Applying Behavioral Science to Humanitarian Cash & Voucher Assistance for Better Outcomes for Women in MENA

Ideas42 and CARE International conducted research in three of CARE’s countries of presence—Iraq, Jordan, and Turkey—to develop a thorough understanding of the contexts in which women recipients in these settings receive, make decisions on, and use CVA to support themselves and their households. In the pages that follow, we aim to share behavioral insights that shed new light on the many challenges facing women when using CVA in humanitarian settings in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. In summary, some of the key design principles that can increase the impact of CVA for women include minimizing the mental burdens placed on women throughout the transfer process, priming women to affirm positive identities at key times, making the full range of what CVA can be used for visible, and framing CVA in ways that encourages planning and careful consideration of spending priorities.

Though the guidance is best used during project assessment and design, it can be adapted to different phases in the project cycle. Users are encouraged to ensure that a wider range of specialists participate in discussions seeking to incorporate the guidance—including CVA Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) teams, and sector specialists or technical leads. It can also be used as a point of reflection for evaluation or after-action reviews. In addition, the involvement of program support staff and senior management will be valuable to ensure that the points are actionable and properly resourced. Overall, we hope that this guidance at the least starts a wider conversation on applied behavioral science in the humanitarian space and encourages humanitarian organizations to work to implement behaviorally-informed programs with CVA. Read More...

COVID 19 Rapid Gender Analysis Global Trends June 2020

In the three months since CARE released its first Rapid Gender Analysis of COVID-19, the situation has evolved quickly and spread globally. CARE has continued to closely monitor this situation, by conducting context-specific analyses in 5 regions covering 64 countries. This has included conversations and data collection with more than 4,500 women.
This new analysis confirms the initial findings and predictions of the first analysis. It also reveals new areas of high priority for women and girls—and for men and boys—as the crisis deepens. Our recent research reveals:
• The highest immediate priorities 3 months into the crisis are food, income, and rights—including concerns around Gender Based Violence, caregiving burdens, and mobility. Women and girls show these needs most acutely, but they also rise to the top of men and boys’ priorities in COVID-19.
• Women’s burdens are increasing. As frontline workers in the health system, as survivors of Gender Based Violence, as the people primarily responsible for food, cleaning, and childcare—especially with schools closed, women confirm that their burdens are rising, and so is the stress around them.
• Women are displaying remarkable leadership, but are still unable to access most decision-making, around COVID-19 and around daily life. They are also quickly approaching the end of their safety nets.
In this context, this document provides updated recommendations to focus on lessening the immediate impact on women and providing the chance to build back equal. These recommendations cluster around:
• Urgently addressing top priorities of food, income, and rights by expanding safety nets—both in the immediate response and in long-term ways for all people to provide their own food and livelihoods.
• Reducing women’s burdens by providing extra support for caregiving, services for GBV prevention and response, and investing in women healthcare workers.
• Prioritizing women’s leadership by creating space for women leaders at all levels of the response, and consistently listening to women’s perspectives and data as the crisis evolves.

Rapid Gender Analysis – Middle East North Africa (MENA)

The COVID-19 pandemic and efforts at mitigating the virus’ spread in recent months have heightened the insecurity, psychosocial distress, economic vulnerability, gender inequality, and deprivation that already existed in countries in the Middle East and beyond. While men appear to have worse outcomes when infected with the coronavirus, women and girls are being deeply impacted– and fragile gains in women’s workforce participation are in jeopardy.

Refugees and the displaced, the majority of them located in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, are now faced with the COVID-19 pandemic and economically damaging efforts at its mitigation. Fragile gains in women’s workforce participation are at risk, gender-based violence is on the rise, and women’s voices are going unheeded. CARE’s soon-to-be-released Rapid Gender Analysis gathers together data from its country offices in MENA and beyond to provide a sobering picture of the pandemic’s impact on women and girls. Read More...

The COVID-19 Outbreak and Gender: Regional Analysis and Recommendations from Asia and the Pacific

In March 2020, emerging gender impacts and trends were highlighted in an Advocacy Brief developed by GiHA resulting in key recommendations. Good practices from across the Asia Pacific Region have seen these recommendations being put into action and six weeks on, due to the scale and rapidly changing nature of the pandemic, it was seen as crucial to continue to document evidence of gender impacts across Asia Pacific and to update analysis and recommendations. Read More...

CARE Rapid Gender Analysis for COVID 19 East, Central and Southern Africa

The impacts – direct and indirect – of public health emergencies fall disproportionally on the most vulnerable and marginalized groups in society. Interconnected social, economic, and political factors pose complex challenges for the ECSA region’s ability to respond to COVID-19. The region already faces significant health challenges that would exacerbate the severity of COVID-19, such as high levels of malnutrition, malaria, anemia, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis. Access to healthcare in the region is the lowest in the world, thus there is limited capacity to absorb the pandemic1. Gender-based inequality is extensive in the region. Women are at a higher risk for exposure to infection due to the fact that they are often the primary caregivers in the family and constitute 70% of frontline healthcare responders.2 Most women already face limited access to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) services, and the region struggles with high levels of maternal mortality. For example, mother mortality rates recorded in South Sudan were 1150 per 100 000 live births3. COVID-19 will only increase women’s safety risks and care burdens as health services become stretched and resources shift to COVID-19 responses.
Women and girls are at increased risk of violence during the COVID-19 period. Current rates of violence against women and girls combined with the prevalence of harmful traditional practices leads to increased vulnerability. Income loss and limited mobility, compounded with existing gender role expectations, may contribute to increases in intimate partner violence and other forms of gender-based violence. Read More...

