About CoSAP

The Consortium of Self Help Group Approach Promoters (CoSAP) is an umbrella organization of Ethiopian Resident Charities that are engaged in promoting the Self Help Group Approach(SHG) approach in various parts of Ethiopia. CoSAP is registered as Ethiopian Resident Charity consortium by FDRE Charities and Societies agency under the registration number 1590. It is a legally mandated consortium to represent the SHG approach promoting organizations in Ethiopia.

As of 2017, around 229,763 women were organized in more than 12,427 SHGs. These women have been able to rotate  loan amounting more than ETB 126.5 million (USD 4.5 million) from their savings; subsequently, more than 525 thousand children were directly benefiting from their mothers (guardians) by receiving better education, nutritious food, psychosocial and health care- not through external inputs but through the initiatives of their own parents and guardians.

Currently CoSAP has 28 members (Member Profile) who are promoting the SHG program for women’s socio-economic enhancement. The 28 member organizations have formed 12,427 SHGs groups to the benefit of 229,763 women, who were able to save a total capital of 94 Million ETB (USD 3.3 million). At present, the SHG approach is being actively promoted in six regions and two administrative cities across Ethiopia viz. Afar, Amhara, Benishangul Gumuz, Oromiya, SNNPR, Ethio Somali, Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa

Historical Background of CoSAP

The Self Help Group Approach was introduced in year 2002 by Kindernothilfe (KNH) – a German NGO. Two organizations namely, Ethiopian Kale Hiwot Church and Jerusalem Children and Community Development Organizations pioneered to adopt the approach and started implementation. In order to coordinate and provide technical support, KNH established SHG approach National Coordination Office-Ethiopia, which was hosted by German Development Service (DeD) until 2006. Afterwards, the coordination office moved to Facilitator for Change (FC) that provided all rounded support and hosting the office until it took another form by year 2010.

The series of discussion forums, workshops and negotiations held among SHG approach implementing organizations in the country have borne fruit in 2010. Organizations joined hands to form their own network – Consortium of Self Help Group Approach promoters (CoSAP).


The Self Help Group (SHG) approach is a powerful development model which recognizes poverty not only as material deprivation but also as a continuous process of disempowerment. It aims at transforming individuals and communities from poverty and hopelessness to a state of self-esteem and empowerment. (For detailed information, please visit (www.shgconsortiumeth.org).

The Self Help institution is organized into 3 levels:

  1. The Self Help Group (SHG): grassroots level group made up of 15-20 women from similar socioeconomic background.
  2. Cluster Level Association (CLA): second level whereby 8 to 10 strong SHGs form a CLA.
  3. ‘Timret’ (Federation): at the apex level, 8 or more strong CLAs come together to form the ‘Timret’ (Federation).

At each of these three levels the groups have distinct roles and responsibilities to ensure social and economic empowerment of women and the community in general.



To see vibrant peoples’ institutions in Ethiopia



CoSAP work towards enhanced capacity of member organizations to create vibrant Women’s institutions in Ethiopia through capacity building, resources mobilization, partnership, networking, research, and documentation.


Strategic Goals

  • Become an umbrella organization that has the mandate of its members to ensure that the SHG approach in Ethiopia is promoted according to the principles
  • Contribute to sustainable women empowerment by providing capacity building supports for all SHG promoting organizations in Ethiopia



  • Enhance the capacities of member organizations
  • Strengthen efforts to create a more enabling environment
  • Enhance the capacities of CoSAP

Our Logo


  • As the color of a blue sky, women’s potential can go greater lengthen if unleashed
  • The two connected heads represent African women hair style. The dots in the middle reflect eyes of individual woman that coming together can see deeper
  • The two women are connected by half arc to show that they come together as a group/network
  • Therefore, the logo as a whole expresses a Consortium/network of organizations that closely work with women in groups


The General Assembly is the highest governing body of CoSAP. The Board of Directors elected by the General closely provides guidance to the Secretariat on strategic and policy level issues. The day to day operations of CoSAP office is led by the Director, assisted by Program Coordination and Administration and Finance.

CoSAP Organogram