Can the Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA) approach achieve/ promote rural sustainable development in the Egyptian community?

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 5-22-2022


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of the Village Saving and Loans Association (VSLA) on sustainable development (SD) and to explore VSLA as an approach that leads to women’s financial empowerment and its impact on SD in Egypt. Design/methodology/approach – A mixed method was applied for this study, including qualitative and quantitative methods. Qualitative method includes 50 individual interviews with women in the upper Egypt communities that applied the VSLA approach, the quantitative method, on the other hand, relied on secondary data, such as the outcomes of (knowledge, attitude, and practices [KAP]). The VSLA was applied in the Egyptian Community in 2015–2019, according to KAP study reports presented by international funders. Findings – This study concludes that this VSLA approach helped many women and families to improve their economic situation and overcome financial hardship, which reflected on rural SD. Furthermore, the concept equipped and empowered women with a needed financial hardship that allowed them to improve their family situation and to participate in the process of developing their communities in a sustainable way. Also, women participated in VSLA leading initiatives and took an active role in rural SD in their community. Research limitations/implications – The findings only apply to the sample that has participated in the VSLA project implemented by an international donor. A longitudinal quantitative evaluation of the VSLA approach and its impact on SD strategy of Egypt would be recommended in terms of further research study, highlighting the role of VSLA’s impact on achieving the Egyptian sustainable strategy 2030. Originality/value – This paper is unique in presenting the concept of the VSLA as an intervention and approach for rural SD in the rural community by empowering marginalized women financially. Although this approach has been used by international donors as part of large programs implemented in Egypt and other countries since 1979 aimed at SD in rural areas, there is scarcity in the literature related to this approach.