Social Finance Working Paper #66: The importance of informal finance in promoting decent work among informal operators

A comparative study of Uganda and India

Informal finance mechanisms are as diverse as they are ubiquitous, including institutions such as rotating savings and credit associations (ROSCAs), accumulating savings and credit associations (ASCAs), informal moneylending, loan brokers, and burial societies, to name a few. Such mechanisms may or may not be 'traditional', and range from simple to complex. They attend to diverse needs such as consumption smoothing, enterprise financing, promoting savings discipline, and intermediation between savers and borrowers. Arguably, the core-identifying characteristic of informal financial institutions is that emphasize inter-personal relationships, rather than relying on anonymous interaction between a client and a formal institution.