Social Functionality of Self Help Groups in Tanzania

Deogratias B. Aikaruwa, Gerald A. Sumari, Grace N. Maleko


Self Help Groups are common grassroots member – based institutions in which people join to take collective actions in addressing different issues pertaining poverty reduction and improving their socio – economic situations. This research report is an output of a case study investigation on examining the social functionality of Self Help Groups (SHGs) in two wards of Shinyanga District (i.e. Samuye and Kizumbi) in Tanzania. In this study, data, both primary and secondary was collected from the field using various data collection techniques including interview, questionnaire, focus group discussion and documentary review. The data were analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively, Statistical Packages of Social Scientist (SPSS) being helpful in the analysis. The findings revealed that, the groups were purely informal and people joined for various motives including credit and saving, social support and technical support. These groups have been beneficial to members both socially and economically. From the findings, the report recommends that, SHGs as favourable grassroots institutions, if institutionalized, they will be effective way of mobilizing efforts and resources of poor people in the course of combating poverty.

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