Women's Economic Empowerment

Strengthening Rural Development Models in Georgia (ENPARD II) Midterm Evaluation

Strengthening Rural Development Models in Georgia seeks to build on the success found by Mercy Corps, CARE and People in Need as they introduced the LEADER model for rural development to the municipalities of Borjomi, Lagodekhi and Kazbegi. In addition to continuing to implement this community-led local development approach, they were tasked with providing more national-level support for other Georgian LEADER implementations with the support of ELARD, a Europe-based not for profit organisation.

A series of interviews and focus groups held with beneficiaries, implementing agencies and other stakeholders provided a very positive picture of the impact being delivered by the LEADER model in these three municipalities, particularly in terms of increased engagement with local governance, community cohesion and economic participation.

Results further suggested that the growing presence LEADER in Georgia’s rural municipalities was positively moving Georgian rural governance in the direction envisioned by the Georgian Government and the Delegation of the European Union, that is, towards a state of alignment with the European Common Agricultural Policy.

The main difficulty identified is that Georgian Government policy looking forward appears to be wavering with regards to its commitment to the LEADER model, despite the levels of investment provided by the EU. Read More...

Pilote d’Apprentissage sur la réplication des AVEC (VSLA multiplier Learning Pilot)

Pour mieux comprendre l’effet multiplicateur des modèles de réplication de FaFa Wa, une proposition pilote d’apprentissage a été soumis au fond flexible des départements Programs et Operations Internationales (IPO) et Programme pour le Partenariat et l’Apprentissage (Program Partnerships and Learning : PPL) et a obtenu un avis favorable.

Ce pilote d’apprentissage a pour but de comprendre :
1. L ‘ampleur (%) de l’effet multiplicateur des FaFa Wa sur la composition des groupes et les résultats découlant de la participation des VSLA après la fin des projets ;
2. La performance de groupements après la fin des projets (positive ou négative) ;
3. L’effet multiplicateur du modèle de réplication de l’initiative ‘’Bombe des Catalyseurs’’ sur la composition des groupes, et les résultats découlant de la participation des FaFa Wa.
Read More...

Women’s economic empowerment in emergency contexts: Niger case study

While discussion of the ‘Humanitarian, Development and Peace Nexus’ continues within the sector, there remains debate as to whether women’s economic empowerment is a luxury, or even feasible in humanitarian contexts where the priority is to keep people alive. Increasingly, however, humanitarians are seeing interventions aimed at women’s economic empowerment in emergency contexts as a key tool to increase protection and support people in crises to live in dignity. CARE set out to analyse whether financial inclusion strategies like community-led savings groups may in fact represent a way to not only respond to crises, but also to build resilience against them, even in highly fluid contexts.

In June 2018, CARE teams conducted fieldwork in two areas where it is implementing ongoing humanitarian interventions. CARE organised focus groups and interviews with communities and individuals in Diffa and Konni where it has delivered humanitarian assistance. The interventions combined blanket cash distributions, and the establishment of savings and credit groups which also provided women with life skills and business training to set up small businesses.

Within a crisis setting, combining a savings group structure including income generation support with humanitarian assistance such as food and non-food items (NFIs) helped women not only to meet basic needs in a more sustainable way, but also improved their independent access to and control over money.

During emergencies, providing women with humanitarian cash to cover basic needs allowed women in savings groups to continue saving and to invest in income generating activities (IGA), rather than using up capital on food.

If crises continue to hit, the positive impact of savings groups set up in emergencies can become strained. In this case, further cash interventions can preserve small businesses.

Membership of savings groups and receipt of IGAs and life skills training increased women’s income and confidence. Membership of a savings group provides psychosocial benefits to women who are suffering anxiety, depression or trauma by providing a social network that meets and talks regularly. Read More...

Kore Lavi Safety Net Beneficiary Resilience Assessment

As part of its mandate, the Kore Lavi program has developed and established a food voucher-based social safety net model for the poorest households in conjunction with the Haitian Government – through the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MAST). This Resilience Assessment contributes to a stronger understanding of the current food security and resilience situations of the most vulnerable program beneficiaries.

Based upon the data collected, the social safety net members – which is considered as the study sampling universe – are mainly affected by Illness, death and drought, respectively. The experiences shared by the respondents also revealed that they often face several types of shocks and stressors simultaneously.

The food voucher had a very positive impact and helped a lot during each key moment: before the shock or stressor affected the respondent, immediately after, sometime after and now. In the different stories that were shared, a certain number of respondents mentioned that they have no other means to ensure their food security - other than the Kore Lavi food vouchers. With regard to the food vouchers indirect contribution, it is important to highlight that 59% of
respondents used the money they saved to pay school fees and 28% to pay medical fees. 36% save it in their Village Saving and Loans Association (VSLA). Yet, there is also an emerging group that used the money to invest in agricultural endeavors and start-up income generating activities.

