cash and vouchers

Variations in Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) Practices: An Assessment of Dynamics and Impacts in Zomba and Mangochi Districts – Titukulane Project

This assessment investigates variations in the practices of Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) in Zomba and Mangochi districts. While the VSLA model has been transformative in promoting financial inclusion and community empowerment in rural areas, there have been noticeable deviations from the CARE VSL methodology, commonly referred to as the standard methodology. With Titukulane's support for these VSLAs, it becomes imperative to comprehend the reasons and implications behind these changes.

The rapid assessment was instrumental in understanding the VSLA practices across selected districts. Qualitative data on the VSLA methodology variations were randomly drawn from 8 out of the 19 Traditional Authorities (TAs) where Titukulane is implementing interventions. Within this sample, the assessment encompassed diverse voices from VSLA members, Community Development Agents, Village Agents, and Titukulane staff. The research utilized a rapid assessment approach to gain a comprehensive overview of the VSLA practices in Zomba and Mangochi in a time-efficient manner. This methodology was chosen for its ability to capture immediate, relevant insights without necessitating the extended time frame typical of more intensive research methods. The rapid assessment prioritized direct interactions with participants, ensuring their experiences and perspectives were central to the data collected. This direct engagement proved invaluable, especially when exploring sensitive topics related to financial practices and internal group dynamics. Through this approach, the assessment aimed to offer a nuanced understanding of current VSLA practices and the motivations underpinning their variations. In the context of this study, variations refer to the distinct differences in approaches, outcomes, or practices observed among the groups, while deviations denote departures from the expected or standard methods prescribed by Titukulane, potentially indicating unique adaptations or challenges faced by certain groups.
Key Findings: VSLAs in both districts have adopted varied practices. Some VSLAs, for example, emphasize equal shares for every member, while others note disparities in contributions. Lending strategies, such as offering loans to non-members, also emerged, aiming to bolster financial inclusivity. However, such innovative strategies sometimes come with their own set of challenges, like difficulties in accurate record-keeping or financial strains from settling older debts using newer contributions. External influences, cultural beliefs, and regional dynamics also play key roles in these variations. Below is a complete list of the variations and deviations noted in the two districts:

• Shares and Savings: While some VSLAs continue to advocate for standardized shares per member to ensure equality, others experience disparities due to inconsistent contributions. For instance, in some groups members are allowed to purchase more than 5 shares at a time, with some purchasing up to 100 shares.
• Loan Practices: Innovative loan practices, including lending to non-members, aim to enhance financial inclusivity.
• Documentation and Record-Keeping: Challenges in maintaining accurate records are pervasive, with different approaches to record-keeping observed.
• Emergence of Digital Financing Platforms replacing cashboxes: In younger VSLA demographics, there's a rising adoption of digital financing platforms, such as Airtel Money and TNM Mpamba. However, this shift poses challenges for older members, who are less familiar with digital technologies.
• Religious and Cultural Adjustments: Deep-seated religious beliefs influence some VSLAs to refrain from charging interest.
• Influence of External Entities: VSLAs display adaptability and responsiveness to external influences, including NGOs and community initiatives.
• Group Dynamics: Many VSLAs have larger membership counts than recommended, possibly reflecting community resource pooling. Read More...

Community-led Resource Mobilization & Early Warning Systems Process Assessment: Titukulane Project

This report examines the motivation and willingness of Village Civil Protection Committees (VCPCs) and communities to mobilize resources at community level for Disaster Risk Management (DRM). To do this, a participatory action research (PAR) approach was utilized, facilitated by SWOT analyses, in combination with focus group discussions (FGDs) and key informant interviews (KIIs). The findings revealed that communities had prepositioned resources to prepare for disaster response as part of risk reduction. Participants identified their ability to mobilize themselves as a community; to mobilize funds and food; well trained and knowledgeable structures, good agricultural practices, and good governance as major strengths. Opportunities for resource mobilization included enterprise, piece work (ganyu), irrigation farming, access to safety net programs, and youth participation. Weaknesses included the disorganization of some community structures, lack of support or political will from community leaders and the government, lack of accountability from VCPC members, and reluctance to adopt improved agricultural practices. Community-based early warning systems, although available, are insufficient to provide effective risk reduction for natural disasters. There is a lack of documentation concerning indigenous early warning systems, which impedes the development of effective and contextual strategies for risk reduction. The recommendations include increasing awareness among traditional leaders, defining resource mobilization structures, documenting guidelines and transactions for transparency, investing in early warning infrastructure and capacity building, documenting indigenous early warning signs, and intensifying watershed restoration and conservation to increase disaster preparedness. Read More...

