Vsla

Safe Schools for Girls Project Midline Evaluation

Throughout the past two decades, Rwanda has made significant efforts to improve the coverage of education to ensure that all Rwandans have access to quality education through the completion of secondary school. Despite policies to increase access to basic education and increase enrolment rates, dropout remains a key issue, especially in secondary school where female students tend to have lower completion rates than male students.

To promote better educational, social, and economic outcomes for students, CARE Rwanda established the Safe Schools for Girls (SS4G) Project. Operating in the Southern Province of Rwanda, the SS4G Project provided holistic support--including academic resources, financial literacy training, and sexual and reproductive health education, and leadership training--to students to address obstacles to secondary education. As the SS4G project passes its mid-way point in 2019, CARE Rwanda commissioned this evaluation to assess trends and changes over time in students’ knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to the intervention aims, in order to better understand areas that were performing well and identify those that needed revised efforts. Read More...

Better Environment for Education Project Endline

Throughout the past two decades, Rwanda has made significant efforts to improve the coverage of education to ensure that all Rwandans have access to quality education through the completion of secondary school. Despite policies to increase access to basic education and increase enrolment rates, dropout remains a key issue, especially in secondary school where female students tend to have lower completion rates than male students.
To promote better educational, social, and economic outcomes for students, CARE Rwanda established the Better Environment for Education (BEE) Project. Operating in the Western Province of Rwanda, the BEE Project provided holistic support--including academic resources, financial literacy training, and sexual and reproductive health education, and leadership training--to students to address obstacles to secondary education. As the BEE project neared its conclusion in 2019, CARE Rwanda commissioned this endline evaluation to assess trends and changes over time in students’ knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to the intervention’s aims. Read More...

Women Income Generation Through Livelihood Development (WIGLD) Project

Women Income Generation Through Livelihood Development (WIGLD) project is a project funded by Beyond the 11th. The project is helping afghan women to improve their economy and to support themselves and their children.

The project has been operational in Afghanistan since 2003. The overall project goal is to contribute to the economic development of vulnerable women. Currently, the project is operational in two sub-districts of Kabul province. The project targets 1,000 women-headed household through the establishment of 56 Community Based Saving Groups (CBSGs). The project beneficiaries receive different support such as teaching them life skills, including basic literacy and numeracy, environmental and basic hygiene, and business development skills and provision of marketing opportunities for their products.

This report is the result of a Midterm Review (MTR) conducted to find out the level of changes made toward project objectives and highlights programmatic strengths and challenges that can inform future efforts of the project in the remaining life span of the project. The review has been conducted by CARE PQ department through with support of daily wage data enumerators who have been hired for a short period. The assessment targeted 278 beneficiaries of the project and has also conducted 10 FGDs to know the insight of the project participants. Read More...

Addressing Root Causes Project in South Sudan

The Addressing Root Causes (ARC) project that started in September 2016, aims at tackling the root causes of armed conflict, instability and irregular migration in South Sudan by increasing community resilience to conflict-related and economically-induced shocks in 19 payams in Jonglei state in the counties of Pibor, Twic East, Duk and Bor. The project has distinguished three outcomes areas: Economic Resilience, Peaceful Conflict Resolution and Social Cohesion which are expected to be mutually reinforcing and when all are combined and stregthened together, the beneficial effects will contribute to more resilience and a culture of peace.
This mid-term review was conducted to assess the progress of project implementation since September 2016, and document best practices and lessons learned to inform key stakeholders on future activity design, programming, and implementation. Primary data was collected using household survey, key Informant Interviews and Focus Group Discussions with the targeted communities. Combined with the FGD, a Social Norm Analysis Plot (SNAP) framework was applied as it was considered best suited to measure changes in social (gender) norms.
Key findings from review indicate access to loans and training of VSLA groups is empowering women and youth in the targeted communities to engage in IGAs and micro-enterprises, thereby broadening their livelihood and resilience options and creating market linkages with traders across different ethnic communities. Further, more women and youth reported being confident to participate in economic opportunities and possess relevant tools and skills; and the role of women and youth is being appreciated in contributing to meeting household needs, thereby reflecting the conflict and gender transformation in the targeted communities. It should however be noted that more VSLAs have been formed and are engaged in IGAs and micro-enterprises in Duk and Twic East compared to Bor and Pibor.
Also, peace committees are appreciated and recognized by the targeted communities for facilitating and using peaceful mechanisms to mitigate and resolve intra and – inter community conflict and reconcile past grievances. Most project beneficiaries also reported increased collaboration with each other, and feel have more positive relationships and trust within and beyond their community. Read More...