COVID 19 Rapid Gender Analysis Middle East and North Africa Region

The novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has been wreaking havoc on the international community in recent weeks and months, leaving almost no corner untouched. As of 8th April 2020, 1,464,852 cases and 85,397 deaths have been recorded in 212 countries1, including all countries in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region with the exception of Yemen. MENA is at a critical stage in containing the pandemic. Some countries have been successful in curtailing the spread by utilizing stringent lockdown measures, while other more fragile and conflict-affected countries, that are less equipped for additional crises, are only beginning to face the inevitable spread of the virus, with incredibly diminished health infrastructures. Widespread conflict, displacement, and migration in the region significantly complicates a controlled response to COVID-19, and extreme water scarcity makes
preventative measures even more challenging.
Women and girls in MENA faced numerous barriers to education, mobility, financial and asset control, and public leadership prior to the pandemic, and any positive gains made recently are at risk. They are impacted by losses in the informal labor market, elevated levels of violence and harassment, and increased burdens of caregiving for out-of-school children, sick and elderly family members.
Levels of psychosocial distress, already high in a volatile region are only escalating, with reductions in men’s roles as providers
being felt in a context of strict gender roles and stigmatization. The potential shift in men’s and boys’ role to provide increased
caregiving should be explored in contextually-appropriate manners.

Pacific COVID 19 RGA March 26 2020

Novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) is having devastating impacts globally. As of 26th March, 414,179 confirmed cases and 18,440 deaths have been recorded across 178 countries. To date, the Pacific has confirmed cases in Guam, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Fiji, PNG, and suspected cases in Samoa. In most Pacific countries, access to quality health services including intensive care is limited. Food security and livelihoods are particularly vulnerable to shocks due to semi subsistence lifestyles and a high reliance on the informal sector for income.

A COVID-19 outbreak in the Pacific could disproportionately affect women and girls in a number of ways including adverse impacts to their education, food security and nutrition, health, livelihoods, and protection. Women are the primary care givers in the family and are key health care front line responders placing them at increased risk and exposure to infection. Maternal and sexual reproductive health needs continue in an emergency but risk being de-prioritized. COVID-19 risks increasing women’s workloads, caring for children as schools close and the sick. Additionally, there is a risk of increased family violence in a region where pre-existing rates of violence against women are already very high.

Men's gender roles and norms need to be taken into account in order to ensure that men are properly targeted to help reduce their vulnerability to illness and to leverage their roles as leaders and decision makers in the home and in the community to help prevent the spread of the disease. Read More...

Global COVID 19 Rapid Gender Analysis April 1

On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organisation classified COVID-19 as a pandemic.1 Disease outbreaks affect women, girls, men, boys, and persons of all genders differently, to say nothing of the wide variety of at-risk and marginalised groups. The compounding complexities of development and humanitarian contexts can have disproportionate effects on women and girls, as well as those at-risk and vulnerable groups. CARE International identified the need to highlight the gender and intersectional impacts of the COVID-19 crisis.
To achieve this, CARE first developed a policy brief to review lessons learned from previous public health emergencies. CARE then adapted its Rapid Gender Analysis toolkit to develop the Global Rapid Gender Analysis on COVID-19, conducted in consultation with the International Rescue Committee (IRC). This report is for humanitarians working in fragile contexts that are likely to be affected by the COVID-19 crisis. It is organised around broad themes and areas of focus of particular importance to those whose programming advances gender equality and reduces gender inequalities. It seeks to deepen the current gender analysis available by encompassing learning from global gender data available for the COVID-19 public health emergency. Read More...


Collectives are a fundamental building block for much of CARE’s work. What are the greatest strengths of a collectives approach across projects? We combined data from many CARE collectives across projects and found that:
• The gender composition of the collective affects the intended outcomes.
• The most successful collectives are those with a balanced gender mix of collective members and women leaders. The second most successful collectives are those with a balanced gender mix and mixed gender leaders.
• CARE collectives are having an effect on women’s economic empowerment.
•CARE collectives are having a particularly strong effect on income, leadership, domestic decision making, production, violence and time use. Read More...

GBV Localization Mapping Study

Despite the presence of global commitments to GBV localization, including the 2016 WHS, the Grand Bargain, and the Call to Action on Protection From GBV in Emergencies2, there is little evidence to suggest that the protection of women and girls is being adequately prioritized or that women and WLOs are meaningfully integrated as change agents in response initiatives (Latimir & Mollett, 2018). The Global Protection Custer (GPC) remains significantly underfunded, with the GBV Sub-Cluster particularly underfunded when compared to other cluster areas (Fletcher-Wood and Mutandwa, 2018).

Global humanitarian funding data reported to the Financial Tracking System (FTS) between 2016 and 2018 found that GBV accounted for just 0.12% of all humanitarian funding, which represented only one-third of all GBV funding requests
(IRC, 2019). Localized funding across all humanitarian response remains strikingly low, with local agencies receiving just
0.4% of all humanitarian assistance funding in 2015 and 0.3% in 2016 (IRC, 2017). Currently, financial tracking mechanisms neither provide a means to report how much funding is targeted to women and girls nor how much funding is received by WLOs (Fletcher-Wood & Mutandwa, 2019). Read More...

Filter Evaluations

Clear all