No silver bullet: an assessment of the effects of financial counselling on decision-making behaviour of housing beneficiaries in Jaffna and Kilinochchi

No silver bullet: an assessment of the effects of financial counselling on decision-making behaviour of housing beneficiaries in Jaffna and Kilinochchi

Owner-driven housing construction programme in the North is an initiative by the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC) which provides funds in the form of a staggered grant-scheme, to selected returnee families for the reconstruction of their destroyed houses. A study conducted by the Centre for Poverty Analysis (2014) found that approximately 85% of housing beneficiaries had unmanageable debt and over 50% of them lacked knowledge about managing finances (Romeshun, Gunasekara, & Mohamed, 2014).

As a response to this evidence, in May 2014, SDC implemented a financial counseling module, specific to the housing process, as a way of maintaining low housing-related debt levels. This action by SDC shapes the main objective of this study, which is to understand the extent to which SDC’s financial counseling intervention shaped behavioral changes in housing beneficiaries in relation to the housing (re)construction process.