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Endline Report: Maman Lumière III Project Project / Etude Endline: Projet Maman Lumière III

In response to the major findings and to help achieve the objectives of the State's Economic and Social Development Plan (PDES°), CARE in Niger has negotiated the third phase of the "Projet Maman Lumière III" project, whose interventions aim to break the cycle of malnutrition, particularly in contexts of recurring crises. Financed in January 2020 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Luxembourg for a period of 48 months, the objective assigned to this project is to contribute to a substantial and sustainable reduction in malnutrition among children under 2 and women aged 15-49 in poor households in the Zinder region by December 2023. At the end of four years of project implementation, and in accordance with contractual requirements with the donor, a final evaluation is carried out to assess the performance, quality of activities carried out, results and sustainability of the project.

The methodology used for this study is based on a sample survey with two (2) sampling levels. It targets children under 5 and their mothers. In addition to quantitative data, focus groups were held to gather qualitative data from communities and groups. In all, 412 households were surveyed in 21 villages by 3 teams.

Pour faire face à des constats majeurs et contribuer ainsi à l’atteinte des objectifs du Plan de Développement Economique et Social de l’Etat(PDES°), CARE au Niger a négocié la troisième phase du projet « Projet Maman Lumière III » dont les interventions visent à briser le cycle de la malnutrition, en particulier dans des contextes de crises récurrentes. Financé en janvier 2020 par le Ministère des Affaires Etrangères du Royaume de Luxembourg pour une durée de 48 mois, l’objectif assigné à ce projet est de contribuer à une réduction substantielle et durable de la malnutrition des enfants de moins de 2 ans et des femmes 15-49 ans des ménages pauvres de la région de Zinder d’ici décembre 2023. En effet à l’issue de quatre ans de mise en œuvre du projet et conforment aux exigences contractuelles avec le bailleur une évaluation finale est conduite pour apprécier la performance, la qualité des activités réalisées, les résultats et la durabilité du projet.

Ainsi la méthodologie utilisée pour cette étude est basée sur une enquête par sondage à deux (2) degrés d’échantillonnage. Elle cible les enfants de moins de 5 ans et leurs mères. Au-delà des données quantitatives, des focus groupes ont été animés pour recueillir de données qualitatives auprès des communautés et groupements. Au total, 412 ménages ont été enquêtés dans 21 villages par 3 équipes.

Strengthening Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) Institutions and Resilience II (SPIR II) Gender Analysis

Ethiopia’s current estimated population is around 123 million; out of which, approximately 50% are women, and 41% are under the age of 15 (The World Bank). Despite Government's efforts to close the gender gap, women and girls still do not have the same opportunities as men and boys. For instance, in Ethiopia girls and women aged 10 and above spend about 19.3% of their time on unpaid care and domestic work in comparison to only 6.6% spent by men (UN Women). This situation limits their ability to enter and remain in the labor force, which in turn hinders economic growth and development.

World Vision (WV), CARE Ethiopia, IFPRI, and ORDA Ethiopia are jointly implementing Strengthening Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) Institutions and Resilience II (SPIR II) – a five- year program funded by the USAID. SPIR II's goal is aligned with the Government of Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Program 5 (PSNP 5), that aims to address the pervasive issues of food and nutrition insecurity in Ethiopia’s Amhara, Oromia, and Tigray regions. SPIR II targets 531,788 PSNP clients in nine, eight and fours woredas in the Amhara, Oromia and Tigray, respectively.

In March 2023, SPIR II conducted a Gender Analysis (GA) to identify gender and social inequalities that could negatively affect the achievement of SPIR II project objectives and to ensure that the design and interventions to increase women’s empowerment, equity for women, men, boys and girls, and other vulnerable groups (including the elderly, PWDs1, IDPs2) do not exacerbate existing power or abusive gender relations. SPIR II was not implementing in Tigray at that time, so the results generated are from Amhara and Oromia only. Read More...

Evaluation du Projet: Appui à l’Adaptation au changement Climatique et à Sécurité Alimentaire (PAACCSA/YANAYI)

