The Impact of Social and Financial Education on Savings Attitudes and Behavior Among Primary School Children in Uganda

Suthinee Supanantaroek, Robert Lensink, Nina Hansen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Saving plays a crucial role in the process of economic growth. However, one main reason why poor people often do not save is that they lack financial knowledge. Improving the savings culture of children through financial education is a promising way to develop savings attitudes and behavior early in life. Objectives: This study is one of the first that examines the effects of social and financial education training and a children’s club developed by Aflatoun on savings attitudes and behavior among primary school children in Uganda, besides Berry, Karlan, and Pradhan. Research design: A randomized phase in approach was used by randomizing the order in which schools implemented the program (school-level randomization). The treatment group consisted of students in schools where the program was implemented, while in the control group the program was not yet implemented. The program lasted 3 months including 16 hours. We compared posttreatment variables for the treatment and control group. Subjects: Study participants included 1,746 students, of which 936 students were from 22 schools that were randomly assigned to receive the program between May and July 2011; the remaining 810 students attended 22 schools that did not implement the program during the study period. Measures: Indicators for children’s savings attitudes and behavior were key outcomes. Results: The intervention increased awareness of money, money recording, and savings attitudes. It also provides some evidence—although less robust—that the intervention increased actual savings. Conclusions: A short financial literacy and social training can improve savings attitudes and behavior of children considerably.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)511-541
JournalEvaluation Review
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


  • attitudes
  • children
  • financial literacy
  • intervention
  • saving and spending
  • social and financial education
  • training


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