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Attainability of the UN-Sustainable Development Goals through Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs)

  • The agreement on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the UN General Assembly in Septem-ber 2015 was a milestone in the common history of international development and sustainability govern-ance. However, in order to be effective, it is necessary to identify and to define suitable instruments that can be applied in order to fulfill the ambitious goal catalogue. Therefore, the underlying thesis examines the concept of Village Savings and Loan associations (VSLAs) with regard to its mechanisms that operate towards an attainment of the respective goal category. VSLAs are self-government, autonomous and democratically organized Microfinance Institutions (MFIs). They consist of a maximum of 25 mostly fe-male members, who know and trust each other. The work is carried out within a qualitative-empirical research design applied in central Cameroon, which has to some extent exemplary character for sub-Saharan Africa. In this manner, guided experts interviews were conducted with VSLA-presidents as well as with field officers that are creating and accompanying VSLAs. A first part addresses the historical evolu-tion of the SDGs and the theoretical and actual implications of Microfinance and the VSLA-methodology. After considering the methodological proceeding, the results are presented, discussed and summarized in a conclusion. All in all, 22 mechanisms for the attainment of nine SDG-categories are identified and de-scribed. Of particular importance is the key role of the credits to trigger fruitful activities that generate financial wealth, economic growth and employment. Furthermore, the savings of the members are an important factor for the school enrollment of the members´ children. Additionally, a combination of the credits and the solidarity fund improves the medical treatment of the members and their families. In con-trast to that, direct mechanisms supporting the nutritional situation or gender equality in the research field are found to have a limited importance. Moreover, none of the identified mechanisms targets the environmental sphere of the SDG-catalogue. This is weighty in light of an increasing noticeability of the impacts of climate change for the involved population group. Nonetheless, the VSLA-concept is a simple way to effectively address the social and the economic aspects of the SDG-catalogue. In this manner, a further development of the instrument could include the canalization of the capital of international de-velopment co-operation through the VSLAs as democratic and transparent grassroots-institutions.

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Author:Matthias Volmer
URL: https://pub-data.leuphana.de/frontdoor/index/index/docId/793
Document Type:Master's Thesis
Year of Completion:2016
Date of Publication (online):2017/01/31
Publishing Institution:Leuphana Universität Lüneburg, Universitätsbibliothek der Leuphana Universität Lüneburg
Release Date:2017/01/31
GND Keyword:Nachhaltigkeit; Vereinte Nationen; Entwicklung; Kleinkredit; Dorf
Institutes:Fak 3 - Umwelt und Technik (alt) / Nachhaltigkeitsmgmt./-ökologie
Dewey Decimal Classification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 33 Wirtschaft / 333.7 Natürliche Ressourcen, Energie und Umwelt