Final Report: Enhanced Humanitarian Response in Choma, Kalomo and Monze Districts in the Southern Province of Zambia

The water and sanitation activities benefited 7,859 people (2579 people, more than planned target) who use safe water in greater quantities and reduce the incidence of disease including awareness about better protection from gender-based violence. Of these people, 5654 people benefited from cash assistance to meet some basic needs. Some beneficiaries invested the money in purchasing agricultural inputs, small livestock and upgrading shelter to increase crop yields and improve food and nutrition security as well as decent shelter. In total, 14,574 people were reached and accessed information thereby contributing to disease prevention and improved hygiene practices. CARE assigned 3 staff and supported 4 DMMU enumerators who participated in conducting the vulnerability assessment and producing the 2023 national contingency plan. The plan informs the design of government and NGO interventions in response to disasters. Read More...

Alimentación no tiene límites: Mejorando la seguridad alimentaria de los hogares venezolanos en Perú: Reporte encuestas de satisfacción

Objetivo general:
Conocer el nivel de satisfacción de los participantes del servicio del componente Cash Transfer y sesiones de nutrición en las regiones de Lima, Tumbes, La Libertad y Piura.

Objetivos específicos:
• Recoger la percepción de los participantes del componente Cash Transfer y nutrición respecto al servicio de las transferencias en efectivo y sesiones educativas de nutrición en La Libertad, Tumbes, Piura y Lima.
• Recopilar información sobre la atención brindada durante la entrega de tarjetas y seguimiento realizado por el personal de World Vision y Care en La Libertad, Tumbes, Piura y Lima.

La aplicación de encuestas de satisfacción se realizan en periodos bimensuales. La presente encuesta se aplicó en junio a un total de 432 participantes que fueron registrados en el mes de abril y mayo. El 36.34% (157) de las encuestas fueron aplicadas por llamada telefónica y el 63.66% (275) fueron aplicadas de manera presencial en Lima, Tumbes, La Libertad y Piura a participantes registrados por World Vision y Care Perú. Las encuestas presenciales se aplicaron durante el segundo momento o tercer momento de sesiones educativas de nutrición y las encuestas aplicadas mediante llamada telefónica se dirigieron a participantes que han recibido su tarjeta y que han asistido a su segundo y tercer momento de entrega.

Se contó con encuestadores en las regiones de Piura, La Libertad, Tumbes y Lima, quienes coordinaron con el equipo MEAL y los facilitadores en cada región para la aplicación según el protocolo designado. Read More...

Titukulane Gender Progress Marker Monitoring Report

Titukulane is a five-year, US $75 million Resilience Food Security Activity funded by the Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance. The project is led by the Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere (CARE) in partnership with Emmanuel International (EI), the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the National Smallholders Farmers’ Association of Malawi (NASFAM), Save the Children (SC), and WaterAid. Implemented in 19 Traditional Authorities (T/As) of two southern districts of Malawi (Zomba and Mangochi), Titukulane directly impacts 510,910 individuals – including adolescent girls and boys aged 10 to 19, and young women and men aged 20 to 29 – who face an uncertain future as farming becomes less viable. Titukulane offers an integrated and gender-responsive package of interventions across the following program elements: maternal and child health; nutrition and water, sanitation, and hygiene, (WASH); agriculture sector capacity; microenterprise productivity; civic participation; and capacity building, preparedness, and planning. The program works across three purpose areas:

Purpose 1: Increased, diversified, sustainable incomes for ultra-poor, chronically vulnerable households (HHs), women and youth.
Purpose 2: Nutritional status among children < 5, adolescent girls, and women of reproductive age improved; and
Purpose 3: Increased institutional and local capacities to reduce risk and increase resilience among very poor and chronically vulnerable households in alignment with the National Resilience Strategy.

Gender integration is a crosscutting component among all activities and project emphasizes the critical importance and benefits of increased voice, participation and leadership of women and youths, including young women. A Gender Analysis was initially conducted for Titukulane in 2020 to identify context specific gender barriers, inequalities, and potential risks that could negatively affect the achievement of the project’s expected outcomes, as well as to assess how these constraints could be addressed in Zomba and Mangochi. Read More...

