COVID 19

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...

Our Best Shot: Frontline Health Workers and COVID-19 Vaccines

Fully realizing the social and economic benefits of halting COVID-19 requires investing in a fast and fair global rollout of COVID-19 vaccines. CARE estimates that for every $1 a country or donor government invests in vaccine doses, they need to invest $5.00 in delivering the vaccine.

Investments in frontline health workers are a critical component in this comprehensive vaccination cost. Of the $5.00 in delivery costs, $2.50 has to go to funding, training, equipping, and supporting health workers—especially women—who administer vaccines, run education campaigns, connect communities to health services, and build the trust required for patients to get vaccines. For these investments to work, they must pay, protect and respect women frontline health workers and their rights—a cost that is largely absent from recent WHO estimates on vaccine rollout costs. No current global conversations or guidance on vaccine costs includes the full cost of community health workers or long-term personnel costs.

Investing in a fast and fair global vaccine distribution will save twice as many lives as maximizing vaccine doses for the wealthiest countries in the world. Even better, investing in vaccine equality will speed up economic recoveries in every country in the world. For every $1 invested in vaccines in less wealthy countries, wealthy countries will see $4.80 of economic benefit because economies can fully re-open sooner. Failing to make this investment could cost wealthy economies $4.5 trillion in economic losses.

Current global debates are focused so narrowly on equitable access to for vaccine doses that they largely overlook the importance of delivering vaccines—and the key role women frontline health workers play in vaccine delivery. Of 58 global policy statements on vaccines, only 10 refer to the costs of delivery at all—and these are primarily technical advisories from the World Health Organization. No government donors are discussing the importance of vaccine delivery systems that are necessary to ending COVID-19. Only one statement—from Norway—refers to the importance of women health workers as part of the solution to ending COVID-19.

As new and dangerous strains of COVID-19 emerge in countries that are struggling to access the vaccine and control the pandemic, every day we wait for fair global vaccination allows for more contagious strains that spread around the world. The more chances the virus has to mutate in non-vaccinated populations, the higher the risk for everyone. Comprehensive global vaccine delivery plans that make sure the vaccine gets to people who need it—and that those people are ready to get the vaccine when it arrives—are the only way to end this threat. No one is safe until everyone is safe.
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Gender, Disability and Inclusion Analysis for COVID-19 and Tropical Cyclone Harold

When Tropical Cyclone Harold hit on the 2nd April, the Solomon Islands was among the first countries forced to grapple with the complex intersection of COVID-19 and disaster. While the country has managed to contain the spread of COVID-19 and prevent community transmission to date, the pandemic is still having a major impact on everyday life for men, women, boys and girls. Lock-down measures, the abrupt cessation of tourism, severe disruptions to international trade and other flow-on effects of the global pandemic (combined with the effects of TC Harold and pre-existing vulnerabilities) are resulting in widespread income and job losses, heightened stress and tension, increased family violence, displacement, and disrupted access to education, health, and water and sanitation.
If community transmission of COVID-19 occurs, there will be a public health crisis with complex contextual challenges. These include a population dispersed across isolated islands and limited resources, including limited access to quality health services.
The current COVID-19 impacts are disproportionately affecting women, girls and people with disabilities in the Solomon Islands, and this will be exacerbated in the case of a wider COVID-19 outbreak. All humanitarian programming must consider gender roles and responsibilities and the existing patterns of community participation and leadership, in order to ‘do no harm’ and help facilitate a gender and disability inclusive approach to COVID-19 prevention and recovery.

This gender, disability and inclusion analysis has the following objectives:
* To analyse and understand the different impacts that COVID-19 and TC Harold is having on women, men, girls, boys, people living with disabilities and other vulnerable groups in the Solomon Islands;
* To inform humanitarian programming in the Solomon Islands based on the different needs of women, men, boys, girls and people living with disabilities with a particular focus on gender-based violence (GBV) and livelihoods. Read More...

Multiagency and Multisectoral Rapid Need Assessment in Raya Kobo, Raya Alamata, Raya Azebo, Chercher, Wajirat and Ofla Woredas of North Wollo and South Tigray Zones

2020 was ascribed as a record year of disasters by the local communities in the locations covered by this assessment; Raya Kobo, Raya Alamata, Raya Azebo, Raya Chercher, Wajirat and Ofla woredas in North Wollo and South Tigray. The multiple, complex and frequent hazards have proved relentless; COVID 19, Desert Locusts and conflict have exhausted the coping capacity and challenged the resilience of the local communities.
The Tigray conflict erupted at the backdrop of the devastating impact of COVID- 19 and locust infestation crisis. To make the matter worse, the conflict erupted in the middle of the harvest season, effectively halting attempts to gather the remains of already depleted crops. The longer- term effects of, which will impact communities for years to come.
Since there was already an influx of IDPs from the 2017 ethnic conflicts around the country, the region experienced in hosting IDP, but on this occasion, the numbers of incoming families have doubled and, in some cases, trebled, according to reports from the local Woreda authorities responsible for registering such movement. Thus, these two zones are under protracted and complex crisis that have rocked the livelihood base of the communities and put their lives into a very precarious situation.

