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Economic Development


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...

Fonds Regionaux de Developpement Agricole – ASARA

Le Projet intitulé « Opérationnalisation du Fonds Régional de Développement Agricole dans la région
Anosy », a démarré début janvier 2014 pour une durée initialement prévue de 42 mois. Le projet a
été prolongé par voie d’avenant sur 6 mois, soit jusqu’au 5 janvier 2018. Le projet est mis en oeuvre
par CARE International à Madagascar qui intervient dans la Région Anosy depuis 1995, sur des
actions liées au développement agricole et rural (22 projets réalisés). L’Action s’inscrit dans la continuité de l’appui apporté par CARE à la mise en place FDAR entre 2009 et 2011. CARE a été opérateur du projet FDAR pilote dans la Région Anosy, avec l’appui de la Délégation de l’Union Européenne à Madagascar (DUE), et du projet Appui au Renforcement des Organisations Professionnelles et des services Agricoles (AROPA) financé par le Fonds International pour le Développement Agricole (FIDA).

L’Action vise à opérationnaliser le FDAR de la Région Anosy, pour soutenir l’accès des Exploitations Agricoles Familiales (EAF) aux services. Au sein du projet ASARA, l’Action est connectée à un appui à amélioration de la couverture des services d’épargne et de crédit (lot 1) et d’actions qui permettront de structurer les filières et l’économie agricole régionale (lot 3). L’Action s’intègre dans une logique de partenariat avec les attributaires de ces lots. Read More...


L’Union Européenne finance les Programmes ASARA (Amélioration de la Sécurité Alimentaire et Augmentation des Revenus Agricoles) et AINA (Actions Intégrées en Nutrition et Alimentation) dans le cadre de son initiative visant à accélérer l’atteinte de l’Objectif du Millénaire pour le Développement (OMD) 1c, « réduire de moitié, d’ici 2015, la proportion de la population vivant dans l’extrême pauvreté et souffrant de la faim ».

ASARA et AINA pilotés respectivement par l'USCP (Unité de Suivi et de Coordination du Projet) et la FAO (Organisation des Nations Unies pour l’Alimentation et l’Agriculture) visent la réduction de l’insécurité alimentaire des familles vulnérables dans les zones ciblées. Le programme AINA vise en plus l’amélioration de la sécurité nutritionnelle de ces familles. Les Régions Androy, Anosy et Atsimo Atsinanana sont des zones communes aux deux programmes si AINA intervient également dans les Régions Amoron’i Mania, Vatovavy Fitovinany et ASARA dans le District de Fort-Dauphin. Read More...

Women’s Empowerment Program (WEP) Midterm Report

In 2009, Norad-funded women empowerment programs (WEPs) started implementation in seven countries: Burundi, Mali, Myanmar, Niger, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. In 2009 and early 2010, an extensive quantitative baseline study was conducted in these countries around a common set of indicators. The present mid-term review (MTR), which was done using qualitative methodology, analysed in depth the process and nature of changes that the programs are contributing towards. In all the program countries, the country WEP team carried out the review internally with the technical assistance of an external consultant and CARE Norway (CN).

With slight variations, the overall objectives of the country WEPs focused on the economic, social, and political empowerment of women. The village savings and loan association (VSLA) methodology was common for all the programs; and these groups create the platform for working on other aspects of the program besides economic empowerment. The initial changes that the programs produce are seen in terms of increased access to savings and loans, employment opportunities, and asset ownership. The ability of the women to earn income, generate their own savings and make financial contributions in the household (HH) has greatly improved their self-esteem, thereby giving them better leverage to involve in and influence HH decision making processes. Men were highly appreciative of the income women were able to bring in to the family as a result of being involved in VSLAs. Through their improved position in the household, women reported being able to negotiate the use of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services and the abandonment of different harmful practices. Through the use of couples-based approach and engaging men initiatives, HH relationships are beginning to improve; men in these households are reportedly starting to have a more positive attitude towards women’s empowerment and are themselves even taking part in domestic activities in some contexts. The VSLA approach is enabling women to create strong social networks that are becoming an influential force for social change. As a result of increased knowledge on their human rights and increasing leadership skills, women are beginning to understand how they have to position themselves to realize their strategic interests. The VSLA groups and networks also enable women to mobilise support when they are running for elections; this support has increased number of women being elected into different posts. The contribution of women in VSLAs and in community leadership positions is being increasingly recognised and appreciated by local authority figures, which can be seen when they actively seek the advice of women and VSL groups in relation to different community development initiatives.
Through working in partnership with others, the programs are being implemented in a high quality and timely manner. Engagement with strategic partners has occurred effectively in some countries, and been instrumental in enabling the programs to link grassroots evidence to national level advocacy activities which have achieved concrete results. [52 pages] Read More...

Women’s Empowerment Program (WEP) 2009-2013

CARE Norway, collaborating CARE country offices (COs), and partners have from 2009 through 2013 run the “Women Empowerment Programme” (WEP). With funding from NORAD, it has been implemented in Mali, Niger, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Myanmar and DRC (from 2013).

The results presented in this report derive from CARE’s monitoring systems, thematic assessments and research done over the 5 years. This final report is intended to give NORAD an overview of key results within the program’s four thematic focus areas: 1)Women’s Economic Empowerment, 2)Women’s Participation in Decision Making, 3) Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, and 4) Prevention and Mitigation of Gender-based violence. In agreement with NORAD, the end-line evaluation of the WEP is due in May 2015. [55 pages] Read More...

