Research Study

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...

USAID Agricultural Extension Support Activity: Study on Gender Impact (AESA)

The USAID Agricultural Extension Support Activity (AESA) is a five years’ project funded by USAID that aims to enhance access to and utilization of agricultural extension services by smallholder farmers – both men and women. It is working for building capacities and creating support to a farmer demand-driven agricultural extension system, synergized by the use of information communication technology (ICT).

This research paper identifies the gender impact of this project. The research used both quantitative and qualitative approaches to understand the gender awareness and dynamics within the project. [50 pages] Read More...

AESA Performance of Mungbean in the South-Central Region of Bangladesh

Bangladesh has been experiencing a shortage of land for pulses, whereas its demand is increasing day by day. This, increasing yield remains to be the option for elevating pulse production in the country. In this regard, mungbean can play an important role especially in the South-Central Region of Bangladesh.

This study was undertaken for scoping increased yield and profitability of the crop in the region. Field experiments were conducted using three genotypes, four locations environments, two seasonal environments, and two managements. Read More...

Every Voice Counts: Social Inclusion Report

This qualitative study on social inclusion of women and girls in (in)formal planning and budgeting processes at local level took place under the EVC programme. In Burundi, EVC advocates for the respect of the 30% quota of women’s participation at community level, it aims for inclusion of women and girls in community development planning (PCDC), and advocates for the completion and implementation of the Gender Based Violence (GBV) law; specifically looking at the quality of legal and health services offered to GBV victims and strengthening municipal marriage registration. Key strategies of EVC Burundi include the implementation of the Community Scorecard (CSC), support to Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs), and advocacy on the aforementioned topics. Lobby is tied to CSC outcomes as well as existing community peace clubs.

There is very little data available on how women and girls participate in (in)formal governance spaces that focus on planning and budgeting, and how they perceive their participation. This research therefore aims respond to the following main research question: What are the factors or "pathways" that contribute to women and girls participating in (in) formal planning and budgeting processes? In line with the overall research framework of this study, specific emphasis lies on analysing different degrees of participation, notably access, presence and influence. Factors/pathways are tied to three types of empowerment (or obstacles): individual or collective agency of women, their relations with others (ex. family, community, organisations), and support offered by structures (ex. authorities and CSOs/INGOs). Findings aim to improve effectiveness of the EVC programme by offering insight into how the programme can influence these (in) formal planning and budgeting processes. Read More...

A Study Report on the Link Between Land Use Planning and Rural Economic Growth through Mobile Applications in the Sagcot Area: A Case Study of Iringa Rural and Kilolo Districts

his study investigated ways in which mobile applications can best be used to link village land use planning and village economic growth so that CARE and its partners will more effectively engage key stakeholders in supporting smallholder farmers to find better ways of using their land to improve their economic wellbeing. This is because, after more than a decade of advocating for the land rights of smallholder farmers, CARE Tanzania is currently looking at how best village land use planning can, in addition to demarcation of village land and issuance of certificates of customary rights of occupancy (CCROs), help to transform the lives of those depending on land as a means of livelihood or identity.

More specifically, this study (a) assessed the extent to which village land use planning in Tanzania improves rural economy in general and the economic wellbeing of smallholder farmers in Tanzania; (b) identified and analyzed the best ways in which mobile applications can be used to link land use planning with rural economy and economic wellbeing of smallholder farmers; and (c) identified and analyzed economic, social, environmental and political factors which help or hinder smallholder farmers with formalized land rights, from improving their economic wellbeing. Read More...

VSLAs as Economic Drivers: Exploring Linkages Between Capital Available within Women’s Savings Groups and Economic Contribution to the Tanzanian Economy

Savings-led microfinance innovation aims to improve access to financial services in remote areas, especially among women. In the past decade, more and more researchers and practitioners have recognized and taken advantage of this informal financial service to help improve lives of the poor. A leading innovator in the field, CARE International, has spawned extensive household- and community-level benefits from its Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) programmes. With about 700,000 members in 28,000 groups in Tanzania, CARE is seeking to measure the potential contribution of VSLAs on the growth of the Tanzanian national economy.
This literature review shows some important insights and establishes a foundation for future research on the topic. Read More...

Rapport d’Evaluation Multisectorielle dans les zones de santé de MIABI et Tshilundu au Kasaï Oriental; de Kamiji, Luputa à Lomami et Yangala au Kasaï Central

Le présent rapport fait état de la situation humanitaire des populations vivant dans les zones de santé de Kamiji et Luputa dans la province de Lomami, Cilundu et Miabi dans la province du Kasaï oriental puis Yangala dans la province du Kasaï Central. Pour parvenir à la collecte des informations attendues, nous avons fait recours à une méthodologie diversifiée utilisant les techniques d’enquêtes dans les ménages, les entretiens avec des informateurs clés, des focus groupes avec des groupes spécifiques dont les femmes, les commerçants, des autorités locales, ect ; des observations directes libres et/ou guidées ainsi que l’exploitation de documents existants. Read More...

Social Norms and Barriers Analysis for Agro-pastoralist Women and Girls in South Darfur, Sudan

This report takes a special focus on examining the changing reality of life for agro pastoralist women and girls in South Darfur, Sudan through the lens of social norms and barriers, adding to a set of regional studies (Ritchie 2015 - 2017). Increasingly fragile, agro-pastoralist groups in East Africa now often combine pastoralism with both farming and trading. Women in such societies have been identified as both marginalized and vulnerable.

In the Darfur region of Sudan, rural women remain particularly challenged, with insecurity conflict and displacement. Yet with appropriate development interventions, access to services and government policies, women and girls stand at the forefront of social change, as they adopt new livelihood opportunities and embrace new rights and entitlements.

This research aimed to capture both qualitative as well as quantitative dynamics of current change in agro-pastoralist girls’ and women’s social norms, customs and practices in South Darfur. 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...

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