G50 approach: community activation through financial & social inclusion

A community based intervention; we developed the G50 approach as a methodology that combines financial and social inclusion activities in networks. Our experience is that sustainability is more secured by combining these two areas of intervention. We focus on those communities where societal forces have damaged or severed the relationships. Our aim is to (re) connect individuals and groups of people, reasoning that this intervention brings conflicting or opposing parties and groups together to interact. The belief is that stronger relationships result in a strong commitment to (re-) weaving the social fabric at the grassroots level and will have a positive impact on health and well-being.

For the G50 approach in Burundi we partnered up with AUXFIN, a Dutch social enterprise that expands access to basic financial services through technological innovation, reducing significantly the costs of suppliers and customers. Its technological solution UMVA (Universal Method of Value Access) does so by organizing networks of associations, cooperatives of small farmers, financial service providers, social service providers and the Diaspora. These networks are built around its platform offering access to basic financial services, communications, financial education and social services.

In Burundi, we involve the population to search for sustainable solutions to ensure food security and create the appropriate agricultural conditions to make this happen. To achieve this, all people are invited to organize themselves through networks at community level, including the poorest ones that do not belong to existing structures or groups in the community. This way, Health Works and AUXFIN create a social setting that provides basic security and mutual trust to work together towards common goals. This includes the social ‘repair’, building trust and cementing of social capital. This solid foundation or conditional trust is a precondition for financial inclusion to take place, and starts by building GX groups, where X is the number of units (families/individuals/other) relevant in a specific setting. In Burundi X=50 families. These groups, once formed, allow for rapid registration that give them access to all kind of products, such as (subsidised) fertilizers, seed or solar energy, and essential information, such as agricultural best practices, anti-erosion measures etc.