Women and Youth Entrepreneurs Leading Change (OBADER)

Report on the Baseline Assessment carried out for the CARE West Bank and Gaza (now CARE in the occupied Palestinian territory) project OBADER (Women and Youth Entrepreneurs Leading Change). [102 pages] Read More...

Community-Driven Financial Inclusion for the Most Vulnerable Households

The Tat Lan Programme, funded by the Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund (LIFT) in Myanmar was implemented in two phases (2013-15 and 2017-18). The overall goal was to ensure a sustainable increase of food and nutrition security and incomes of participant households in 259 communities in the townships of Myebon, Pauktaw, Kyaukpyu and Minbya in Rakhine State. [24 pages] Read More...

POWER Ex-Post Evaluation Final Report

Description of the document: Promoting Opportunities for Women’s Economic Empowerment in Rural Africa (POWER Africa) aimed to increase the financial inclusion of direct beneficiaries and their households in Ethiopia, Rwanda, Cote d’Ivoire and Burundi through forming savings groups, providing financial education, and linking mature groups to formal financial institutions. In Burundi, CARE worked in partnership with the local NGO, Great Lakes Inkinga Development, to target adolescent girls; the hardest hit by a combination of poverty, conflict, violence, societal disintegration, and sexual exploitation. The evaluation focuses on the program’s contribution to the empowerment of adolescent girls in Burundi with a particular focus on assessing the contribution of program activities to supporting adolescent girls develop income-generating activities. POWER Africa adapted their approach to ensure the intervention and engagement strategies were tailored to working with adolescent girls in Burundi. POWER Africa accomplished this through sensitization sessions to gain community acceptance of the program, by adapting the VSLA training schedule, by changing meeting times, and by responding to challenges encountered by girls during implementation. Positive outcomes reported by CARE related to business success were also supported by interviews conducted in the field. However, the extent to which participation resulted in adolescent girls establishing one or more IGA varies and CARE monitoring data shows that at least 1 in 5 girls did not establish IGAs. It was confirmed that key factors that contribute to IGA success, as identified by CARE, still hold. Girls without support are less able to establish IGAs and have relatively less successful IGAs. However, they are not necessary conditions. For example, the four girls that did not have continuous family support attributed overcoming their difficulties to being a member of the VSLA. Findings that girls who are in school reported higher incomes, that girls with community support are more able to invest in livestock, and that girls with access to land have more IGA opportunities, still hold. POWER Africa’s identification that male control of female-owned assets, loss of assets upon marriage, household responsibilities and constraints on mobility are key constraints for adolescent girls to benefit from IGA opportunities, still holds. During program implementation, many girls encountered barriers as a result of their newfound economic independence. The program actively sought to address these constraints with some success, however there is evidence to suggest a number of challenges remain. This is to be expected as social norms can take time to change. Lastly, regarding sustainability, the field research supported the idea that some of the IGAs created by the girls as a result of POWER Africa VSLA membership are sustainable as all of the girls said they still have their IGAs and plan to continue them in the future. All of the girls also planned to continue their membership of the VSLAs. Findings also suggest that the POWER Africa program positively influenced social norms relating to what activities are considered acceptable for girls to take part in, male control over assets and that participants are more resilient to environmental and economic shocks as a result of their improved financial position.


POWER Africa – Baseline Report

Description of the document: POWER Africa aims to increase financial inclusion in Côte d’Ivoire, Burundi, Ethiopia and Rwanda through the VSLA approach while also creating a platform for sharing lessons learned within and between the four target countries. In this context, it is vital to be able to access (and assess) the experience of each country, which can only be achieved by carrying out an in-depth base-lining exercise to identify the current situation in the lives of rural people in the target countries – and then measure progress against that situation. The consulting company has been contracted to design and implement an extensive baseline study, to build local capacity and enabling the tools and database to be used effectively to conduct further studies at mid and end-line points. The study shows that: 1. Proportionally, more VSLA women and saving than non-VSLA women; 2. VSLA women are saving larger sums than VSLA men and non-VSLA women and men; 3. Resorting to loans from the VSLA solidarity fund is reducing the strain on already hard-pressed relatives and neighbors; 4. 87% of VSLA women and one or more IGA (78% for non-VSLA women); 5. VSLA men tend to have just one IGA; 6. VSLA women (42%) are taking out loans to fund their IGAs, as opposed to only 26% non-VSLA women; 7. VSLA men are not using their loans for IGA development; 8. VSLA women are already reporting feeling more positive and confident about expressing their opinions and participating in household decision-making; 9. VSLA men are aware of the benefits of including women in decision-making and say they committed to encouraging it in their households.


EU-Recovery Midterm Evaluation Workshop Summary

The project aims to enhance the social and economic stability in the drought affected areas through supporting the recovery of livelihoods of the affected population and building their resiliency in the target 18 Woredas/Districts of the Oromia, Amhara and Tigray national regional states.

The project contract with the donor EU was signed in March 2016 while the project implementation was started retroactively in January 2016, with budget of Euro 18 million for 18 months duration up to July 2017. The project is being implemented jointly by CARE UK/Ethiopia (leading NGO) and SCI, ORDA and REST in 18 Woredas/Districts of the Oromia, Amhara and Tigray national regional states. [8 pages] Read More...

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