Background

Sa-Dhan the Association of Community Development Finance Institution has been working for more than one and a half decades in supporting and strengthening the agenda of Financial Inclusion in India and creates a space and understanding of microfinance with policy makers, bankers, government, researchers and practitioners. We are engaged with all kind of operating models, legal forms and have also roped in the technical institutions in the process. At present, Sa-Dhan has the membership base of 213 institutions (56 NBFCs, 113 Societies & Trusts, 13 Cooperatives, and 31 SHPIs) also including Banks, Rating agencies and Capacity Building agencies, representing all legal forms and operating models. This diverse set of representation acts as a comprehensive web for picking up the details and focusing on key issues and challenges. Our membership network reaches out to approx. 33 million clients with loan outstanding of more than Rs. 33,000 crores and over 90% districts in India.

We believe that within the overarching objective of financial inclusion, microfinance is an effective strategy for poverty alleviation and has the potential for far-reaching impact in transforming the lives of millions of under-privileged people. Sa-Dhan remains committed to ensuring client protection, transparency, reporting, adherence to the Industry Code of Conduct which we have helped to finalise, compliance to regulation and financial and social performance standards that we have been setting from time to time. During the last 16 years of our existence, we have been successful in evolving a legal and regulatory framework for the sector, building the capacities of member organizations, building a repository of research and experience through our sectoral reports and studies.

Sa-Dhan is recognized by the RBI as Self Regulatory Organisation (SRO) for the Microfinance Sector. Sa-Dhan is recognized as National Support Organization (NSO) by National Rural Livelihood Promotion (NRLM).

Management and Governance

Sa-Dhan is led by a very eminent Board. It was founded by a number of eminent social leaders including Mrs. Ela R. Bhatt, founder of SEWA Bank who has served on the Board of the RBI and won numerous awards for her social work as a distinguished RBI and remains our Chair Emeritus. A number of distinguished personalities serve on our Board of Directors, including Independent directors who have served in senior positions at SIDBI, RBI, NABARD along with and other heads of organizations, both NGOs and Commercial spread across the country

Mission

Sa-Dhan’s mission is to build the field of community development finance in India, to help its members and associate institutions to better serve the low income households, particularly women, in both rural and urban India in their quest for establishing stable livelihoods and improving the quality of life.

Vision

The vision of Sa-Dhan is to see that through microfinance interventions, the quality of life of the people living below the poverty line is improved and they face the realities of life with pride and confidence. It encompasses the following:

  • To provide a common platform for advocacy representing multiple models and approaches to microfinance in India.
  • To make available timely and reliable information that is crucial for effective networking of microfinance institutions across India.
  • To undertake research, development of tools and resources that facilitate dialogue and synergy of best practices between different operating models and stakeholders.
  • To promote initiatives that inform, educate and articulate the needs of the sector. These programs will involve service providers, policy makers and bankers.
  • To provide technical and marketing support systems for sustainable livelihoods through community development finance.