Pathways Project End of Project Evaluation Report

Pathways aimed to increase productivity and income in equitable agriculture systems. CARE innovated an effective Theory of Change to address real issues affecting rural women farmers by providing them with capacities in agriculture; access to inputs, extension services and markets; empowerment to influence decisions; and an enabling environment for growth.

Pathways has met and, in most cases, surpassed targets set in its M&E framework. In the words of women themselves the project has worked very well, focusing on groundnuts and soybean as high-value cash crop substitutes for tobacco because of their high potential for markets, ability to replenish the lost soil fertility and strong nutritional value. It has grown from working with 9,000 to 14,282 farmers (hosting a population of 71,410 people), organising them into 1,528 groups. Women provide leadership to most of the groups after being transformed to become successful wives, farmers and entrepreneurs who can make independent decisions and speak in public.

In 2015 alone, collective sale revenues from groundnuts and soy amounted to MK128, 601,938 (US$233,821.7) and rose to MK854, 356,267 (US$751,511) by the end of 2017. Contract farming organized by the project contributed US$34,233 to these revenues. In 2014, the project conducted 188 community-wide gender dialogue sessions and reached out to 9,654 people, 7193 female and 2464 male, helping them to internalize and address gender inequalities. Men have generally started looking at women as partners in agriculture and development that is cementing marriage bonds and creating an enabling environment for women to succeed. Along with this, CARE Malawi linked women farmers to key players in the groundnut and soy value chains to help them excel.

As a consequence, by December 2016 a total of 246 farmer groups had accounts with OIBM and other banks through which they saved MK49, 175,577 and 6 VSLs accessed two group loans worth MK4,800,000 (US$7,804.88) which they invested in agriculture, business and VSL activities. VSLs profited and shared out US$871,178 in the year, with more benefits seen in 2017 when savings accumulated to US$3,756,435 e.g. earnings of MK47, 489.32 to MK204, 769.33 per household on average. In turn, per capita household monthly incomes and expenditures doubled by the time the project closed in December 2018. Although agricultural productivity continued to decline over the project life due to poor weather conditions, Pathways farmers remained food secure and continued to eat at least two meals a day. Household dietary diversity (HDDS) and women intra-household food access (AHA) data from this evaluation found levels of consumption to be acceptable and typical of food secure households. These results showcase that Pathways beneficiaries have grown their incomes, assets and food availability in the face of the changing climate and are better off even in difficult years. Read More...

Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Program Global Results Report

GEWEP II works with poor and vulnerable women and girls in some of the world’s most fragile states: Burundi, DRC, Mali, Myanmar, Niger and Rwanda. By end 2018, the programme has reached more than 1 067 200 women and girls, mainly through Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs). Norad has supported VSLAs since they were first piloted in Niger in 1991.
Since then, Norad has supported over 47 800 groups and more than 1 100 000 women. During GEWEP II, from 2016 through 2018, more than 14 200 new groups were established. This report includes results on both outcome and output level. The table below summarises the results at outcome level, for indicators collected at the population level. Overall, there is a positive change in the perception and attitude to women’s economic, political and social empowerment in the programme intervention zones. On a national level, there has been positive changes in legislation, but implementation is still a challenge. Read More...

ADVANCING WOMEN’S ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT THROUGH FORMAL FINANCIAL SERVICES FOR SAVINGS GROUPS (LINK UP)

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...

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