When comparing the three main types of assets (personal, social and physical-financial resources), it could be observed that especially vulnerable respondents tended to rely on social resources. Generally, the respondents used more negative coping mechanisms that compromise their food security like eating less or less preferred meals per day (58%), reducing expenditures related to household needs (32%), producing charcoal (33%), reducing agriculture production area (20%) and livestock (19%) or selling assets.

The study identified that 22% of VSLA members followed resilient pathways versus 16% of non VSLA respondents. In almost all the signifier questions, there were found small differences between both groups, but not as much as it was initially expected by the Kore Lavi team. Read More...

Kore Lavi Title II Program Haiti – Midterm Evaluation

This reports presents the findings, conclusions and recommendations related to the Kore Lavi mid-term evaluation.

DESCRIPTION OF KORE LAVI. Kore Lavi’s Theory of Change holds that positive and lasting transformation must happen within interrelated domains: (1) where the effective social safety net programming and complementary services reach the most vulnerable populations and protect their access to food while building self-reliance; (2) that achieve breadth and depth in behavior and social change needed to tackle under-nutrition among vulnerable women and children; and (3) that institutionalize accountability, transparency and quality of delivery for mutually reinforcing social protection programs under the leadership of MAST.

EVALUATION METHODOLOGY. The evaluation employed three data collection methodologies: document review, key informant interviews, and focus group discussions.

PRIMARY FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS.
At the time of the MTE, Kore Lavi had completed data collection in 16 communes demonstrating the ability to adapt and innovate to address the initial data quality problems that existed at the beginning of the program.

In terms of its implementation on the ground, the food voucher scheme is operating well in identifying voucher recipients and enrolling them in the program, distributing food to beneficiaries via paper or electronic vouchers, recruiting and managing the network of collaborating vendors, enforcing policies governing the scheme and overseeing operations. Food received by beneficiary households from both paper and electronic vouchers is inevitably shared with non-household members, including neighbors and even strangers. The VSLA scheme has effectively provided a mechanism by which large numbers of vulnerable women and men living in program communities can save and access small loans at reasonable interest rates to invest in their businesses or children’s education or for other purposes.

SO3 social behavioral change communications interventions are, on the whole, well designed and well implemented. Care Groups, moreover, appear to be an effective methodology for mobilizing women and communicating critical SBCC messages. Community health agents and Lead Mothers play a critical role in SO3 activities. While they are, for the most part, doing a good job and are satisfied with their roles, they also have a number of legitimate concerns related to the lack of monetary compensation and reimbursement for expenses incurred. The program has done a good job identifying and reaching the targeted women and infants.

Kore Lavi has taken a holistic approach to gender integration from design to implementation and has made a conscious and good faith effort to integrate gender considerations in each of the four program SOs.

Kore Lavi has prioritized information management and has demonstrated a clear institutional interest in improving knowledge and learning.

Read More...

Village Savings and Loan Associations as Economic Drivers

Exploring impacts of Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) at micro level to understand their potential to contribute to the Tanzanian economy

Savings-led microfinance innovation aims to improve access to financial services in remote areas, especially among women. CARE International has been the leading innovator in the field and has initiated Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) programmes across Tanzania. CARE aims to increase members in Tanzania to 8 million by 2025 with the vison to help improve the national economy. CARE thus commissioned SFTZ to carry out a study that investigates the potential of VSLA contributions to local and national economies.

METHODS. The study was implemented in six villages in Mufindi district, Iringa region; four of which were assigned as treatment and two as control. Treatment villages had 9 to 15 NGO-facilitated VSLAs, and control villages had only two comparable VSLAs.

RESULTS. Analysis of the data at the village level did not provide evidence that VSLA initiatives have contributed to large-scale economic growth except for one risk mitigation sub-indicator. A number of issues hindered the village-level comparison: First, microfinance savings groups were also present in control villages. Secondly, the penetration of savings groups within all treatment villages was low (below 30%, except for one village).

However, at the household level, VSLA membership showed significant impacts on a number of micro-level measures of economic growth. VSLA households had higher household savings, drew on VSLA savings to overcome negative impacts of household shocks, attained greater food security and more diverse diets, achieved better agricultural and business outcomes, and enjoyed greater economic status. Although these differences cannot be directly attributed to the VSLA programme without before-and-after comparisons with a meaningful control group, the positive household impacts suggest that a VSLA programme scaled to a high density within each village could have a positive impact
on the local economy. Read More...

