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Solidarity in Saving: Listening to Women's Needs During Crises

December 20, 2023

Women (in VSLAs) Respond is an ongoing exercise, conducted by CARE, listening to how women in Village Savings & Loan Associations (VSLAs) are affected by and responding to shocks and crises in their communities, including conflict, climate change, food insecurity, pandemics, and more. The best way to understand what is happening to crisis-affected populations is to listen to their voices and experiences. Between February and August 2023, CARE interviewed saving group members as part of the Women (in VSLA) Respond initiative. This brief represents quantitative data from Burundi, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Mali, Niger, and Vietnam. The survey included 3,822 (85% women) VSLA members.

The World's Most Neglected Displacement Crises 2022

June 1, 2023

Each year, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) publishes a report of the ten most neglected displacement crises in the world. The purpose is to focus on the plight of people whose suffering rarely makes international headlines, who receive little or no assistance, and who never become the centre of attention for international diplomacy efforts. This is the list for 2022.

I help them in my own way – exploring local humanitarian action in Burkina Faso and Mali

March 22, 2023

This report focuses on local humanitarian action in Burkina Faso and Mali, in particular humanitarian action caried out by civil society organisations and individuals, and reflects on how local models for humanitarian action may inform longer term visions for humanitarian aid in these two countries. The report adds to the emerging bulk of recent reports that look beyond international humanitarian aid and explores how existing models for local humanitarian action and resources support people in crises.

ECOWAS Management of Political Transitions in Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso: Achieving Stability, Sustainable Democracy and Development

February 15, 2023

2021 saw more coups than the preceding five years combined, including successful instances in Mali, Guinea, as well as failed coup attempts and mutinies in Niger. The trend has continued into 2022, with two coups in Burkina Faso in January and September 2022, while an attempted, but unsuccessful, military putsch took place in Sao Tome on 25 November 2022. This democratic reversal portends political instability, and its attendant economic consequences for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are concerning considering the developmental agenda of the region.This paper looks at the political transition in West Africa and reviews external responses to unconstitutional political transitions in Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso. It also looks at the management of democratic transitions, especially in combining defence, development and peacebuilding before proffering thoughts on future prospects.

Annual Impact Report, Fiscal Year 2022: July 2021 to June 2022

November 1, 2022

EngenderHealth's fiscal year 2022 (FY22) impact report illustrates our progress across 22 projects, while countries continued to grapple with the immediate and longer-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our progress and associated impacts are guided by our organizational Strategic Plan and complementary Theory of Change (see Figure 1). This report highlights our overall impact and examines findings related to each level of the socioecological model represented in our theory of change, including our influence on policies, laws, and processes; our contributions to health systems; and our impact on communities and individuals at the center of our work. We also illustrate our achievements in relation to our three core impact areas: sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) (including contraception care, abortion care, and more), gender-based violence (GBV), and maternal and obstetric care—all of which critically support EngenderHealth's mission. Furthermore, the report highlights how we achieve our results through specific pathways to change, including community engagement, digital health, and health systems strengthening; and via our priority approaches of gender-transformative change, localization of leadership, meaningful youth participation, and partnerships. All our achievements are accelerated through partnerships, learning, and leadership, and through our emphasis on organizational effectiveness and gender equity, which amplifies our impact.

Conflicts, Crises and Displaced People: How the Global Fund Works in Challenging Operating Environments

May 12, 2022

In 2022, the world faces unprecedented global health challenges that are putting the most vulnerable communities more at risk. COVID-19 continues to cause huge loss of life, human suffering and economic and social disruption across the world. Hard-won gains against HIV, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria are being reversed, with devastating consequences for the poorest and most vulnerable communities. Climate change and increasing conflict and displacement are affecting the epidemiology and transmission of existing diseases and facilitating the emergence of new ones. Inequities have deepened and poverty is increasing, particularly in countries affected by conflict, disaster and insecurity.

No One Is Spared: Abuses Against Older People in Armed Conflict

February 1, 2022

This report describes patterns of abuses against older people affected by armed conflict in Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, South Sudan, Syria, and Ukraine. It also draws on the situation of serious protracted violence in two English-speaking regions of Cameroon, Myanmar security force atrocities against older ethnic Rohingya in Rakhine State, and the experiences of older refugees in Lebanon displaced by conflict in Syria. It also includes abuses against older people in the 2020 armed conflict in the ethnic-Armenian-majority enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh.

GEWEP II: Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Programme II Final Report

August 31, 2020

The Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment Program (GEWEP) II was implemented over four years from March 2016 through February 2020. GEWEP II worked with and for poor women and girls in some of the world's most fragile states: Burundi, DRC, Mali, Myanmar, Niger and Rwanda. By the end of the program period, GEWEP IIreached more than 1 161 869women and girls, mainly through Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs). Norad has supported VSLAs since they were first piloted by CARE in Niger in 1991. Since then, Norad has supported over 49 722 groups encompassing more than 1 150 625 women. This includes GEWEP II and previous programming, which GEWEP II builds on. During GEWEP II, more than 16 070 new groups were established. This is a key method for providing financial services to poor women and girls, and an important contribution towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1, 2, 5, 8 and 9, which all mention access to financial services.This report includes results on outcome and output level, of which the outcome level results were presented in detail in the GEWEP II Result Report submitted in May 2019. The table below summarizes the results at outcome level, for the global indicators that were collected across all program countries. These indicators were collected at the population level in the intervention zones. Overall, there has been positive change in the perception and attitude to women's economic, political and social empowerment in the intervention zones. On a national level, there has been positive changes in legislation, but implementation remains a challenge. A few indicators saw negative change. In Burundi, the percentage of women who state they are able to influence decisions went down from baseline, although it is still high at 88%. In Niger, the patriarchy remains strong, but despite challenges in changing men's attitudes, women have reported increased participation and social inclusion. The indicator focusing on women's sole decision-making saw little progress as the program worked more towards joint decision making. 

