Learning Brief

Evidence Review of Women’s Groups and COVID-19: Impacts, Challenges, and Policy Implications for Savings Groups in Africa

It has been more than a year since COVID-19 lockdowns began, and economic recovery is a top priority for governments, donors, and international financial institutions (IFIs) worldwide, including in sub-Saharan Africa. Targeted investments that increase community resilience and spur economic growth will mitigate some of the negative economic consequences of this crisis. Investment in women’s economic resilience and social support is para- mount, considering that the crisis may reverse recent progress in gender equality. Around the world, women’s groups, such as self- help groups, savings groups, and health groups, play an important role in communities; evidence shows promise in their role in promoting women’s empowerment and economic outcomes. They encompass many models, but all bring women together around a shared purpose, such as financial inclusion, livelihoods, health, and women’s rights.
This brief focuses on one specific type of women’s group in sub-Saharan Africa: savings groups. Savings groups are a common form of women’s group and serve as a reliable mechanism for people in sub-Saharan Africa to save money. Members of savings groups pool small weekly savings into a common fund, which members can then borrow against, creating opportunities for investments and women’s empowerment. Savings groups show mixed, but promising, results in improving economic and social outcomes. This brief, written by a consortium of researchers and practitioners, presents emerging evidence from studies in diverse African contexts— with a deep dive into Nigeria and Uganda—on how COVID-19 has affected savings groups and how these groups have helped mitigate the pandemic’s negative consequences in sub-Saharan Africa.
This report is 23 pages long. Read More...

Impact Evaluation of the Strengthen PSNP4 Institutions and Resilience (SPIR) Development Food Security Activity (DFSA) Baseline

World Vision, CARE and ORDA designed the SPIR DFSA to support delivery of PSNP4 while also developing and delivering multisectoral programming across the four project purposes in order to enhance livelihoods, increase resilience to shocks, and improve food security and nutrition for PSNP4 clients. The SPIR project will use community-level programming, training of government staff involved in public service delivery at the woreda (district) and kebele (subdistrict) level, and targeted livelihood transfers to support and strengthen PSNP4. Resource transfers received by SPIR participants will come primarily from transfers received from the PSNP4, as well as one-time livelihood transfers provided to the poorest PNSP clients to support livelihoods and promote graduation. Most other benefits of the SPIR project appear in the form of improved public service delivery and trainings to promote learning and support for community-level groups. For learning purposes, the SPIR impact evaluation combines major core components and innovative new activities under Purpose 1 on livelihoods and Purpose 2 on nutrition, along with selected activities under Purpose 3 on gender and youth and Purpose 4 on climate resilience, into a study design of overlapping interventions to learn what combination of activities has the greatest impact and is most cost-effective at improving SPIR outcomes [128 pages].

Attached to the Baseline Report are 3 Learning Briefs, The effects of SPIR poultry and unconditional cash transfers on livelihoods outcomes, The effects of SPIR interventions on nutrtion and childcare, and The effects of SPIR livelihoods and nutrition interventions on women’s and men’s well-being.
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Utilisation de Transferts Monétaires dans le Cadre des Services de Gestion de Cas de Violences Basées sur le Genre pour Soutenir les Populations Touchées par des Crises en Équateur: Synthèse

Avec le soutien du ministère des Affaires étrangères suédois, la Commission des femmes pour les réfugiés et CARE se sont associées pour faire progresser la Feuille de route de l’appel à l’action en renforçant les capacités de prise en charge des VBG et des transferts monétaires des prestataires de services en Équateur, de façon à optimiser les transferts monétaires dans le cadre des services de gestion des cas en vue d’assurer la prévention et la lutte contre les violences basées sur le genre au sein des populations touchées par la crise.

Ce projet s’est déroulé de septembre à décembre 2019. Il permet de démontrer, de manière exhaustive, la prise en charge des violences basées sur le genre dans un contexte présentant des taux élevés de VBG. Il permet également d’influencer la manière dont les acteurs humanitaires et les professionnels des secteurs du développement luttent contre les VBG en Équateur. Les transferts monétaires n’ont pas encore été systématiquement mis à profit pour répondre aux besoins des survivants de VBG et des personnes exposées aux risques de VBG (les bénéficiaires des services liés à la VBG). Par le passé, les projets de CARE se sont focalisés sur la prévention et l’atténuation des risques de VBG. L’association a donc apporté son soutien aux autorités locales, aux organisations de défense des droits des femmes et à la société civile en renforçant les politiques locales et les réglementations. Ces efforts seront renforcés au travers de l’accent mis par ce projet sur la lutte contre la VBG.

Cette synthèse a été rendue possible grâce au soutien financier du ministère des Affaires étrangères du Gouvernement suédois. Read More...

Empleo de Asistencia en Efectivo y Vales en la Gestión de Casos de Violencia Basada en Género para Brindar Apoyo a las Poblaciones Afectadas por Crisis en el Ecuador: Resumen informativo

Con el respaldo del Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores de Suecia, la Comisión de Mujeres Refugiadas y CARE se asociaron para impulsar la Hoja de Ruta del Llamado a la Acción mediante el refuerzo de la capacidad de los proveedores de servicios relacionados con la violencia basada en género y la asistencia en efectivo y vales en el Ecuador a fin de aprovechar la AEV en los servicios de gestión de casos para prevenir y dar respuesta a la VBG en las poblaciones afectadas por crisis.

El proyecto, que se implementó entre septiembre y diciembre de 2019, supone un modelo de gestión integral de casos de VBG en un contexto que registra tasas elevadas de esta forma de violencia y constituyó una oportunidad de influir en la respuesta que los sectores humanitarios y del desarrollo, incluidos sus profesionales, dan a la VBG en el Ecuador. La AEV aún no se ha aprovechado de forma sistemática para cubrir las necesidades de sobrevivientes de VBG y de personas en riesgo de sufrirla (usuarios afectados por la VBG). Las acciones anteriores de CARE se han centrado en la prevención y mitigación de la VBG y para ello han respaldado a gobiernos locales, organizaciones de defensa de los derechos de la mujer y a la sociedad civil en su refuerzo de las políticas y marcos locales. Este proyecto se centra en la respuesta a la VBG y con ello complementará las acciones anteriores de CARE.

La elaboración de este resumen informativo ha sido posible gracias al apoyo en forma de financiación del Gobierno de Suecia proporcionado a través del Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores. Read More...

Utilizing Cash and Voucher Assistance within Gender-based Violence Case Management to Support Crisis-Affected Populations in Ecuador: Learning Brief

With support from Sweden’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Women's Refugee Commission and CARE partnered to advance the Call to Action Roadmap by strengthening the capacity of GBV and CVA service providers in Ecuador to leverage CVA within case management services in the prevention of and response to GBV for crisis-affected populations.

This project, which spanned September to December 2019, serves as an opportunity to model comprehensive GBV case management in the face of high rates of GBV and to influence how humanitarian and development sectors and their practitioners respond to GBV in Ecuador. CVA has not yet been systematically leveraged to meet the needs of GBV survivors and those at risk (GBV clients). Previous work by CARE has focused on GBV prevention and mitigation in support of local government, women’s rights organizations, and civil society strengthening local policies and frameworks; these efforts will be complemented by this project’s focus on GBV response.

This learning brief was made possible by funding support from the Government of Sweden provided through the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Read More...

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