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LINK Up, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, aimed to link 10,000 Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) to formal financial institutions; building financial inclusion in Kenya and Tanzania, assessing the impacts of access to formal financial services on VSLAs and their
members and determining whether serving such groups presented a viable business case for financial service providers (FSPs).

Over the course of this program, LINK Up partners have opened 13,165 group savings accounts and have served approximately 322,000 members, 81% of which were women.
To implement LINK Up, CARE partnered with four financial service providers; co-designing and copromoting group products and alternative channel solutions tailored to the needs of savings groups and their members. The collaborations resulted in the creation of four new group-focused products and a host of innovations in the mobile and agent banking solutions deployed to deliver those products. Read More...

Impact Assessment of Savings Groups

Researchers from IPA, along with CARE staff and their implementing partners, conducted a randomized evaluation of Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA) programs in Ghana, Malawi, and Uganda to examine two questions: Who joins savings groups? And, what is the impact on households from programs that promote savings groups? The evaluation used a randomized control trial (RCT) design, in which eligible communities were randomly divided into two sets: a set of villages with access to a VSLA program (the treatment group) and a set of villages where the program was not implemented during the study (the control group). The study started in Ghana in 2008 and in Malawi and Uganda in 2009, and the final data collection took place in 2011 in the three countries. Each site included a panel survey in which households were surveyed before the start of the program implementation and again two or three years later. Over 15,000 households in almost 950 communities were surveyed. The surveys covered a large variety of topics, including health, education, income-generating activities, asset holdings, food consumption, non-food expenditure, intra-household decision making and community involvement. At the time of the endline survey, after an average of two years of program implementation in the three sites, one third of respondents had joined a VSLA group. On average, members had been part of a group for 15 months and 61% of members had gone through a full savings cycle, normally lasting between 8 and 12 months. The evaluation should thus be thought of as assessing the relatively short-term impacts of the intervention. [62 pages] Read More...

Women for Women: Creating Opportunities for Women in Enterprise Development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

The Women for Women (W4W) project was implemented by CARE Ethiopia and its implementing partner, Mission for Community Development Program (MCDP), with the financial support from the H&M Foundation. The project was implemented for three years (February 2015-September 2018) and mainly targeted economically active but poor women in three sub-cities of Addis Ababa: Arada, Lideta and Kirkos. The project had an objective of empowering women entrepreneurs and women workers from low-income urban communities in Ethiopia to reach their full potential.

The evaluation result revealed that the project targeted appropriate group and made significant changes in the lives of women through its interventions on skill development, creating access to financial services, and facilitating market linkages, among others. Accordingly, the project has contributed to diversification and expansion of business activities of beneficiaries and enabled them to enjoy moderate net earnings. Through organizing women in to 182 VSLAs and 6 SACCOs, linking them to Addis Saving and Credit Institute and Addis Capital Goods Finance S.C., and preparing business plan competitions and granting capital for winners, the project has played a key role to improve women’s access to formal and informal financial services. This enable women to double their working capital after the project, increase their income and asset holding of the household, and improve their culture and level of saving. Read More...

For the Project of Financial Linkage for Inclusion: Remote Ethnic Minority Women

In line with CARE Vietnam’s program priorities, Financial Linkage for Inclusion – a project funded by VISA - focuses on empowering ethnic minority women in Dien Bien through financial inclusion. The programme was implemented from July 2015 until March 2018. This project aims to increase Remote Ethnic Minority Women’s access to formal financial products and services to increase their financial inclusion. Under FinLINK, CARE International in Vietnam entered into a partnership with LienVietPost Bank to deploy the solution. It focuses on piloting a product is ViViet to support ethnic minority women VLSA members with access to formal financial services including savings and micro-loans.

The greatest impact of the project is to help the women know how to save money and manage their families’ finance. This would have huge downscale impacts in terms of families being able to improve their family health, education status etc. 97.6% of the VSLA group members said that they could save money on a regular basis. Among the increased income sources, 85.5% of the women (the highest proportion) said that their families’ income increased thanks to their shares contributed to the VSLA groups and their interests. Because of a habit of saving, 65.9% of the women said that they always managed to keep cash for urgent and emergent situations like sickness, paying children’s tuition fees, buying
fertilizer/pesticide in the event of a pest attack. The project clearly impacted not just at the level of building knowledge but there is an evidence of actual change in the behavior. Read More...