Objectives of the Assessment
a) Assessing the current humanitarian situation and identify response requirements and preferences1 for IDPs as well as host community members with humanitarian support needs
b) Understand the response capacity and preparedness of partners operating in Amhara and Tigray and to act in a complementary manner to rescue the lives and livelihoods of the
communities and IDPs,
c) To be ready for humanitarian support in line with humanitarian principles and NGOs code of conduct, and
d) Understand current humanitarian concerns of the targeted areas in both regional states
(Amhara and Tigray) and act to raise these concerns with potential benevolent donors within the country and overseas, to generate funds

This report is 43 pages long. Read More...

CARE Rapid Gender Analysis (RGA) Mopti Mali April 2020

The ongoing crisis in Mali has led to levels of socioeconomic disruption and displacement at an unprecedented scale. There are numerous factors that contribute to aggravate/worsen the situation - political crises, decades of drought, structural food insecurity, climate change, high rates of poverty, and high rates of youth unemployment. In many areas traditional livelihoods have been usurped by political conflict or by drought, causing extremely high rates of displacement and food insecurity. Since 2017 there have been significant increases in violent attacks and rates of displacement, and the crisis continues to grow in scope and scale into 2020 (OCHA 2020).
The first few months of 2020 saw escalating violence and conflict, leading to a sharp rise in internal displacements, the continued disruption of markets, and a deterioration in the supply of basic social services. The results from the recent food and nutrition security analysis (Cadre Harmonisé, November 2019) indicate that from October to December 2019, 648,330 people are estimated to be food insecure – representing an increase of 250 percent compared to the same time last year (WFP 2020).
Mali is a highly patriarchal society, with institutionalized gender inequality that marginalizes women. The effects of the crisis have not affected all equally, and there is significant evidence that there are significant differences, with the resources, rights, and afforded to women, men, boys, girls, and other groups of individuals, requiring different coping strategies. High levels of diversity in ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and circumstance within communities bring about important intersections between power and vulnerability that further prioritize and marginalize certain individuals. As the crisis in Mali continues to rapidly evolve, it is critical to ensure that humanitarian interventions are designed to respond to the needs of women, men, boys, girls, people with disabilities, and other vulnerable groups.
To better understand the experiences of women, men, boys within this highly dynamic and rapidly evolving crisis, CARE Mali conducted a Rapid Gender Analysis in March 2020, with the objective of analysing and understanding how the insecurity and conflict in the Mopti region has influenced women, men, girls, boys, people with disabilities, and other specific groups; as well as to identify and propose solutions to limitations women face to full participation in decision making; and to provide practical advice to decision-making to improve gender integration in humanitarian response programming and planning. Of key importance was the generation of recommendations to the Harande program, a USAID Food for Peace program being led by CARE and implemented in the Mopti region from 2015-2020. Read More...

Real-Time Evaluation Asia-Pacific Regional COVID-19 Task Force

The Asia-Pacific Regional COVID-19 task force (RTF) was set-up in April 2020 as part of CARE’s global corporate emergency protocols. The intention of the RTF was to coordinate support across the CARE membership to contribute to effective pandemic response actions at the country level, as well as appropriate support and guidance for staff at all levels.
The official remit of the RTF that was agreed upon by the membership was to support: 1) COVID-19 humanitarian response; 2) clear, consolidated and contextualized programming guidance for COs, CMPs, affiliates and candidates; 3) communications for brand coherence & higher influence; d) information management; 4) COVID-19 specific regional advocacy; 5) consolidating program and response learning; 6) making resources on COVID programming available for external partners; 7) coordinating technical support; 8) linking to the global task team.
Now, six months into the response, the RTF has established a real-time evaluation to draw out learnings and understand how effective a role it has played in reaching its stated objectives. This RTE is intended to be a light, “good enough” review of the AP COVID-19 Task Force’s (henceforth referred to as RTF) performance since its inception.
The expectation is that learning from this evaluation will inform decision-making around possible continuation of the RTF, and also shed light on any adaptations to the remit, configuration or ways of working of the grouping that are required. Read More...

