Special Evaluation/Report

Women’s economic empowerment in emergency contexts: Niger case study

While discussion of the ‘Humanitarian, Development and Peace Nexus’ continues within the sector, there remains debate as to whether women’s economic empowerment is a luxury, or even feasible in humanitarian contexts where the priority is to keep people alive. Increasingly, however, humanitarians are seeing interventions aimed at women’s economic empowerment in emergency contexts as a key tool to increase protection and support people in crises to live in dignity. CARE set out to analyse whether financial inclusion strategies like community-led savings groups may in fact represent a way to not only respond to crises, but also to build resilience against them, even in highly fluid contexts.

In June 2018, CARE teams conducted fieldwork in two areas where it is implementing ongoing humanitarian interventions. CARE organised focus groups and interviews with communities and individuals in Diffa and Konni where it has delivered humanitarian assistance. The interventions combined blanket cash distributions, and the establishment of savings and credit groups which also provided women with life skills and business training to set up small businesses.

Within a crisis setting, combining a savings group structure including income generation support with humanitarian assistance such as food and non-food items (NFIs) helped women not only to meet basic needs in a more sustainable way, but also improved their independent access to and control over money.

During emergencies, providing women with humanitarian cash to cover basic needs allowed women in savings groups to continue saving and to invest in income generating activities (IGA), rather than using up capital on food.

If crises continue to hit, the positive impact of savings groups set up in emergencies can become strained. In this case, further cash interventions can preserve small businesses.

Membership of savings groups and receipt of IGAs and life skills training increased women’s income and confidence. Membership of a savings group provides psychosocial benefits to women who are suffering anxiety, depression or trauma by providing a social network that meets and talks regularly. Read More...

Kore Lavi Safety Net Beneficiary Resilience Assessment

As part of its mandate, the Kore Lavi program has developed and established a food voucher-based social safety net model for the poorest households in conjunction with the Haitian Government – through the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MAST). This Resilience Assessment contributes to a stronger understanding of the current food security and resilience situations of the most vulnerable program beneficiaries.

Based upon the data collected, the social safety net members – which is considered as the study sampling universe – are mainly affected by Illness, death and drought, respectively. The experiences shared by the respondents also revealed that they often face several types of shocks and stressors simultaneously.

The food voucher had a very positive impact and helped a lot during each key moment: before the shock or stressor affected the respondent, immediately after, sometime after and now. In the different stories that were shared, a certain number of respondents mentioned that they have no other means to ensure their food security - other than the Kore Lavi food vouchers. With regard to the food vouchers indirect contribution, it is important to highlight that 59% of
respondents used the money they saved to pay school fees and 28% to pay medical fees. 36% save it in their Village Saving and Loans Association (VSLA). Yet, there is also an emerging group that used the money to invest in agricultural endeavors and start-up income generating activities.

When comparing the three main types of assets (personal, social and physical-financial resources), it could be observed that especially vulnerable respondents tended to rely on social resources. Generally, the respondents used more negative coping mechanisms that compromise their food security like eating less or less preferred meals per day (58%), reducing expenditures related to household needs (32%), producing charcoal (33%), reducing agriculture production area (20%) and livestock (19%) or selling assets.

The study identified that 22% of VSLA members followed resilient pathways versus 16% of non VSLA respondents. In almost all the signifier questions, there were found small differences between both groups, but not as much as it was initially expected by the Kore Lavi team. Read More...

CARE Rapid Gender Analysis in Lao PDR

Tropical Storm Son Tinh, which hit Lao PDR on 18-19 July 2018, led to a breach in the Xe Pien-Xe Nam Noy hydropower saddle dam dam on 23 July 2018, causing a flash flood through 13 villages downstream in Sanamxay district, Attapeu Province. The Government declared the affected areas a National Disaster Area. CARE undertook a two-phase rapid gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) analysis in Attapeu to provide information and recommendations about the different needs, capacities and coping strategies of women, men, boys and girls including people with a disability and ethnic minority groups. This report is the second version of this evolving analysis and provides a valuable contribution to the limited information available on communities’ lives in the temporary residence camps where they are now residing. [25 pages] Read More...

Report on Contract Farming

This 24 page report discusses how land ownership traditionally remains the main source of wealth, social status, and economic and political power in Nepal. Apart from its productive value linked to livelihoods and food security, land ownership for the marginalized communities often becomes the determining factor between a life with dignity and security, and exposure to different vulnerabilities and uncertainties. Ironically, however, the richest 5% own 37% of the total cultivable land leaving only 15% to be shared among rest of the 47% households. Landlessness is as high as 32.1 %. Over 44% Dalits in the Terai and 22% of those in hills are landless and, thereby, deprived of their socio- economic rights.While landlessness is very high in the country, over 30 % of cultivable land is estimated to have been left fallow for various reasons such as increasing out-migration of youth, rapid urbanization, decreasing competitiveness for agricultural produce and use of farm land for alternative purposes. Land owners most often keep their land fallow fearing that giving them out for tenant farming would ultimately rob them of their land ownership. Read More...

