How will you evaluate this project?
With generous support from the Ford Foundation, we will conduct an in-depth evaluation of the Lending Circles model and analyze its potential for national scalability. In other words, we know our model works because we’ve seen it work. But now we want to know if it will work elsewhere. We want to see how this innovative model can help improve the financial security of the unbanked and underbanked populations in the United States.
Who is conducting the evaluation?
The César E. Chávez Institute (CCI) will conduct a rigorous evaluation of the program’s effectiveness at increasing the financial capacity of participants in the Lending Circles.
What are you testing?
If you’ve ever worked with university researchers, you know the short answer is “a lot.”
As for the long answer, it involves a controlled research study to empirically demonstrate Lending Circles’ impact and effectiveness in helping increase participants’ financial security. A formal evaluation will be conducted among participants in the expansion project, with subjects consisting of underbanked or unbanked low-income adults who are unable to access low-cost credit and mainstream financial products and services.
How will your partner organizations contribute?
Partner organizations hosting Lending Circle expansion projects are recruiting for the control group and collecting a variety of data from their participants to help us study the effectiveness of the Lending Circle model, both with and without the financial education component.