Embargo Period


Degree Name

MA in Conflict Transformation

First Advisor

Dr. Mokhtar Bouba


Amidst the world’s worst refugee crises in history, as the number of refugees worldwide climbs past 22.5 million (OHCHR 2017), it is imperative that we find real, lasting and empowering solutions to their needs. We must ask ourselves, how can we best serve these refugees and the countries that host them? What needs of refugees remain elusive?

Programs directed at refugees traditionally cater to their physical needs such as food, clothing, shelter and medicine, while their financial needs are disregarded. Furthermore, programs that do generate income do not cater to the needs of safely storing, saving, sending and/or receiving money

This paper is a multidisciplinary research study into the conceptualization and implementation of finance literacy programming in Tanzania’s refugee camps. Using qualitative research methods, this study validates that refugees have similar financial needs to non-refugees, a savings group led approach is a promising solution, and using connectivity through digital means is a creative, advantageous way to connect refugees to financial literacy programming and, in the long term, connect refugees to formal financial institutions. An interdisciplinary approach was used to develop a greater understanding into the intricate nature of the financial barriers affecting refugees.

Participants are Burundian and Congolese (DRC) refugees residing in the Nyarugusu, Nduta, and Mtendeli refugee camps in Tanzania.

Keywords: Refugees, Savings Groups, Digital Literacy, Financial Literacy