Le Projet « Appui à l’Adaptation au changement Climatique et Sécurité Alimentaire (PAACCSA/YANAYI) » est une intervention de l’ONG CARE dans la région de Zinder sur une durée de 60 mois. Il a concerné 21 villages des communes de Gafati (Département de Mirriah), Albarkaram (Département de Damagaram Takaya) et Dakoussa (Département de Takeita) en raison de 7 villages par commune.
Le coût total du Projet est de 450 000 EURO, soit 295 180 650 FCFA.
Le Projet a trois (03) composantes à savoir : Appui à l’amélioration des stratégies, pratiques et techniques agro-sylvo-pastorales pour une adaptation réussie, Appui à l’amélioration de la planification et à l’adaptation à base communautaire (ABC) et Renforcement des capacités locales en matière de Gestion des Ressources Naturelles (GRN).
Pour évaluer le Projet, la méthodologie est le tirage aléatoire sur les producteurs, les membres des groupements et les services déconcentrés.
Après avoir obtenu la taille de l’échantillon des producteurs, elle a été repartie par localité et par sexe. Quant aux nombres des personnes à enquêter pour la collecte des données qualitatives, le nombre a été décidé lors de la réunion préparatoire mais le tirage des enquêtés était aléatoire.
S’agissant des données qualitatives, la taille de l’échantillon a été déterminée au cours de la réunion préparatoire avec l’équipe de CARE en charge de l’évaluation du Projet. Read More...

IPC & Rapid Gender Analysis Pilot – Somalia: Gender, Food Insecurity & Drought

Acute food insecurity (AFI) in Somalia has deepened amidst a prolonged humanitarian crisis that is further amplified by the climate crisis, conflict, disease outbreaks, and the ripple effect of government instability. The interconnection between gender equality and food security on the local, national, and global level is well established; wider gaps in gender inequality in the public and private sphere heighten the likelihood of food insecurity within a country.1 Yet most global data sets on food insecurity are not disaggregated by sex. Primarily, gender-disaggregated approaches have been applied most consistently regarding indicators related to women’s reproductive role – such as anemia in women of childbearing age – and overlook key questions around women’s access to resources, safety,mobility,andparticipation. Thesespheresbroadenthelensofdatatoprovideamoreholistic understanding of the experience of food insecurity, and most importantly, can inform strategic responses that target the needs of the most vulnerable. Thus, this objective Rapid Gender Analysis (RGA) is to strengthen and operationalize mixed methodologies that integrate gender analysis into global food security measurement systems, such as the Integrated Food Security and Nutrition Phase Classification (IPC), to account for the differential vulnerabilities of men and women and provide concrete and actionable recommendations that inform both the process of data collection and the implementation of more effective humanitarian programming. This study was conducted from February 25 to March 11, 2023 and focused on four districts in Somalia, each situated within two distinct pastoralist Livelihood Zones.

The Integrated Food Security and Nutrition Phase Classification (IPC) serves as a pivotal analytical instrument, guiding decision-makers in understanding the magnitude and extent of both acute and chronic food insecurity as well as acute malnutrition.2 This assessment, which aligns with international standards, demonstrates a shortfall in the absence of consistently incorporating gender- disaggregated data and analysis, an aspect that is crucial for fostering a more inclusive approach to addressing food and nutrition insecurities globally. The IPC analytical approach comprises of data from governments, UN agencies, NGOs, and other stakeholders that have applied the most rigorous and technical methodologies aligned with the IPC Technical Manual 3.1.3 Recognizing the profound impact of gender dynamics on the escalating global acute food and nutrition crises, CARE implemented an adapted strategy that combined both quantitative and qualitative instruments and disaggregated by sex as well as individual and household level data. This pilot study engaged 1,708 respondents, encompassing both women and men, and incorporated quantitative surveys and qualitative data gathering techniques such as key informant interviews, focus group discussions, and individual stories. This synergistic fusion of methods illuminated the complex and diverse experiences of men and women, as well as the underlying themes associated with acute food insecurity in the specified two Livelihood Zones (LZs) and the subsequent four districts. The quantitative component incorporated IPC-approved indicators such as the Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES), the Household Hunger Scale (HHS), and the reduced Coping Strategies Index (rCSI), complemented by the WFP's adapted Gender Equality for Food Security (GE4FS) questions. Meanwhile, the qualitative analysis primarily utilized CARE's proven Rapid Gender Analysis (RGA) toolkit. Triangulation across quantitative and qualitative data sources underscores the importance of mixed method approaches and enables a more comprehensive understanding of the impacts of the prolonged drought on men and women and the development of more targeted programming that meets the needs of the most vulnerable crisis-affected populations.

Gender inequalities are both a cause of and the result of the differentiated experiences of acute food insecurity. Gender norms and dynamics impact men and women’s social, economic, and political participation, as well as their access to resources and services. When shocks hit, they can both reinforce and exacerbate existing barriers and discriminatory practices and/or create new opportunities and pathways for resilience, adaptation, and recovery. This report notes multiple shifts in gender dynamics that have occurred since the start of the drought that have shaped the capacity of men and women to participate in the drought response and recovery.

