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Public Policy and Administration


Dr Victoria Landu-Adams


Financial inclusion (FI) has played a significant role in Ghana's economic transformation but is not widespread in rural areas. Lack of access to FI systems in these areas has increased poverty and induced higher rural-urban migration. Researchers have not explored how village savings and loan associations (VSLAs) can bridge the FI gap in the absence of formal financial institutions. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore the VSLAs as a FI model for poverty and vulnerability reduction. Sixteen semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with members of three different groups; VSLA members, community stakeholders, financial stakeholders in Wa West District to gain insight on participants experiences’ regarding VSLA as a FI model. Participants were recruited using purposive sampling. The sustainable livelihoods framework developed by the Department for International Development was the conceptual framework. The framework allows for the analysis of local realities, livelihood strategies, poverty outcomes, and the interrelationship between the outcomes. Seven major themes were identified. The findings revealed that VSLAs have significantly contributed to FI, reduced poverty, and increased participants' social and economic status. Additionally, VSLAs have had an impact on household livelihoods, making community members more resilient to vulnerability. Central government policy regulations are needed to prevent VSLA facilitators from taking undue advantage of some VSLA groups. Findings suggest an increase in FI in rural areas may reduce the economic disparities between rural and urban areas in Ghana leading to positive social change.