Future Research

Overall, both CRS and Floresta have found that by participating in the SEEP RAFFS PLP they gained an opportunity to learn, share knowlege and experiences and pursue individual research objectives within a wider framework of learning. The challenges of being part of this program have included visa and traveling constraints, technological difficulties with different types of media and the challenges of developing a joint learning product with individuals located worldwide.

The opportunity to develop and carry out a collaborative cross-country research study has been a capacity building experience for both implementing partners. Cross-agency or continental collaboration could be enhanced through the use of complimentary focus group survey questions and also through regular direct contact (e.g. through visits or phone/skype calls) to improve communication.

Despite these challenges, CRS and Floresta have had a very positive experience and hope that their research about the links between VSLA and food security will benefit not only their programs but also the programs of other implementing agencies.

At the end of this research process, there are still some pending questions related to food security, agriculture, and rural finance that we hope to study further. Future areas of research could include:

  • Linking VSLA groups or members to financial institutions: Does this have a greater impact on food security or will this threaten an existing successful model?
  • Clustering of VSLA groups: What are the pros and cons and how does clustering potentially impact household food security?
  • Strategies to deal with seasonal vulnerability: How do VSLA members currently make their loan repayments during periods after planting and before harvest? Do VSLA members take other loans from money lenders during this period?



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