Structural inequalities in Somalia are based on the patriarchal clan-based system that is the foundation of social systems. Numerous indicators demonstrate how - from an early age - women are socially positioned to face risks and barriers that significantly reduced their agency in accessing opportunities, participating in household and community decision making and improving living conditions. Simultaneously, men’s roles towards their family defined by customary law and clan systems has been challenged due to the loss of livelihoods that has created increased vulnerability in accessing food and asserting their traditional roles.

The study explores nuanced gender disparities in acute food insecurity experiences within these LZs, highlighting the vulnerabilities exacerbated by the recent drought. The following highlight key findings:

• Gender Disparities in Acute Food Insecurity: There were distinct gender-based discrepancies, particularly in the Hawd LZ. In this LZ, the data indicated that men are facing a higher degree of acute food insecurity compared to women; the majority of women are grappling with conditions corresponding to IPC phase 3 (Crisis) or worse, whereas men are predominantly experiencing hardships consistent with indicative IPC phase 4 (Emergency). Conversely, in the Addun , both groups are contending with similar levels of acute food insecurity, at indicative IPC phase 4 (Emergency).
• Gender Analysis and Cultural Factors: Remarkably, the gender disparity observed in Hawd contradicts the traditional, cultural, and social norms that are prevalent in Somalia, which typically favor men. Thus, gender analysis of qualitative and secondary data provides critical nuance, with qualitative interviews indicating that men and women both generally perceive women as more vulnerable to acute food insecurity. Likewise, interviewees surfaced trends and cultural factors that may have influenced how men and women experienced or perceived acute food insecurity, such as customary eating habits, khat consumption, and humanitarian assistance. Further study is warranted to determine to what extent these factors are shaping IPC analysis in Somalia writ large.
• Severe Acute Food Insecurity: The findings from the study confirm a dire scenario, where over 70% of the population in the surveyed LZs are facing IPC phase 3+ (Crisis) or worse conditions, as confirmed by FIES, HHS, and rCSI outcome indicators. Disturbingly, there are households and individuals within these LZs confronting even more dire acute food insecurity circumstances consistent with IPC phase 5 (Catastrophe) levels.
• Collapse of Livelihoods Impacts Gender Roles: Drought conditions and the associated collapse of core livelihood pathways due to the loss of livestock has severely impacted traditional roles. The near total collapse of pastoralist livelihoods associated with the drought has threatened men’s traditional role of “provider” and has led some men to report strong feelings of mental health distress. Women have increasingly expanded outside of their traditional roles in the home to seek income opportunities, however, disparities remain that continue to limit their decision-making power at the household and community levels.
• Health Access: Respondents frequently drew connections between the food insecurity and malnutrition situation in their area to the lack of access to basic and life-saving health services. Health services, particularly for pregnant women, were noted by many to be dire, as was the need for better access to clean water to mitigate risks of increased diseases from contaminated sources.
• Protection: Increased tensions within the household due to growing limitations around access to resources heightens risks for gender-based violence within the household, especially as the scope of women’s roles expand around income generation and increased access to humanitarian aid. Culturally accepted practices around early and forced child marriage, as a coping method, also creates added stressors for women and families. Read More...

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...

BEYOND THE LINE: Connecting Trust in Ho Chi Minh City

In the heart of District 12, Ho Chi Minh City, a remarkable journey has unfolded over the past year, of a group named Connecting Trust, consisting of women garment workers at Nobland factory. Through this process, workers came together, identified issues, collected data from their peers, analyzed it, and developed initiatives to address the challenges they were facing. This project is a testament to the power of collective action, hence, the name of the worker’s group – Connecting Trust. Milestones were achieved, including a groundbreaking dialogue with factory managers where workers courageously presented their findings and proposed solutions. Furthermore, the Family Day event, organized by the workers themselves, celebrated the bond between workers and their children, promoting not just well-being but also creating lasting memories of unity and togetherness.

It is a journey that resonates with strength, leadership, confidence, and collective voice, a testament to the transformative power of unity and empowerment. These women have embarked on a path to improve their well-being and, in doing so, have inspired us all. Their journey began in October 2022, and concludes in October 2023, but its impact will be everlasting.

The project, developed and managed by CARE International in Vietnam, funded by Lululemon and executed by the Centre for Community Empowerment (CECEM), at its core, is about amplifying the voices and building leadership of female factory workers. It is about nurturing their strength, to become stronger, more capable, and equipped to embark on new endeavors. It is about fostering leadership and collective action, motivating them to lead their own initiatives to bring about positive changes. It is about instilling confidence, enabling them to engage in dialogue with factory managers, and advocate for their rights and needs.

