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Financial Education

Financial Education   

This 11-lesson financial education curriculum, part of CRS' five skill sets for rural development, has two main purposes:

  • To provide trainers with the tools to teach groups about financial management.
  • To help group members improve their financial and money management skills.

The curriculum is appropriate for development facilitators, field agents and SILC private service providers.

1. Introduction and Glossary (PDF, 496 KB)
2. Section I: Goals, Income, Expenses and Budgeting (PDF, 1.3 MB)
3. Section II: Savings (PDF, 973 KB)
4. Section III: Borrowing (PDF, 1.2 MB)


This set of manuals on "Five skill sets for preparing smallholder farmers to successfully engage with markets" presents an integrated and sequential approach to building vulnerable farmers' capacity for linking with markets. The manuals have been prepared for use by development facilitators, field extension agents and community leaders working with poor rural communities. The aim is to improve the livelihoods of these communities through better production and marketing of their crops and livestock products.

Each manual contains the following parts:

  • The subject matter: the knowledge and skills you need to master in order to teach the skills.
  • Quizzes to test your own knowledge.
  • Staff exercises for you and other field agents to practice your skills.
  • Field exercises for you to use in helping farmers master the knowledge and skills they need. These lesson plans are printed in shaded pages. They typically include a set of instructions, along with a big picture for you to use as a discussion starter.

How to use this manual

As a user learning the material: You should read through this manual, lesson by lesson, section by section, and try to absorb the information presented. At the same time, picture how you would use the information and techniques described to help you work with farmers on developing their agroenterprises. Imagine how you would use the exercises and field lesson plans. At the end of each lesson, answer the short quizzes. If you get all the answers right, congratulations! Go on to the next lesson. If you did not get all the answers right the first time, go back and review that section before moving on to the next lesson.

As a trainer working with field agents: You will use this manual to teach other field agents about marketing. You can present the information in the text, then work through the exercises and field lesson plans with the participants. The exercises are designed especially for field agents, while the field lesson plans are intended for use with farmers and other rural people. If you use the lesson plans with field agents, ask them to pretend that they are farmers.

As a field agent working with farmers and other rural people: Once you have taken this course and passed the quizzes, you will have gained useful financial education knowledge that you can share with farmer groups. Before sharing this information with the farmer groups, it is important that you first apply and use these skills with your personal finances.

You can use the information and exercises in this manual to plan how to work with farmers to develop their agro-enterprises. Every farmer group and every situation is different, so this manual does not try to tell you exactly what to do. Instead, choose those items that you think the farmers need and can benefit from, and use this manual as a basis for building your own series of learning events so you can pass this information on to farmers.

It is important to adapt the exercises, field lessons and quizzes to suit your own situation. Before teaching these materials, review and modify the following elements to your own local situation:

  • Names of people, villages, and groups
  • Currency
  • Amounts of the items shared in the examples. These amounts could vary based on the target group’s income levels. If the amounts are either too large or too small, participants may not feel that these tools apply to them.
  • Stories. There may be more relevant examples for your community that will better communicate the objectives.
  • Items being bought and sold.
  • Types of income generating activities.
  • When items are sold, based on the local seasons.

Wherever possible, work in a participatory manner with the farmers. This means you should make sure that it is the farmers who are gathering and analyzing information and making decisions that will affect them. Your role is to facilitate their learning, not to do the job for them.

As a reference source: You can use this manual as a reference. If you need to check on a technique or concept, look it up in the table of contents and review that section.

Publication details

Publisher: Catholic Relief Services (July 2013)
Booklets: 4
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-1-61492-112-7
Dimensions: 8.5 x 11 inches

Posted on July 15, 2013

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