2023 Participant Based Survey: Titukulane Project – PaBS Outcome Report

Despite decades of robust government and donor investments in livelihoods, food security, nutrition, and resilience, over 50% of the population lives below the poverty line. Previous activities have not sufficiently reduced the number of chronically food and nutrition insecure households nor effectively enhanced the capacity of local and government structures to implement resilience focused policies and actions. To address these issues, the Government of Malawi developed a National Resilience Strategy 2018-2030 (NRS) to guide investments in agriculture, reduce impacts and improve recovery from shocks, promote household resilience, strengthen the management of Malawi’s natural resources, and facilitate effective coordination between government institutions, civil society organizations and development partners. CARE and consortium partners designed the Titukulane Resilience Food Security Activity (RFSA) which means “let us work together for development” in the local Chichewa language—to support pilot implementation of NRS in Zomba and mangochi districts. The Titukulane RFSA, implemented by CARE International in Malawi (CIM), aims to achieve sustainable, equitable, and resilient food and nutrition security for ultra-poor and chronically vulnerable households. Specifically, Titukulane is designed to increase households’ abilities to deal with shocks without experiencing food insecurity following a three-purpose approach:

1. Increased diversified, sustainable, and equitable incomes for ultra-poor, chronically vulnerable households, women, and youth.
2. Improved nutritional status among children under 5 years of age, adolescent girls, and women of reproductive age.
3. Increased institutional and local capacities to reduce risk and increase resilience among poor and very poor households in alignment with the Malawi NRS.

To meet these three purposes, the Titukulane RFSA provides households with a package of interventions, including: Care Groups with Nutritional Cash Transfers (NCT), Farmer Field Business Schools and crop marketing support, Village Savings and Loan Associations, Adolescent nutrition, Irrigation farming, Youth vocational training including start-up capital and Gender dialogues. Read More...

Línea de base del programa de intervención en movilidad humana del eje programático de gestión de riesgos y respuesta a emergencias

El Eje Programático de Gestión de Riesgos y Respuesta a Emergencias, está implementando, desde el 2018, proyectos orientados a la atención de las necesidades humanitarias de población refugiada y migrante, -especialmente venezolana- que está en territorio nacional, alineándose a una estrategia de implementación coordinada y articulada dentro de un Programa de intervención e implementación conjunta, dado que existen acciones complementarias y contribuyentes entre ellas. Por tal motivo, se ha determinado la realización de una línea de base que permita el abordaje integral y lectura del estado situacional de los indicadores al inicio de la intervención desde las diferentes aristas que los afectan. Read More...

Evaluating Systems-level change and impact Findings from the evaluation of the Humanitarian Assistance Program (PAH) in Ecuador

CARE’s ten-year strategy, Vision 2030, seeks to deepen the organizational focus on systems-level change and impact, recognizing that this is essential to expanding CARE’s reach and fulfilling our mission to save lives, defeat poverty and achieve social justice. To support this, CARE launched a systems-level impact initiative to measure the effect of our programs that have influenced or changed systems, and the impact of this systems-change on people’s lives. The initiative also increased capacity across the CARE confederation to design, finance and implement high-quality systems change programs, and to strengthen the focus on systems-level change within our Country Office organizational frameworks and strategies. Four CARE Country Offices were selected to evaluate a project or program, and to synthesize the results for national and global learning. Read More...

Expanding Learning on the Effectiveness of Integrating Gender-based Violence Prevention, Mitigation, and Response and Cash and Voucher Assistance

This program aimed to include adult women and men, aged 18 years or older, who were survivors of or at risk of GBV, including those with diverse SOGIESC and those living with a disability or disabilities. CORPRODINCO caseworkers were all female and enrolled survivors who voluntarily disclosed an incident of GBV. Caseworkers assessed participants’ need for cash assistance for protection, examining the economic drivers of their exposure to GBV risks, as well as the financial barriers to their recovery; this process took place according to the program’s standard operating procedures, which were aligned with best practice guidance and tools. Survivors who met the program’s eligibility criteria and were enrolled were guided through the steps of the cash referral during GBV case management by their caseworker. Read More...

The Impact of Integrating Cash Assistance into Gender-Based Violence Response in Northwest Syria

Traditionally, refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) have received aid in the form of in-kind assistance. Increasingly, however, cash and voucher assistance (CVA) is being used in humanitarian response to meet the diverse needs of those displaced by crisis and conflict. Preliminary findings by the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) indicate that CVA supports gender-based violence (GBV) prevention and response activities, yet humanitarian GBV programming does not comprehensively or consistently consider using CVA. This is a critical gap, as a refugee, internally displaced, and migrant women and girls face multiple risks and incidents of GBV before, during, and after crises. Read More...

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