COVID-19 impact on Vietnamese apparel and footwear workers: Workers’ Perspective

In April 2020, the Public Private Partnerships Cooperation Group for sustainable apparel and footwear sector in Vietnam, consisting of over 40 members from the Ministries of Industry and Trade Natural Resources and Environment, Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs and VITAS, LEFASO, brands, development partners and domestic and international NGOs, conducted a comprehensive assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on the apparel and footwear sector. The aim of the assessment was to seek solutions from policy perspectives, social security, sustainable economic development, environmental protection and the role of stakeholders in the supply chain to mitigate impacts of the pandemic. One of the key components of the assessment is this analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on AFS workers’ lives conducted by CARE and sponsored by TARGET and the National Federation of Christian Trade Unions in
the Netherlands (CNV). This report also references findings from the qualitative research conducted by the Center for Development and Integration (CDI).
Purposes of the assessment of COVID-19 impacts on apparel and footwear sector workers:
1. To analyze the impact of COVID-19 on workers’ lives in the apparel and footwear industry across three major areas: economic, health, and society with a focus on gendered impacts and employment relation.
2. To identify the needs of AFS workers, especially female workers, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
3. To provide recommendations to businesses, brands, associations, unions, governments and development organizations on supporting workers to recover from the impact of COVID-19.
The information and data included in this report represent the key findings of the COVID-19 impact
assessment study with specific policy implications for enterprises, trade unions and government. Read More...

Covid-19 Digital Response Case Study

The case study captures and documents the process of YMI’s adaptation to the COVID-19 pandemic during the period March-July 2020 in countries in the Balkans (Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Albania, Croatia) and represents a unique contribution and source for other organizations that are going through the same process of adaptation [38 pages]. Read More...

ESTUDIO DE SATISFACCIÓN DE BENEFICIARIAS DEL PROYECTO ELECTRONIC FOOD VOUCHERS “CANASTAS VIRTUALES” Electronic food vouchers for coping with new challenges

El 15 de marzo de 2020, luego de declarar la OMS como pandemia por Coronavirus (COVID19), el Estado Peruano declaró Estado de Emergencia Nacional e inicio de una cuarentena. Las medidas gubernamentales implementadas, si bien contuvo inicialmente la propagación de la infección, generó impacto negativo en la calidad de vida de las familias en situación de pobreza y pobreza extrema (20,5% según INP 2018) y los programas de apoyo y subsidio generados por el gobierno, no eran suficientes. El periodo de cuarentena agudizó la situación de precariedad de una economía peruana altamente informal, un sistema sanitario débil y evidenció las limitaciones de acceso que tenían las familias a medios de comunicación virtual.
Bajo este contexto CARE Perú, entiende que estos impactos repercuten en mayor medida a las mujeres y niñas, y entre otros a los pequeños emprendedores, como los dueños de bodegas. Existen en el país alrededor de 500,000 bodegas1 y más del 60% son emprendidas por mujeres, estas bodegas han presentado una caída de más de un 50% en sus ventas. En este sentido, CARE Perú diseñó una intervención innovadora de doble impacto, que consideró abordar a las familias en situación de vulnerabilidad y contribuir en la reactivación de las bodegas de las localidades donde ellas radican, aplicando mecanismos que involucran el uso de la tecnología.

El Proyecto se denominó “Electronic food vouchers for coping with new challenges”, financiado por Fundación Coca Cola, conocido como “Canastas virtuales Coca Cola”, el cual fue implementado entre mayo y octubre de 2020 y tuvo como objetivo beneficiar a 800 familias de Lima, Junín, Arequipa y Piura, mediante la entrega de un kitCARE (canasta familiar de productos alimenticios nutritivos) por tres oportunidades (más de 3500 canastas), adquiridos en una bodega a través de una plataforma virtual, que operaba como una pasarela de pago, para más del 70% de las beneficiarias, el otro grupo de 30% utilizó otro medio. Estudio de satisfaccion [44 pages]. Read More...

The Impact of COVID-19 on Women in Democratic Republic of Congo

Evidence worldwide indicates that women are disproportionately affected by the health and socio-economic impacts of intervention
measures applied for the control of COVID-19. Women make up the majority of the informal labour sector and are more likely to suffer job losses or reduced income as a result of closed borders, markets and shops, and restricted movement. Sexual and reproductive health services are often the first to face restrictions in terms of availability and access. School closures place an additional burden on women, who take on childcare responsibilities, including ensuring adequate nutrition. Girls who cannot go to school are at increased risk of sexual violence, pregnancy, and early marriage - a trend that was widely observed in areas affected by Ebola during the 2014-2016 epidemic in West Africa. Risks are exacerbated for women and girls living in the poorest households in remote rural areas.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in March 2020, mixed methods data produced by the Social Sciences Analytics Cell (CASS) and its partners presents a dynamic where pre-existing disparities between men and women in terms of health, social protection and economic status are being exacerbated by the outbreak and its response. This report presents an integrated multidisciplinary analysis of the impact of COVID-19 and its response on women and girls in the DRC, highlighting changes that have occurred since the beginning of the outbreak. The objective of this report is to provide evidence to support decision-making for strategies to respond to the outbreak to ensure that the health, protection and economic security of women and girls is prioritised. Read More...

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