Uganda

Evidence Review of Women’s Groups and COVID-19: Impacts, Challenges, and Policy Implications for Savings Groups in Africa

It has been more than a year since COVID-19 lockdowns began, and economic recovery is a top priority for governments, donors, and international financial institutions (IFIs) worldwide, including in sub-Saharan Africa. Targeted investments that increase community resilience and spur economic growth will mitigate some of the negative economic consequences of this crisis. Investment in women’s economic resilience and social support is para- mount, considering that the crisis may reverse recent progress in gender equality. Around the world, women’s groups, such as self- help groups, savings groups, and health groups, play an important role in communities; evidence shows promise in their role in promoting women’s empowerment and economic outcomes. They encompass many models, but all bring women together around a shared purpose, such as financial inclusion, livelihoods, health, and women’s rights.
This brief focuses on one specific type of women’s group in sub-Saharan Africa: savings groups. Savings groups are a common form of women’s group and serve as a reliable mechanism for people in sub-Saharan Africa to save money. Members of savings groups pool small weekly savings into a common fund, which members can then borrow against, creating opportunities for investments and women’s empowerment. Savings groups show mixed, but promising, results in improving economic and social outcomes. This brief, written by a consortium of researchers and practitioners, presents emerging evidence from studies in diverse African contexts— with a deep dive into Nigeria and Uganda—on how COVID-19 has affected savings groups and how these groups have helped mitigate the pandemic’s negative consequences in sub-Saharan Africa.
This report is 23 pages long. Read More...

Digital Subwallets and Household Dialogues

This document reports the results of a women's financial inclusion intervention in rural Uganda from 2017 to 2019. Two innovations were tested among adult females: (1) a mobile banking service with digital subwallet folders labelled for women and (2) the same service coupled with a course of seven household counselling sessions aimed at equalizing the influence of women and men in the context of family money management.

The theory of change underpinning the project recognized that women's power over their own money, as well as their participation in household decision-making were very limited. Providing married women with greater autonomy and voice in household decision-making, it was proposed, would facilitate achievement of their own financial goals especially those believed to alleviate poverty, such as keeping children in school. The mobile banking service was meant to provide privacy and autonomy, while achieving voice was expected to occur as the result of the couples counselling sessions, which emphasized transparency, sharing, and collaboration. Importantly, the theory of change recognized that women's experience of empowerment takes place in the context of a struggle against disempowerment and often entails group solidarity.

The research was multimethod: a randomized controlled trial (RCT), administration of two scientifically validated psychological scales, bank data on the accounts, two exhaustive surveys, and 100 semi-structured interviews. The sample size was 1,423. The research design had two treatment groups and a control. Read More...

Uganda COVID-19 Rapid Gender Analysis

The novel corona virus disease 2019 (COVID 19) pandemic has been widely reported to have distinct gendered implications in countries around the world.1 This rapid gender analysis (RGA) seeks to explore the implications of COVID 19 in specific areas in northern Uganda to inform current CARE Uganda programming in the region, as well as to serve as reference to any other stakeholders working in the area and with similar target groups. The specific locations this RGA covers are: Omugo settlement, Palabek
settlement, Gulu municipality, Arua municipality, Moyo district and Lamwo district.

This study looks at how COVID 19 is affecting men, women, boys and girls, from refugee and non-refugee backgrounds, in the urban, rural and settlement contexts. It follows earlier RGAs2 conducted prior to the outbreak of the pandemic and seeks to identify where there have been changes of note as a result of the pandemic. On this basis, it provides a number of recommendations to donors and for implementing organisations. Read More...

A POLICY BRIEF FOR REDUCING CLIMATE RISKS AND VULNERABILITY FOR THE WOMEN, GIRLS AND SMALL HOLDER FARMERS AMONG PASTORALIST COMMUNITIES

Investments especially mining in pastoral areas across the Horn of Africa countries, while important for national development entails serious environmental impacts and pose climate risks that increases the vulnerability of marginalized groups of people who are already disadvantaged by the semi-arid topography. The women, girls, youth, and smallholder
farmers are particularly affected given that their fragile livelihoods are nature based.

