites for making a savings groups digital to support the formulation of a decision-making tool to enable post workshop tool development.

Session 5: Q&A wrap-up

UNCDF shared some of the questions that came out of the previous online and in-person sessions, and called on particpants to answer them.

Session 6: Digital Savings Group Service Providers Fair

The first of its kind, we held a fair for both in-person and online participants where they interacted with Digital Service providers currently active in the Uganda refugee response. Participants had the opportunity to ask DSG service providers questions directly.

The online fair is still available at this link – https://ulearn-uganda.org/digital-savings-groups-online-fair/.