LBPR: How Asset Building Programs Build Community

The Library of Best Practices Research (LBPR) was created while I worked at Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative. This is designed to be a tool for grant-writers. Each of the LBPR documents supports a grant application for a particular program and theory of change. The original version of this document can be found on DSNI's GitHub page.

My summary text (the material in bold) is available for you to use in any way you like. The quoted text should be cited appropriately.

If you have suggestions for future topics that should be included in the LBPR, please let me know!

How Asset Building Programs Build Community

Savings clubs and financial education create a culture of saving.

"Savings clubs, financial education, and other activities made available to [Individual Development Account] participants, alumnae and their family members and friends help saving and asset building to become a supported and reinforced lifestyle. IDA participants and those in their network become a part of a subculture where people are oriented toward saving and asset building."

(Boddie et al. 2003)

Savings clubs encourage savings even in non-members.

"The financial literacy training also had an unexpected positive outcome whereby it became a source of mobilisation for savings group membership. It provided an opportunity for members and non-members to interact and discuss the advantages of the methodology. As a result, the interest of some non-members was ignited and encouraged them to observe how savings groups function."

(Aga Khan Development Network, 2014)

Collective savings promotes social cohesion.

"In addition to the financial benefits of saving collectively, the savings group fosters a sense of harmony amongst community members as they are saving together and improving their well-being on the basis of a collective effort."

(Aga Khan Development Network, 2014)

Culturally responsive collective savings programs contributed to increased cultural pride and heightened sense of responsibility.

"Participants reported a wide array of intangible assets gained through the Kahikū program, including increased cultural awareness and pride, along with greater self-confidence and responsibility."

(Rothwell, Bhaiji, and Blumentahl, 2013)

IDA participants report that they are more likely to be respected in and involved with their neighborhoods because they have IDAs.

"Fifty-four percent of the sample agreed that they were more likely to have good relationships with their family members because they had IDAs (Table 3). Thirty-five percent considered themselves more likely to be respected in their communities, and 32 percent said they were more likely to be involved in their neighborhoods because they had IDAs."

(McBride et al., 2003)


Aga Khan Development Network. (n.d.). Community-based savings groups in Bihar. Retrieved from

Boddie, S. C., Sherraden, M., Hoyt, L., Thirupathy, P., Shanks, T., Rice, S., & Sherraden, M. (2004). Family savings & community assets. St. Louis. Center for Social Development, Washington University St. Louis

Mcbride, A. M., Lombe, M., & Beverly, S. G. (2003). The effects of Individual Development Account programs: Perceptions of participants. St. Louis: Center for Social Development, Washington University St. Louis. Retrieved from

Miley, M. (2008). Expanding financial skills in low-income communities: A framework for building an effective financial education program. Boston: Massachusetts Community & Banking Council. Retrieved from

Rothwell, D. W., Bhaiji, R., & Blumenthal, A. (2013). Perceived impact of IDA participation among Hawaiians. Journal of Indigenous Social Development, 2(1). Retrieved from

#income #urban #community #development #international #assets #IDA

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