Guiding Principles.


Daily Savings

The savings schemes that were set up were encouraged to save daily ranging from the smallest amount to any figure a member could afford. Firstly, the logic of daily savings is centred around creating readily accessible financial resources for the group members taking into account that the poor barely meet all the criterion set by formal financial institutions. Secondly, daily savings help to build the cohesion that is required for the poor to be able to organize and amplify their voices. Thirdly, daily savings help the savings schemes to constantly keep its fingers on the members’ pulse through the regular contact. Thus, when daily savings collections are done, it is not only money that is collected but the people’s problems, experiences and stories and this important for crafting urgent tailor-made solutions to these challenges. Fourthly, daily savings serve as a demonstration of the poor’s commitment towards a process that seeks to address their plight. Put simply, daily savings bring in the community stake which in turn engenders ownership and accountability and thus eventually helps to blend ‘cold money’ (donor/government) with ‘hot money’ (community)! Lastly, daily savings and the attendant loan activities provide a very critical training ground for the poor to learn how manage and administer savings and loans - a skill that is of the essence when it comes to the bigger housing and infrastructure loans.


These constitute the horizontal learning activities that take place between housing savings schemes members, at settlement, area, regional or even at country level.   In practice, this involves identifying learning needs and then organizing appropriate community-to-community visits that aim to proffer solutions and address these issues.   Exchanges, therefore, offer limitless opportunities for peer-to-peer learning and the lessons generated through these processes are continuously shared and cascade to other communities through a repeated cycle of these visits. In some instances, these learning-oriented interactions may even involve linking up with non-Federation institutions in order to influence policy changes and resource-flows. Such strategic exchanges involving external agencies can also seek to tap into other organizations’ comparative advantages or aim to build stronger networks that in turn amplify the voices of the poor.  


These are community-led surveys which involve a number of processes beginning with settlement profiling exercises then household surveys and spatial mapping of settlement features. The main purpose of these data-gathering processes is to generate information detailing community priorities through a process that is owned and controlled by the community itself. Enumerations are also an empowering tool as communities become more aware of their circumstances and are able to dictate and define the development processes. When the information is collected the findings are organized and presented to relevant stakeholders which include among others local authorities, central government and other CBOs and NGOs to help inform interventions. This way, enumerations act as an effective means to articulate the community’s development agenda. Most significantly, enumerations have fundamentally altered the whole development matrix with poor communities being viewed more as partners who have a significant role to play than being just mere recipients of development programmes.

ZW Office Contacts

Dialogue on Shelter for the Homeless in Zimbabwe Trust
Physical Address: 13 Harvey Brown, Milton Park
Harare, Zimbabwe

Telephone: (+263) 4 790935/(+263) 4 2600612-3
Fax: (+263)4 790935

SDI Offices Contacts

Slum Dwellers International (SDI)
Physical Address: 1st Floor, Campground Centre, Cnr. Surrey & Raapenberg Roads, Mowbray, 7700
Cape Town, South Africa
Telephone: (+27) 21 689 9408
Fax: (+27) 21 689 3912

Mailing List