Social Accountability Guidebook (2nd Edition)

January 1, 2020

The second edition of Social Accountability Guidebook for CSOs is a learning resource that is intended to support the building of a community of practice of social accountability practitioners, advocates, and champions in West Africa. This guidebook is an updated version of the first edition which was published in 2018. The Guidebook presents case studies of social accountability initiatives from the West African region, interspersed with definitions of terminologies related to the concept. It is intended to deepen understanding and foster appreciation of the concept of social accountability, its potential for strengthening accountability in the region, and the challenges that may be encountered in implementing social accountability initiatives in the West African Context. It is hoped that the Guidebook will serve as a catalyst for further development and tailoring of the concept of social accountability in West Africa, by CSOs, development practitioners, local and central government agencies, the donor community, and all others who are interested in advancing accountability in West Africa.

Out of the Frying Pan into the Fire Part Two – Building Resilience to Climate Change and Violent Conflict

November 1, 2017

Here in part two, we begin our examination of community resilience. It builds on the findings in part one by taking a closer look at the context of climate change and violence in three countries where Christian Aid works: Angola, Honduras and Mali. Each case study sets out the particular context in terms of conflict, violence and climate change, explores the links between climate vulnerability and violent conflict, and discusses approaches to supporting climate and conflict resilience in that country, based on the experiences of Christian Aid staff. In Angola, the protection of land rights is essential in building resilience and climate change adaptation among communities. In Mali, tackling security challenges and programming with an awareness of the presence of unusual actors are key to moving forward in a region vulnerableto both extreme weather and conflict. In Honduras, building environmental resilience using conflict sensitivity principles offers great promise in addressing the challenges. Both climate change and violence are extremely context specific,and therefore, this paper does not attempt an across-the-board analysis according to a set of quantitative indicators. However, it does attempt to identify parallels and differences between the three case studies, in order to make some recommendations for policy development and wider application. Most importantly, part two takes the view that building resilience in communities is just one important part in the menu of options – it does not stand alone in responding to the challenges of climate change and conflict. When taken alongside community-level tools for understanding the root causes of violence, such as participatory vulnerability and capacity assessments (PVCAs), and when complemented by national and global advocacy on the responsibilities and obligations of duty-bearers and market actors, it becomes the building block in Christian Aid's overall approach to climate justice.

The Recipe for Success: How Policy-makers Can Integrate Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Into Actions to End Malnutrition

August 24, 2017

By analysing the approaches governments and donors are taking, we highlight ways in which progress is being made, and we call on decision-makers to shift mindsets, change ways of working, and invest now in effective integration to improve child health.Building on last year's The missing ingredients report, this report highlights why WASH is essential for nutrition, and how this integration could be strengthened. Through an analysis of nutrition and WASH plans and policies in ten countries, we identify gaps and ways of working. The report highlights where there has been effective integration at the policy level and how improvements can be made. It also includes an analysis of donor initiatives and to what extent WASH has been incorporated in nutrition investments.

Can Indigenous Associations Foster Trust, Tolerance, and Public Goods? Exploring the Role of Grins in Post-Conflict Mali

April 28, 2017

People gather in structured, if informal, community groups for many reasons—social, such as a book club or softball league; economic, such as a team hosting a fundraiser for a member's medical expenses; or political, such as neighbors meeting to address flooding caused by poor infrastructure. But how does participating in such groups affect people's well-being or decisions to work for other community improvements? Level of political knowledge? Level of trust toward group members, people in the broader community, or institutions such as the government? Or willingness to tolerate differences that are often at the root of conflict, such as ethnicity and religion?Through an Innovation and Research Grant funded by USAID's Center of Excellence on Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance under the Democracy Fellows and Grants Program, Professors Jaimie Bleck from the University of Notre Dame and Philippe LeMay-Boucher from Heriot-Watt University, in collaboration with Jacopo Bonan from Catholic University of the Sacred Heart and Bassirou Sarr from the Paris School of Economics, worked to answer these questions by studying community groups called grins that meet in neighborhoods across Mali's cities. The research, which included both survey data and data generated through the public goods and trust experimental games, was implemented in two sites in Mali: the capital Bamako and the twin cities of Mopti and Sevare, on the border between the formerly occupied north and the south. Key findings include:Grins' primary purpose is social, but the groups also help members meet economic needs and provide a venue for political discussion and community service, such as neighborhood cleanup.The majority of grins are male-only, and the majority of grin members are male, comparatively better educated, and unmarried; however, members of male-only grins trusted one another less than members of mixed-gender or female-only grins.Members are better able to produce public goods than non-members, but only when working with members of their own grin.Members are considered more trustworthy than non-members, except for grins with internally displaced persons as members.Grinmembers had more trust in social institutions and diverse ethnic groups, though no more trust of the government; members of ethnically homogenous grins trusted diverse ethnic groups less.