Sustainability of Water Systems in Tacaná, San Marcos built over the last 25 years

CARE Guatemala has worked in water and sanitation in Tacaná for over 10 years. CARE has helped construct potable water systems, trained community members to manage the systems, improved sanitation in schools, and led sanitation workshops for students. Most recently, CARE was involved in the Lazos de Agua (Water Links) project, which was completed in October 2016, in the municipalities of Tacaná and Tajumulco. One of the project’s main goals was to increase access to sustainable, safe water for at least 5,000 people1. In addition to providing access to clean water, it is imperative to ensure the sustainability of improved water systems into the future. In order to monitor the functioning of the water systems, the Municipal Water and Sanitation office (OMAS) was created in Tacaná in 2012. The OMAS is responsible for the operation, management and maintenance of the water systems in both urban and rural areas of Tacaná. However, neither the OMAS nor CARE have had adequate resources to consistently monitor the water systems that have been built over the last 25 years. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the functionality and sustainability of the water systems constructed by CARE and other organizations over the past 25 years in Tacaná. [11 pages] Read More...

A Rapid Study on Sanitation in Garissa County, Kenya

Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) is the method adopted by the Kenyan Government for expanding sanitation coverage. CARE Kenya – within the Kenya RAPID program – has been assigned 65 villages outside of Garissa town, to support the implementation of the CLTS method, and ultimately support the achievement of Open Defecation Free (ODF) villages. CARE essentially allocates the per diem and transport of local County Public Health Officers (CPHOs), who are responsible for carrying out the CLTS method in the community: pre-triggering, triggering and (some) post-triggering follow-up. To date CARE has supported the triggering of six villages, and “re-energizing” five villages and none have made significant progress toward full sanitation coverage. In the 582 villages where UNICEF is supporting CLTS rollout, 27 have been certified ODF and another 130 are nearly there (claimed or verified). In Sept 2018, CARE conducted a study on CLTS and sanitation to understand barriers to latrine construction and delays in ODF achievement. [13 pages] Read More...

Lend With Care (LWC) Assessment Project Akhuwat Islamic Microfinance Report

This report is part of the Lendwithcare (LWC) assessment project and focuses on the evaluation of LWC Pakistani partner, the microfinance institution AIM Islamic Microfinance (AIM). The report was prepared by the University of Portsmouth (UoP), partner in the project, after a second wave of a household survey to a sample of AIM clients who have been supported by the LWC crowdfunding platform.

The study sample included 500 new AIM clients and 100 non-clients, first interviewed in 2015 by a team of independent interviewers recruited from local universities. The second wave of interviews took place in 2017, after all the clients had completed repaying their first loan (20 to 22 months later). [21 pages]
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Food security, nutrition, climate change resilience and gender: Policies for Small-Scale Farmers

This Policy Analysis is part of series of country-specific studies on Food and Nutrition Security (FNS) and Climate Change Resilience (CCR) policies in the Southern African region that CARE International is currently conducting. CARE identifies advocacy as one of the priority approaches to influence broader change and scale up effective solutions. Multiplying the impact of innovative solutions that bring lasting changes, by documenting and replicating successful experiences, promoting pro-poor approaches and advocating and influencing policies are key aspects of CARE global 2020 Program Strategy. The focus of this analysis is the implementation status of FNS- CCR, with a strong emphasis on how these policies impact in the small scale and women farmers. The analysis covers both national specific policies and those policies and commitments that the Government of Tanzania has signed to as part of global collective efforts. The analysis aims to become a baseline to better understand the policy gaps and implementation challenges in in FNS and CCR towards women and smallholders in Tanzania. [112 pages] Read More...

Second National Advocacy Conference Position Paper EVC Project

CARE and its partners WCLRF, AWRC and HRRAC are jointly implementing the Every Voice Count-EVC program in targeted provinces, by advocating for women’s and girls’ rights as well as their visible positions in decision making process that would enable a supportive environment for their access to education and health services and participation in local decision making. This is, to some extent, achieved via the implementation of the Community Score Card, Social Audit, and advocacy efforts to promote inclusive governance while incorporating lessons learnt and constructive ideas into policies, priorities and programs of the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Public Health, Independent Directorate of Local Governance and Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation & Development and Ministry of Hajj & Religious Affairs. Therefore, through this paper, on behalf of women and girls from the communities that EVC is being implemented, we as representatives of communities call on local and national authorities to address the needs and fulfill the rights of women and girls at community level. [4 pages] Read More...

Qualitative Assessment of the Effectiveness of Gender Transformative Programming on Changing Gender and Social Norms and Women’s Empowerment

The “Win-Win for Gender, Agriculture and Nutrition: Testing a Gender-Transformative Approach from Asia in Africa” is a project aimed at establishing a comparison between a gender-transformative model to achieve gender equality (the “EKATA” model), and a gender-mainstreamed approach in the agriculture sector (“Gender-Light model”), in which basic activities around gender are integrated into a program whose principle focus and measures of success are women’s economic empowerment through agriculture and micro-enterprise development.

The qualitative research is using in-depth interviews and Focus Group Discussions(FGDs) of a subset of women and their spouses who are participating in the program. For the in-depth interviews, 30 people (22 women and their spouses) were selected and are followed every year to document different pathways to empowerment. They were randomly selected from a strata of all women interviewed at baseline to reflect different social economic and marital status. On the other hand, 106 people (45 men and 61 women) participated in a total of ten FGDs. [42 pages]
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