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Beyond Economic Empowerment The Influence of Savings Groups on Women’s Public Participation in Fragile and (post) Conflict-Affected Settings Every Voice Counts

Women’s meaningful participation and influence in public processes in fragile and (post) conflict-affected settings (FCAS) is not only necessary to achieve inclusive development but is a fundamental human right. Unfortunately, in most contexts, men are overrepresented in decision-making and women do not have equal voice in the decisions that affect their lives. Some evidence suggests that the economic empowerment of women opens up opportunities for them to participate in public decision-making processes. One such means for economic empowerment in FCAS is savings groups. Savings groups are small, community-based groups that can provide members a safe space to save money, take small loans, and make investment decisions. Globally, women have made advances in improving their income and access to savings, as well as increased their entrepreneurial endeavours as a result of their participation in savings groups. Research also shows that women’s participation in savings groups improves their confidence, skills, and ability to influence household decision-making. This prompts the question: do these benefits of women’s participation in savings groups extend into the public sphere? In other words, does women’s participation in savings groups influence their public participation1 and decision-making? Through a mixed methods investigation across five countries (18 villages) in Africa and South Asia (Burundi, Mali, Niger, Pakistan, and Sudan), using CARE’s Gender Empowerment Framework, this research investigated the differences in outcomes between women who participate in savings groups under three CARE programmes: Every Voice Counts (EVC), Women on the Move (WoM), and Latter Day Saints Charities (LDS) Recovery Support for Vulnerable Households programmes [74 pages]. Read More...

Lessons Learnt from CARE’s Shelter Responses to Cyclone Idai in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe



Collectives are a fundamental building block for much of CARE’s work. What are the greatest strengths of a collectives approach across projects? We combined data from many CARE collectives across projects and found that:
• The gender composition of the collective affects the intended outcomes.
• The most successful collectives are those with a balanced gender mix of collective members and women leaders. The second most successful collectives are those with a balanced gender mix and mixed gender leaders.
• CARE collectives are having an effect on women’s economic empowerment.
•CARE collectives are having a particularly strong effect on income, leadership, domestic decision making, production, violence and time use. Read More...

Accelerating Localisation through Partnerships-Endline Report

Accelerating Localisation through Partnerships was implemented in four focus countries: Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria and South Sudan, with an aim to change the way international NGOs work in partnership with local and national NGOs in humanitarian action, so that these partnerships support the move towards localisation and ultimately reach those affected by crises more effectively and efficiently. The programme was guided by national steering committees (NSC) and existing NGO Fora in each of the focus countries and managed by a consortium of 6 INGOs: Christian Aid, CARE, Tearfund, ActionAid, CAFOD, Oxfam who have worked together for several years to look at partnerships and localisation through the Missed Opportunities series of reports and research1.

This report presents the data collected from end of project - ‘endline’ - surveys completed across all four target countries, and for those based internationally, between September – November 2019. Read More...

Accelerating Localisation through Partnerships: South Sudan

This research was commissioned by the Accelerating Localisation Through Partnerships programme – a multi-agency consortium programme funded by the European Commission’s Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO) over two years (2017-2019) – to establish what operational elements of partnerships between local, national and international NGOs are most likely to foster localisation of humanitarian action. The research was underpinned by a mixed methods approach using qualitative and quantitative data collection approaches. In-depth consultations were conducted in three locations across South Sudan to reach a varied sample of local and national actors: Wau, Bor, and Juba City. In total, 96 NGOs were consulted for this research in South Sudan; 85% of which were local or national NGOs. The findings reflect experiences from a rich diversity of local and national NGOs in South Sudan and provide valuable insights that can assist humanitarian organisations in ensuring partnership practices accelerate localisation of humanitarian action. Findings are also relevant for those funding humanitarian response, in particular signatories of the Grand Bargain. Read More...

Accelerating Localisation through Partnerships-A Learning Review

The Accelerating Localisation through Partnerships programme is an ECHO- funded programme, which has been implemented for two years (Nov 2017 – Oct 2019) in four countries: Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria and South Sudan. Christian Aid leads the consortium of 6 INGOs (Christian Aid, CARE, Tearfund, ActionAid, CAFOD and Oxfam); in each country, programme implementation has been guided by a National Steering Committee (NSC), made up of local and national NGOs and the consortium members.

