What made the Savings for Change project so successful?
1. Train and Support Animators or Network Weavers. The animators were regional people who were outgoing, good listeners and good trainers--and good at letting go! They got groups started, then were trained to shift their role from trainer to coach.
2. Start Where The Energy Is. Don't try to work with everyone initially but pull together those who are really excited and interested and positive. This greatly increases the likelihood of success. You're working with those who are more open to innovation and probably have better collaborative skills.
3. Act Your Way Into A New Way of Thinking/Being: The first part of the project brought a small group together to do something that was both personally beneficial and good for the community. It quickly made a difference for the women in a way they, and others in the community, could see.
4. Frame The Personal Act As A Step Towards Greater Good. From the beginning, the animators set up the expectation that some of the people in the group would want to share the concept of savings groups with other women and help them set up a group of their own.
5. Have a Support System in Place for Those Who Want to Spread the Success. The animators offered a pictograph Handbook, group training, and one-on-one coaching for those who wanted to help others start a group. We need to provide the same kind of Network Weaving training in our networks.
6. Help people make the shift from one success to a way of life. Oxfam had the animators seed the community with the idea that the process of self-organizing that was so successful in the savings groups could be used in many ways to improve their community. They offered some specific examples and trained and coached the communities to implement those.