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Gender, Cash Assistance, and Conflict: Gendered Protection Implications of Cash and Voucher Assistance in Somalia/Somaliland

Protection issues are multi-dimensional in Somalia and Somaliland. Vulnerability is as much about physical violence as it is about drought and chronic food insecurity. The challenges that Somalia, Somaliland, and Puntland face can be roughly categorized into (a) environmental, or climate related, and (b) human-made crises. The recurring droughts of 2016 and 2017 left 5.4 million people in need of assistance and protection. Climate-related emergencies and increased violence with the rise of al-Shabaab and other violent non-state actors has led to migration internally and externally. Conflict shapes gender and protection issues across the region, increasing vulnerability, particularly for already marginalized groups like women, the disabled, and minority clans. The effects of conflict are not homogenous nor evenly distributed. Those living in the central and southern areas of Somalia have been particularly affected by the consequences of war, whereas those in the northeast (Somaliland) have experienced relative peace for almost a decade.

This study followed a five-phase empirical strategy that relied heavily on a multi-method approach. This empirical strategy involved the collection of original qualitative and quantitative data collected in Somaliland, Puntland, and Nairobi. Supplementing this primary data was a rigorous review of project data, ACLED violence datasets, and academic and practitioner literature. Issues which may not have strongly impacted the selected data collection locations— communities in Sool and Mudug—may in fact be some of the most prominent and challenging protection issues throughout Somalia and Somaliland as a whole. A structured review of primary data against the background of secondary data mitigates selection bias, whereby research findings are merely an artifact of the sample chosen to study. In a place like Somalia/land where there are high numbers internally displaced communities, the impact of violence—including gendered violence—is mobile, following survivors as they move from less secure areas to those that are more secure. Read More...

Cash and Voucher Assistance that Works for Women: 6 Lessons from the Field

A brief summary from a multi-country study on "what does gender-sensitive cash and voucher assistance look like?".

The study adopted a user-centric approach to data collection. This ensured consistent reflection with crisis-affected people throughout the process and increased our ability to capture complexity and enhance accountability. Read More...

What Does Gender-Sensitive Cash and Voucher Assistance Look Like?

CARE is committed to being “cash ready” to achieve breakthroughs for women and girls in its cash and voucher assistance (CVA) and to convene other stakeholders on the gendered aspects of CVA. Building that commitment, CARE commissioned a study on gender-sensitive CVA from its own project participants. The study aimed at understanding the:
- Extent to which women, men, boys, and girls have been involved in the design of CVA and the implications of this involvement.
- Potential for CVA to foster positive and sustainable gender roles and relations that contribute to gender equity.
- Gender-related barriers and risks associated with collecting and receiving CVA including social and cultural
attitudes and protection risks. Read More...

Meeting the demand of women affected by ongoing crisis: Increasing contraceptive prevalence in North and South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Over 20 years of conflict in the DRC, North and South Kivu have experienced cycles of sta- bility and conflict, resulting in a compromised health system and poor sexual and reproduc- tive health outcomes. Modern contraceptive use is low (7.5%) and maternal mortality is high (846 deaths per 100,000 live births). Program partners have supported the Ministry of Health (MOH) in North and South Kivu to provide good quality contraceptive services in pub- lic health facilities since 2011.

This paper used cross-sectional population-based surveys in the program areas using a two- stage cluster sampling design to ensure representation in each of six rural health zones.

It found that modern contraceptive prevalence among women in union ranged from 8.4% to 26.7% in the six health zones; current use of long-acting or permanent method (LAPM) ranged from 2.5% to 19.8%. The majority of women (58.9% to 90.2%) reported receiving their current method for the first time at a health facility supported by the program partners. Over half of women in four health zones reported wanting to continue their method for five years or longer. Read More...

Delivering High-Quality Family Planning Services in Crisis-Affected Settings II: Results

An estimated 43 million women of reproductive age experienced the effects of conflict in 2012. Already vulnerable from the insecurity of the emergency, women must also face the continuing risk of unwanted pregnancy but often are unable to obtain family planning services. The ongoing Supporting Access to Family Planning and Post-Abortion Care (SAFPAC) initiative, led by CARE, has provided contraceptives, including long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs), to refugees, internally displaced persons, and conflict-affected resident populations in Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Djibouti, Mali, and Pakistan. The project works through the Ministry of Health in 4 key areas: (1) competency-based training, (2) supply chain management, (3) systematic supervision, and (4) community mobilization to raise awareness and shift norms related to family planning. This article presents data on program results from July 2011 to December 2013 from the 5 countries. Read More...