The stories within this photobook are about courage, resilience, and hope, told by the women workers. Each photograph tells a story of growth and empowerment, of women behind the “Made in Vietnam” clothes tag, who once were unheard; yet, are now leading the change they wish to see. This photo book serves as a tribute to their unwavering strength, their journey from vulnerability to empowerment, and their newfound capabilities to embrace change.

With profound appreciation, we acknowledge the pivotal role played by Nobland factory, where this remarkable transformation happened, and their continuous collaboration throughout the project implementation. We also extend heartfelt gratitude to Lululemon, the project donor, whose vision intensively focuses on creating a meaningful impact on worker’s well-being and support with essential resources for this long-term intervention. Lastly, to the women workers who have trusted this process and chosen to join with CARE and CECEM, your story is evidence of the extraordinary potential within us all, and together, we can create a brighter and more equitable future.

As we peruse through these pages, we invite you to witness this exceptional journey. Let it serve as a beacon of inspiration, reminding all of us that when voices unite, when leadership flourishes, when confidence soars, and when connections are strengthened, transformation is not just possible — it’s inevitable.

Baseline Survey for Supporting and Enhancing Resilient and Viable Employment Opportunities (SERVE) Project

The Supporting and Enhancing Resilient and Viable Employment Opportunities (SERVE) project seeks to ensure a resilient, sustainable, gender equitable and inclusive entrepreneurial environment that increases dignified and fulfilling work opportunities for predominantly female youth (PFY) in agricultural value chains in ten districts namely Rulindo and Gakenke in Northern Province; Kayonza, Rwamagana, Ngoma, and Kirehe in Eastern Province; Nyamagabe, and Huye in Southern Province; and Nyabihu and Rubavu in Western Province by 2027.

CARE Rwanda commissioned a baseline survey whose objective was to carry out a complementary survey among the total population of 14,569 targeted Individuals/ MSEs profiled at the start of the baseline and set baseline values along which the project will be assessed.

The survey adopted a mixed methods methodology and employed quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection which included: Literature Review, 374 Household Surveys of Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) owners, twelve (12) Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) with officials of implementing partner organisations and fifteen (15) Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) with MSE owners in the ten districts. Read More...

SERVE Rwanda Value Chain Analysis 1 – Agricultural value chain analysis for SERVE

As of November 2023, agriculture employs 48 percent of the total labor force in Rwanda (NISR, 2024). Within this sector, the gender gap in productivity persists, with female-man-aged farms 11.7 percent less productive that male farms. The SERVE project identified four key factors behind this productivity gap: namely; poor business practices, difficulties in accessing agricultural lending, heavy reliance on informal sector lending, and cultural and social norms preventing women and youth from entering and succeeding in the agriculture sector. Addressing these challenges, the SERVE project, aligned with the Mastercard Foundation Young Africa Works strategy, is led by CARE International in collaboration with partners such as DUHAMIC-ADRI, PFTH, AMIR, and Urwego Bank. Over five years, SERVE aims to establish a resilient, sustainable, and gender-equitable entrepreneurial environment in the agricultural sector across ten districts in Rwanda.
With a focus on fostering inclusive growth for youth-led agricultural Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs), SERVE aims to enhance productivity, access to finance, entrepreneurship, and market linkages in selected value chains. Simultaneously, the project aims to influence policies and social norms to reduce barriers and enhance equity, particularly for female youth. Collaborating with government ministries, civil society organizations, and the private sector, SERVE leverages strategic alliances to develop tailored financial products, bridge the gendered digital divide, and connect female youth with mentors and potential buyers.
Targeting approximately 45,500 female youth, including refugees and those with disabilities, SERVE emphasizes strengthening existing employment opportunities and generating new ones within the agricultural sector for individuals aged 18 to 35. Entry points include existing Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs) and Farmer Groups (FG), primarily comprising young people, as well as exploring youth cooperatives and collective agribusi-nesses outside the VSLA network.
The aim of this report is to provide a comprehensive market analysis of the targeted value chains of tomatoes, chili, green beans, and poultry, as well as four additional potential value chains. This includes evaluating the current status of gender mainstreaming, and climate adaptation and mitigation efforts across all nodes of the prioritized value chains, as well as a critical examination of existing and projected agricultural financing and environmental policies and climate adaptation plans for National Determined Contributions to be able to set a strategic transformational plan for the prioritized value chains. The report provides information on existing opportunities and constraints across the targeted value chains and about current advantages and challenges within the chosen value chains. The report recommends solutions to overcome obstacles and provide information for practical implementation strategies. Read More...

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