The current regional initiatives aimed at building resilience of the affected communities have not adequately addressed the linkage between livelihood systems and sustainable environment management. The initiatives at national and regional levels tend to use traditional orthodox approaches of “environmental conservation” as sacrosanct for addressing all climate risks.

It is critical that any initiatives to reduce the vulnerability caused by the investments must consider that providing decent livelihoods for the most vulnerable groups is the key to achieving an environment conducive for investment. The interventions proposed in this brief, if well implemented, will address this issue; providing sustainable livelihoods while promoting economic investment. Read More...

STRENGTHENING RESILIENCE AND PROMOTING INCLUSIVE GOVERNANCE PROGRAM (STRENPO): Experiences of advocacy and action for climate change resilience

Care International in Uganda presents to you experiences and lessons learnt while implementing Strengthening Resilience and Promoting Inclusive Governance for Women and Youth in Vulnerable Communities Project (STRENPO). At Care we are using the nexus of humanitarian and long-term development to build resilience that bridges humanitarian action and sustainable development. Our approach to increasing resilience operates in synergy with gender transformation and inclusive governance.

We also show the models used to empower citizens such as engaging duty bearers, building civil society organizational capacity to engage with the duty bearers and claim citizens’ rights and provide information to citizens, build organization legitimacy and support multi-stakeholder platforms for engagement and informing policy processes. Read More...

Up-Scaling Community Resilience through Ecosystem-based Disaster Risk Reduction (Eco-DRR) Project: Baseline Report

The Ecosystem based Disaster Risk Reduction project will contribute to addressing the current challenges through a combination of activities to increase the ability of communities to anticipate, absorb, adapt, and transform towards the impact of hazards such as drought and floods, enhance the capacity of district local governments, CSOs and the private sector to improve, inclusive and effective multi-stakeholder governance at catchment level to foster sustainable development that takes a landscape approach, is risk-informed and eco-sensitive.

The study objectives were to determine the baseline status on selected outcome and output indicators as established in the ECO DRR PME plan, and to provide specific and achievable recommendations on possible improvement.

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Strengthening Resilience and Inclusive Governance (STRENPO) Mid-term Review

The Strengthening Resilience and Inclusive Governance Program (STRENPO) is a 4-year programme in the nexus between humanitarian and development work, managed by CARE International in Uganda, in partnership with four Ugandan civil society organisations. The programme commenced in April 2018 for the years 2018-2021.

The overall objective of STRENPO is: Women and youth in vulnerable, natural resource-dependent communities, including refugee settlements, are resilient to shocks and stresses arising from natural resources degradation, climate change, and conflict & displacement.

The overall impression generated from the documents review and the consultations in Uganda is that programme implementation is largely on track compared with work plans; this includes individual partner projects carried out by three ‘old’ partner organisations and RICE-WN as the new partner in the programme. Interventions are well-managed and the STRENPO team in CARE as well as staff in the partner organisations appear dedicated to the implementation of the programme in general and to their particular contribution.

A baseline survey was undertaken in late 2018 and is assessed as a well-planned and executed activity. The study focused on measuring resilience and the result was a sophisticated framework of criteria for categorising indicators of capacity to anticipate and respond appropriately to climate changes. Important information also came out from the Gender Sensitive Climate Vulnerability and Capacity Analysis (G-CVCA) that were undertaken by mid-2019.

