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There is a widely recognised need for innovative institutional arrangements to provide financial services to poor people, and numerous efforts have been made to that end. These have ranged from modifying the services provided by existing banks to the promotion of people-centred systems. Programmes addressing the latter have tended to emphasise a broad development approach, with financial services as one of several interrelated activities. This article discusses the main features of organisation and operation in people-centred systems, explores the meaning of social mobilisation in this context, indicates a range of benefits that such systems may generate, and illustrates their features, activities, and benefits through one case study.

This article is hosted by our co-publisher Taylor & Francis.

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