Project Link Final Report

Barclays Project Link is an extension of the Banking On Change partnership between Barclays Bank, CARE International and Plan UK (2009 – 2015). During Banking on Change, Barclays Bank Uganda and CARE co-created a savings product, and linked over 1,000 savings groups, and worked with Grameen to co-innovate and pilot 2 digital products for savings groups – the Ledger Link and E- keys. After Banking On Change ended in December 2015, CARE and Barclays continued to work together through Project Link to link 800 more groups to Barclays Uganda and train 800 groups to use E-keys and Ledger Link. [14 pages]

Evaluation Finale de l’Initiative «Strengthening Access For Livelihoods and Basic Services (SALI-BASE)»

Le projet SALI BASE exécuté par CARE Niger de juin 2017 à mai 2018 a pour objectif principal d‘atténuer l'impact du conflit dans le nord-est du Nigeria et accroître la résilience des personnes déplacées et des communautés hôtes dans les départements du Maine Soroa, Diffa et N'guigmi dans la région de Diffa. Après 12 mois d’exécution en collaboration étroite avec deux ONG nationales partenaires de mise en œuvre (DEMI-E et AFV) et des services techniques déconcentrés, le projet a pu réaliser toutes les activités prévues à des taux oscillant entre 100% et 160%. Les résultats enregistrés peuvent se résumer ainsi qu’il suit : Read More...

Household Economic Security for Poor Women’s Project (HESP) Final Report

From the perspective of a strong gender focus, CARE’s Household Economic Security for Poor Women’s Project (HESP) sought to improve the economic security of women smallholder farmers and their households in Northern Ghana by increasing their productivity and access to inputs and markets. Funded through the Big Lottery Fund of the UK, HESP is implemented in the Garu-Tempane (GTD) and Lambussie (LD) districts of the Upper East and West regions of Ghana, respectively.

The project’s objectives and ultimate outcomes are:
1. Increased agricultural productivity for smallholder women farmers through improved and sustainable farming methods and increased access to productive resources; and
2. Increased household income for smallholder women farmers and micro entrepreneurs through effective engagement in economic opportunities along the soy and groundnut value chain.

Ombona Resume Executif

Resume Executif de l'etude de reference du projet Ombona. Rapport complet disponible ici:

Selon les TDR, à la fin du mandat de cet etude:
• le Projet Ombona serait capable d’apprécier la situation qui prévaut dans les huit communes en ce qui concerne l’accès des ménages, notamment des plus vulnérables et des femmes aux services des banques par le biais du mobile banking et de l’inclusion financière.
• les indicateurs d’amélioration de condition de vie des femmes à travers la prise de décision financière au niveau de ménage  affiner les stratégies de mise en oeuvre et choisir l’approche la plus appropriée. Read More...

Ombona Baseline

Selon les TDR, à la fin du mandat de cet etude:
• le Projet Ombona serait capable d’apprécier la situation qui prévaut dans les huit communes en ce qui concerne l’accès des ménages, notamment des plus vulnérables et des femmes aux services des banques par le biais du mobile banking et de l’inclusion financière.
• les indicateurs d’amélioration de condition de vie des femmes à travers la prise de décision financière au niveau de ménage  affiner les stratégies de mise en oeuvre et choisir l’approche la plus appropriée.

FSDU Final Project Report

CARE International in Uganda with funding from FSDU implemented a twenty months digitalized financial service project targeting 12,350 youth in Kibaale/Kagadi district. The project end date was 31/12/2016. The project had an extension of three months, 1stJanuary to 31stMarch 2017 at IPO level and 28th/04/2017 at CARE level respectively. The project goal was that “Rural and peri-urban youth aged (15-30yrs) in Kibaale/Kagadi district have increased access to financial services and engage meaningfully with the financial market
actors for sustainable financial inclusion”. The project had four specific objectives that focused on; strengthening the organizational capacity of youth through Youth Savings and Loans Associations (YSLAs) as the first step towards inclusion in the financial sector; ensuring establishment of structures that enable the youth to access formal financial services; provision of technical support that builds the financial industry’s knowledge base that heightens youth financial inclusion and establishment of a structure that supports the formal financial institutions’ and telecom companies to outgrow the “sub-scale trap” and reach a critical mass of youth customers. [42 pages] Read More...

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