Examining the Role of Savings and Credit Co-Opertive Organizations (Saccos) in Improving People’s Economic Livelihoods Case Study: Saccos in Adjumani Town Council, Adjumani District
Author: DIPIO JOSEPHINE
Supervisor: Cuthbert Tukundane
Savings and credit cooperative organizations SACCOs are usually formed to provide finacial services to the economically active poor people, especilly in rural areas to enable them improve their livelihoods. Since 1986, the government of Uganda has encouraged the formation of SACCOs as an instrument for poverty reduction in many rural areas. However, the role of these SACCOs in improving peopleís economic livelihoods has not been ascertained in some places, including Adjumani Town Council. The purpose of this study was to examine the role of SACCOs in improving peopleís economic livehoods in Adjumani Town Council. Specifically, the study examined the role of savings, microcredit and financial literacy training in improving economic livelihoods.
The study employed a descriptive case study design and a qualitative approach. Fifty respondents participated in the study and data was collected through interviews, questionaire and focus group discusions. Thematic analysis was used in the course of analyzing data.
The findings of the study revealed that some people have benefited from SACCOs by opening up savings accounts. These accounts have helped them save money which they then use for paying school fees, used as liquidity, expanding businesses, meeting basic needs and buying household assets. The study also showed that microcredit helps some people improve their economic livelihoods through establishment of small scale businesses in which they earn income. The financial literacy trainings given to SACCO members also help them to learn how to better save, invest, and use their earned income. However, not all members of SACCOs benefit in the same way. Some open up accounts but fail to maintain them; others use the small loans they acquire from SACCOs poorly and they end up in debt or benefiting less from the microcredit service.
The study recommends that SACCOs develop different loans products in order to cater for the financil needs of different clients. It is also recommended that apart from training in financil litercy, clients should also be trained in entrepreneurial and business management skills so that they can run successful businesses and be able to benefit more from microcredit services.