New Research from CRS
Please follow this link to our four research briefs produced as part of the SILC Innovations project. These briefs (An analysis of agent earnings, group performance, agent productivity and poverty outreach) represent the culmination of a three-year evaluation project funded by the Gates Foundation. The evaluation centers on a Randomized Control Trial design and employs a mixed-methods approach to compare CRS’s fee-for-service savings-group model (PSP) against the more conventional project-paid savings-group model (FA).
The four briefs address various dimensions of this experimental comparison, as follows: 1) poverty outreach; 2) agent productivity; 3) group performance; and 4) agent earnings. Findings include the fact that depth of poverty outreach is same between PSP and FA agents—in other words, the requirement to pay agents does not mean that the PSP model reaches a less poor member base. PSP-supported groups are also outperforming FA-supported groups on key financial measures and most group membership measures. At the same time, PSP agents are less productive on average in terms of group formation than FAs in their first year of operation, and earnings of the PSP agents are highly variable.
CRS has used these results to adjust and improve the PSP model. Results and practical lessons learned from the project have been incorporated into the PSP training curriculum and a PSP Implementation manual that will be available in September.
Any questions about this research or the findings can be directed to me or Michael Ferguson. Note that the poverty outreach brief is an August 2012 revision to an earlier version released in February 2012.