This Learning Review constitutes the final output of the programme and is meant to assess its effectiveness and impact, and more broadly to capture learning for the consortium members and humanitarian stakeholders in the four programme countries and beyond. While a follow-on programme, Phase 2, is yet to be confirmed or funded, this review will support the design of any such programme.


Gender-based violence (GBV) is one of the most prevalent human rights violations in the world, with an estimated one in three women experiencing physical or sexual abuse in her lifetime. Although humanitarian emergencies disproportionately impact women and girls, their needs and roles within the context of emergency response interventions are underrepresented.

The 2016 World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) and subsequent Grand Bargain commitments have set the localization agenda with the aim of improving local capacities while also providing additional aid directly to those most in need. Evidence suggests that engaging local actors is critical to the success of humanitarian interventions, leading to a faster, more effective, and more sustainable response (International Rescue Committee (IRC), 2017; Wall & Hedlund, 2016).1 In many cases, these benefits can be attributed to the fact that local actors have a greater understanding of the context, can often access affected populations more easily, and can navigate complex political and social dynamics more readily. These issues are particularly true with regard to the provision of GBV prevention and response initiatives, as the inclusion of local women and women-led organizations (WLOs) is crucial to effectively addressing issues of gender inequality and harmful social norms that contribute to the occurrence of GBV (IRC, 2017). Depending on the shape that humanitarian systems take, and the degree to which they foster women’s meaningful participation, emergencies can either be a catalyst for transformational change or exacerbate existing drivers of GBV.

Findings from this study suggest that GBV localization overall has been minimal, with a low level of perceived localization in three of the four priority contexts.4 Findings further suggest that localization has not been formally operationalized at the global level, making its effectiveness – or lack thereof – highly dependent on country contexts rather than relying on recognized standards of good practice. Respondents believe that localization efforts are often donor driven and only pay lip service to the inclusion of local actors rather than engaging in meaningful change. Read More...


his study adopted a mixed methods approach, including an analysis of multiple quantitative data sources and 45 key informant interviews . In line with the GBV AoR’s mandate, the primary focus of this study was on settings with internally-displaced persons (IDPs). Four priority countries were identified as focal contexts for this research, including: Iraq, Nigeria, South Sudan, and the Whole of Syria/Turkey hub.

The researcher for this work collected data from a range of local and international actors participating in GBV coordination, including GBV Sub-Cluster coordinator(s) and representatives from civil society organizations (CSO), national non-governmental organizations (NNGOs), international non-governmental organizations (INGOs), and other global leaders engaged in the localization debate . The term local organization is used to refer to CSOs, NNGOS, and NGO consortiums and local women’s networks; it does not include national or local host government bodies . 10 For the purpose of this research, the terms CSO and NNGO are used interchangeably at the local level and reflect the self- reporting of respondents .


Seeking to meet commitments under the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit, Grand Bargain and the Call to Action, the Gender Based-Violence Area of Responsibility (GBV AoR) is dedicated to ensuring GBV localization moves beyond rhetoric and is realized through global decision-making and field-level coordination mechanisms, while ensuring the needs of survivors and those at risk are prioritized . Global-level commitments around localization, and efforts to operationalize the agenda at the global level have not always translated into impact on the ground. Momentum will be gained through demonstrating how localization improves the effectiveness and efficiency of humanitarian aid. Tools and guidance pertaining to GBV localization are particularly crucial, in order to enable promising practices to be taken to scale and to provide frameworks by which to evaluate the effectiveness of localization approaches.

Although there has been a great deal of research and work surrounding localization within the humanitarian sector, field-ready tools and actionable guidance are minimal. These gaps are particularly apparent with regard to specific tools pertaining toGBV localization. As a result, this resource draws from relevant tools and guidance materials developed by other sectors, in order to enable GBV actors to utilize these resources to inform their work. This document was developed as an appendix to the Global Mapping Study report on GBV localization developed b the Localization Task Team of the GBV AoR and is designed around the key themes that emerged through this research, including: partnerships;dynamics in coordination groups; capacity building;engaging women led organizations (WLOs), and advocacy. Read More...

Private Sector and Market Systems Engagement: Time to Move Beyond Corporate Social Responsibility

A summary of CARE Bangladesh's work on engaging the private sector to transform market systems to end poverty. Read More...

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