Danish Forum for Microfinance (DFM) has since its formation worked to develop guidelines and manuals for various areas relevant to microfinance practitioners, whether they have a civil society/NGO or private sector background. There are basic guidelines for microfinance,

and practitioners’ manuals for promoting savings and loan groups, how to link to external finance, how to engage the market, and how to federate savings groups in larger cooperatives and democratic rural organisations.



Microfinance Guidelines

Danish Forum for Microfinance began as a learning forum in 2010, where the DFM Microfinance Guidelines were developed, guiding NGOs and civil society how to go about microfinance. The main message is that the NGOs and civil society have an important role in promoting microfinance such as savings and loan groups to combat poverty and to help organise and build trust and resilience. It is, however, not advisable, that NGOs or civil society provide microfinance in the sense of providing and managing loans, that role of financial management is best kept inside the savings and loan groups or in specialised financial providers. 


In this guide you can see principles for how to engage markets in a way that benefits the poor.

In this guide you can see the benefits and challenges of digitalisation of monitoring of savings and loan groups through the SAVIX system, from VSLAssociates.
Here is a guide to Democratic Rural Organizations – Credit market and Voice. How Civil Society Organisations involved in promoting, developing and following up on Democratic Rural Organisations in the Global South.

In this guide to savings and loan associations, you can see how savings and loan groups can be important vehicles for civil society development, since they build trust and cohesion and give members opportunity jointly to seek more long-term solutions. Examples from Bangladesh, India and East Africa.

Here you can find a pedagogical tool for VSLA training – a VSLA simulation app and a learning site, in collaboration with DanChurchAid.

In this guide you can the see principles for how savings and loan associations can external funders to enhance impact.

See also our contribution to the researchers Esbern Friis Hansen, Danish Institute for International Studies (ed.) and others’ book Democratic Rural Organizations, Thresholds for Evolution in Africa and Asia, Routledge 2018 here: