Promoting Inclusiveness in Savings Groups: Participation of Disabled Populations

Oct 27, 2016 | by The SEEP Network

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Video: Explore SILC, an Inclusive Experience in CRS Dominican Republic

The webinar, including representatives of Norwegian Association of Disabled (NAD) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS), demonstrated how persons with disabilities are just as able to be part of and contribute to the community and community groups as non-disabled persons. The speakers shared some key approaches to inclusion and sustainability as well as how important social capital creation is for this population in terms of breaking down prejudice and becoming part of the community.

This webinar was hosted by SEEP's Savings-Led Working Group.


Svein Brodtkorb, NAD Oslo

Svein BrodtkorbSvein has been a development worker since 1983, initially drawing on his background in civil engineering and as an agronomist. He holds a Master's degree in Management from Norwegian Business School (BI). Svein is particularly qualified in the area of disability inclusion with a focus on Organizational Development, CBR/Community Based Inclusive Development and Economic Empowerment. Svein has extensive experience cooperating with Governments, I/NGOs, and Disabled People's Organizations, as well as with WHO, the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC), and external consultants. Before joining Norwegian Association of Disabled (NAD), in the period from 1986 -1991, Svein worked as an engineer in an architect's office (Interplan) developing emergency housing and devices for use in conflict areas worldwide. During the period from 1983 , 1986, he worked as Building Supervisor for Norwegian Church Aid in Southern Sudan, developing infrastructure in 17 new settlements for Ugandan refugees in Eastern Equatoria. Svein has worked with NAD since 1991. He was initially seconded as programme adviser on CBR to the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development in Uganda from 1991 to 1995. In this role, he assisted the Government in developing one of the first CBR programmes in Africa. From 1995 he worked as a programme adviser in NAD's Oslo headquarters and since 2007 he has held the position of Head of the International Department.

Leonor Cruz, Catholic Relief Services

Leonor CruzLeonor Cruz is Director of CRS's Dominican Republic and Caribbean office. Among other responsibilities, Ms. Cruz leads the implementation of the Savings Groups methodology that contributes to improving the livelihoods of people with little access to banking services, including women affected by violence, persons with disabilities, and migrants. She also promotes Support Groups for women affected by violence and oversees projects to lead communities in planning and disaster preparedness. In Cuba, she manages programs to address the needs of elderly people, families of children with disabilities. Leonor Cruz is a Certified Public Accountant, Professional and Personal Coach, and holds a Master's in Quality Management and Productivity from APEC University.

George Mukasa Mukisa, NAD Uganda

George Mukasa MukisaGeorge is a graduate of Marketing and Management with numerous qualifications in microfinance, community managed development, financial inclusion and project management. He has spent his career working in the intersection of microfinance, NGO work, and project management, including community development work and research initiatives for vulnerable groups. George is passionate about coaching and serving vulnerable communities and has been at the helm of designing and managing Inclusive Microfinance initiatives for persons with disabilities in Uganda. As a trainer and facilitator, his diverse clients include Disabled Peoples' Organizations, community and individual level microenterprise, and community development finance organizations. In his current position as Economic Empowerment Technical Adviser for NAD, he is based in Kampala, Uganda, but travels to support NAD's Economic Empowerment initiatives in other countries.


William Maddocks, Carsey School of Public Policy, University of New Hampshire

William MaddocksWilliam (Bill) Maddocks is the director of the Sustainable Microfinance and Development Program (SMDP) at the University of New Hampshire's Carsey School of Public Policy. Bill has organized training workshops for development finance professionals in seven African countries and the United States and has been a leader in the international Savings Groups field. In 2011, Bill was the lead organizer for the Arusha Savings Groups Summit, the first global gathering of the savings groups movement. As a faculty member of Carsey's Master of Arts in Community Development Policy and Practice program, he teaches a course on leadership and organizational management. Bill is the director of the Social Sector Franchise Initiative, a project of the Center for Social Innovation and Enterprise and a joint venture of the UNH Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics and the Carsey School of Public Policy.

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