Asset building is an effective poverty reduction tool, evident through thirty years of research and
programming in the field throughout the United States. Individual Development Account
programming targets individuals experiencing living on a low income, a state of transition and/or
at-risk of homelessness/homeless and provides money management education and monetary
incentives in the form of matched funds to encourage savings patterns and asset accumulation.
Individual Development Account programs have proven to move people out of poverty and into
financial stability through using an asset building approach. Though effective and outcome
driven, Individual Development Account programs are costly and require large investments in
human and financial resources in-order to operate successfully. This paper determines best
practices and strategies in reaching efficiencies in Individual Development Account programs
from the field of asset building and merges academic research in behavioural economics to
produce an experiment in scaling the Fair Gains Individual Development Account Program at
Momentum Community Economic Development.
Kassam, Salimah. (2013). Family Saves: An Experiment in Reaching Efficiencies of Scale in Individual Development Account Policy and Programming ( Unpublished master's thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.