Delivering High-Quality Family Planning Services in Crisis-Affected Settings I: Program Implementation

In 2012, about 43 million women of reproductive age experienced the effects of conflict. Provision of basic sexual and reproductive health services, including family planning, is a recognized right and need of refugees and internally displaced people, but funding and services for family planning have been inadequate. This article describes lessons learned during the first 2.5 years of implementing the ongoing Supporting Access to Family Planning and Post-Abortion Care in Emergencies (SAFPAC) initiative, led by CARE, which supports government health systems to deliver family planning services in 5 crisis-affected settings (Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Mali, and Pakistan). Read More...

“It is a thing that depends on God”: barriers to delaying first birth and pursuing alternative futures among newly married adolescent girls in Niger

Pregnancy among adolescent girls in Niger contributes to 34% of all deaths among females ages 15– 19, but there is a dearth of research as to the specific contextual causes. In Zinder region, an area that is especially impoverished and where girls are at heightened risk, there is very little information on the main obstacles to improving adolescents’ health and well-being.

This qualitative study examines the underlying social, individual and structural factors influencing married girls’ early first birth and participation in alternative opportunities (such as education or economic pursuits) in Niger. Read More...

Community Based Education Project

This evaluation assessed the project "Community-Based Education" (July 2011 – June 2014). The project aimed at facilitating government delivery of quality basic education (grades 1-9) in 120 community-based classes (96 primary and 24 lower secondary) to 3,154 children, living in areas where public education services are not available in Ghazni, Kapisa and Khost provinces.
The evaluation took place from September to November 2014, with fieldwork in October 2014. It involved a total of 464 participants (42% female) through an on-line self-assessment questionnaire, beneficiary survey and in-depth interviews in Kabul and around a random sample of 44 CBE classes in the three provinces. All data and steps used for the sample selection, data cleaning and analysis
can be fully reproduced with the codebooks presented in the annexes to this report.
The results indicate that the project is highly relevant considering the needs and priorities of its target groups, as well as CARE's Policy Strategy Framework and the policy scenario. Read More...

AESA: Effectiveness of the Training to the Beneficiaries by Adopting Improved Technologies Provided by the USAID-AESA Project and their Economic Benefits

Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM) has been implementing the USAID Agricultural Extension Support (USAID AESA) project in partnership with CARE Bangladesh and mPower. To materialize this aim, in addition to other approaches, the project created 3,878 village level farmer producer groups (FPGs) around production and marketing of six prioritized value chains – jute, chili, mung bean, beef fattening, dairy and fish. These groups have been working together to demand and receive extension services and training, as well as collectively purchasing inputs at lower prices and aggregating supply to negotiate better prices for their products.

This report assesses the effectiveness of such training with respect to adoption by farmers and impact to farm productivity. Read More...

Mid-term Evaluation of the USAID Agricultural Extension Support Activity

The purpose of the USAID Agricultural Extension Support Activity (AESA) mid-term evaluation is to 1) review and analyze the effectiveness of AESA project in achieving the program objectives and 2) analyze if the project is contributing to the improved agricultural service provision which in turn will lead to increased productivity of farmers.

The AESA project is organized into three components that together contribute to the AESA goal: "a strengthened agricultural extension system in southwest and central Bangladesh." Component 1 is premised on the empowerment of smallholder farmers (with an emphasis on women farmers), through development of farmer producer groups (FPGs) around six non-cereal value chains in central and southwest Bangladesh: jute, chili, mung bean, fish farming, beef-fattening and dairy. Component 2 enhances networking, linkages and access to information for farmers and extension agents through development and introduction of new information communication technology (ICT) capacity. Component 3 addresses transformational change within the public and private extension services, so they not only have the capacity to provide the most relevant and up-to-date technical information, but smallholder farmers have equal access to all government and non- government infrastructure and services in their area. Read More...

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