- It is therefore recommended to introduce a more diversified approach to the interventions that targets impact groups directly, building on findings from the baseline survey and the G-CVCAs.
- It is recommended that STRENPO continues a strong follow-up to the CAAPs in order to facilitate funding of activities of priority to the involved communities and relevant to the programme’s objectives.
- It is therefore recommended that STRENPO during the coming two years increases the focus on using potential avenues for best practices replication and other catalytic effects.
- It is recommended that the STRENPO partners together selects a handful of the outlined ‘strategic actions’ for further development and specification.
- It is recommended that some of the capacity gaps that have key relevance for the programme are selected, so that it can be decided what type and how much support to the capacity development interventions the programme is able to offer.
- It is recommended that STRENPO in early 2020 reviews its potentials for engaging in stronger partnerships with the private sector, using a market driven analytical approach to determine appropriate interventions and relevant value chain and private sector actors to engage with.
- It is recommended that the STRENPO team engages in a discussion with CARE Danmark to further clarify their understanding and expectations regarding the programme’s inclusion of innovative climate change prevention solutions and a transformative approach to resilience.
- It is recommended that STRENPO undertakes a quick review of its results framework, with the intention to reduce the number of indicators, but also to allow a breakdown on some indicators into refugees and hosts. The revision should also aim at reducing and/or combining the qualitative indicators and progress markers. It is furthermore recommended to review and revise the phrasing of result areas and the Theory of Change, taking note of the suggestions made during the MTR workshop.


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BASELINE SURVEY REPORT FOR ACCESS PROTECTION EMPOWERMENT ACCOUNTABILITY AND LEADERSHIP (APEAL) PROJECT

APEAL Project Overview: APEAL project was designed to deliver a comprehensive, evidence-based and people-centred Protection & Gender-Based Violence (GBV) sector response for recent and newly-arrived refugees from DRC settling in Western Uganda. The one year project is implementing a harmonized intervention package of targeted protection and GBV life-saving assistance with a particular focus on extremely vulnerable individuals.

APEAL Project Baseline Survey: The APEAL project baseline survey was commissioned with the overall objective of collecting values against all outcome level indicators as per the approved project Log Frame. This baseline survey report was compiled based on a cross-sectional survey of individual new DRC arriving refugees and host community members in the project area. Read More...

Positive Masculinities in a Refugee Context: A Case Study from Uganda

This exploratory study on positive masculinity in a refugee context was conducted in July 2018 by CARE International in Uganda, Arua sub-office across three (3) refugee settlements of Rhino (including Omugo zone) and Imvepi in Arua district and Bidibidi in Yumbe district of West-Nile.

The objective was to understand more deeply and collect lessons learnt on how engaging men and boys works in the refugee setting, drawing from the experience of two ECHO1 projects and building on initial lessons documented from the UNFPA funded initiative in June 2017.
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Learning for Change (L4C): Strengthening Women’s Voices in East Africa (Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda)

CARE Austria, together with CARE Ethiopia, CARE Uganda and CARE Rwanda, has been implementing a three-year regional programme, “Learning for Change (L4C): Strengthening Women’s Voices in East Africa”, financed by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) and CARE Austria. The programme started from 1st April 2016 to 31st March 2019. The core of this programme was organisational capacity development to support transforming gender norms.
The objective was: “268,622 women and girls are meaningfully participating in decision-making at household, community,
local and national levels”. The programme theory of change defined three expected results areas (ERs) to reach this objective:
ER 1: Improved organisational climate in partner organisations and CARE reflects transformative GED and psychosocial wellbeing.
ER 2: Programmes and knowledge systems reflect an integrated gender transformative approach in the design, implementation and reporting of CARE and partners.
ER 3: Women’s voices influence strategic forums concerning women, peace and security at national and international levels (contributing to the implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions 1325 and 1820). The L4C programme partners have included: CARE Austria; CARE Ethiopia with 5 government partners; CARE Uganda with 7 NGO partners; and CARE Rwanda with 6 NGO partners.
The main objective of the evaluation is to assess, measure and present the progress and success of the implementation of the L4C program (outputs and outcomes), draw out lessons learnt and provide recommendations based on these findings. The methodologies of the evaluation have included documents review; key informant interviews, focus group discussions, and self-completed most significant change (MSC) tools; reflection and review workshops; qualitative analysis; and presentation at a validation workshop. Read More...

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