Livelihoods Advancement for Marginalized Populations (LAMP)

CARE International’s Livelihood Advancement for Marginalized Populations (LAMP) project aims to create job opportunities and address the constraints faced by marginalized populations – Internally Displaced People (IDP), returnees, women, and youth – in securing jobs and business opportunities.
This gender analysis and baseline survey for the LAMP project is intended to create benchmarks for its key indicators and to help LAMP prioritize its interventions. The findings of this study will be used to create the baseline values of the key outcome indicators outlined in the LAMP Activity Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Plan (AMELP) and inform appropriate interventions regarding livelihoods advancement and gender related activities.
CARE/LAMP and CBMC purposively selected the four provinces of Kabul, Khost, Ghazni and Balkh as intervention areas under LAMP. Random sampling was used to select a sub-group of intervention household groups and systematic random sampling was used to select a control group of respondents. Data collection enumerators and field supervisors were trained on the data collection tools and methodology to trail the approach with a sub-set of households prior to the survey. Focus group discussions (FGDs) and key informant interviews (KIIs) with secondary stakeholders provided qualitative and local context and a means to triangulate household survey findings. CBMC conducted three FGDs and three KIIs in each province, except for Kabul where KIIs were not possible due to the time constraints of government stakeholders and officials. The secondary stakeholders reached in this study were the MORR, MOWA, MAIL and MOLSAMD. Read More...

Mid-Term Strategic Review of the Livelihoods for Resilience Activity

CARE commissioned a Mid-Term Strategic Review (MTSR) of the Livelihoods for Resilience Activity to formulate recommendations for the remaining life of the project to increase effectiveness in achieving sustainable impact. The Livelihoods for Resilience Activity is being implemented in 27 Woredas in the three regions of Tigray, Amhara, and Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples and is just over the midway point in its five-year life from December 5, 2016, through December 3, 2021. The purpose of the Livelihoods for Resilience Activity is to reduce food insecurity and increase resilience for 97,900 chronically food insecure households that are enrolled in the fourth cycle of the Government of Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP4), enabling them to graduate with resilience from the PSNP4.

The MTSR for the Livelihoods for Resilience Activity was a formative evaluation exercise intended to provide guidance on ways to improve the effectiveness of the program in achieving intended impact.

Relative to the four global learning questions for the MTSR (see page 4), the MTSR found that the model that the Livelihoods for Resilience Activity is implementing is effective for achieving graduation with resilience, but because frontline delivery is constrained by the number of staff, their technical capacities and the degree of supervision and support that they receive, interventions are not always going deeply enough to ensure behavioral change. The program is empowering women both economically and socially through the VESA platform, but there are significant variations between regions; and outside of the VESA, there is some evidence to suggest that women’s empowerment has not yet been well incorporated, especially in value chain participation and MFI linkages. Progress is certainly being made in transferring ideas and knowledge to PSNP counterparts, but that has not yet translated into practice mainly because of resource constraints. Key approaches that need to be added or strengthened in the coming two years include expanding frontline delivery capacities, expanding efforts to ensure that strategies and approaches are well understood by implementation staff at all levels in all partners, ensuring that women’s empowerment is included in all approaches by all partners, and looking for new ways to facilitate access to jobs, either through self-employment or wage employment, for youth from PSNP households.

The Livelihoods for Resilience Activity is already doing some very nice work in starting to achieve sustainable impact. The project has strong potential to be recognized as a “great” project if it can make some adjustments.
Read More...

Revue à mi-parcours « Projet d’appui à la filière halieutique (PAFHa) au Mali »

L’objectif global du PAFHa est de « Contribuer à la réduction de l’insécurité alimentaire et nutritionnelle au Mali ». Son objectif spécifique consiste à « Améliorer les revenus par un appui au développement de la filière halieutique ». Pour ce faire, le PAFHa vise à aboutir aux 3 résultats suivants :
- R1. La conservation, la valorisation et la commercialisation des produits halieutiques sont améliorées
- R2. La production halieutique (pêche/pisciculture) est développée par des pratiques durables
- R3. Les services techniques gouvernementaux et les organisations professionnelles sont impliqués dans le programme et leurs capacités sont renforcées.
120 campements de pêche et / ou villages de pêche ont été identifiés avec la DNP comme sites d’intervention du projet. Read More...

Baseline Assessment for Climate Change Adaptation of Women Smallholders and Cotton Producers

CARE India aims to promote environmentally sound, climate-resilient and inclusive agriculture among cotton producers of Vidarbha region. In pursuance of this aim, it has designed an intervention package that focusses on developing environmentally sound and climate resilient cotton production model plots for demonstration, on the lands of traditionally cotton growing women smallholders in 10 project villages of Jalgaon Jamod block of Buldhana district. To further accelerate the effectiveness of the project intervention, CARE plans to work with different stake holders like women Self Help Groups, Farmers’ Groups and men within households and communities, government functionaries, and market actors who collectively form important components of the supporting ecosystem. Read More...

Filter Evaluations

Clear all