This project focuses on food security and nutrition and on enterprise and economic development. It aims to improve livelihood security and resilience of 246,216 vulnerable people, with a special emphasis on women and girls. The program will work with government and local NGO partners using a variety of strategies to improve and augment the productive assets they have available to them in an environmentally sustainable way in order to reduce their vulnerability context and increase their ability to cope with inevitable set-backs and shocks. Key project activities include: 1) Identify and organize community based organisations to provide services and training; 2) Train service providers at local level in post-harvest storage, preservation, production; 3) Provide guidance to groups on village savings and loans associations; 4) Support most promising local products or services using value chain analysis; and 5) Share gained knowledge with wider network and link projects, partners and countries to influence policy and practice.
The expected intermediate outcomes for this project include: 1) Increased quantity and quality food production and consumption by women, girls, men and boys; 2) Women, men, and male and female youth are better able to manage and control their economic enterprises;and 3) The policy and regulatory environment supports poor women’s and men’s more equal control of agricultural resources and market processes.
The Linking Initiatives, Stakeholders and Knowledge to Achieve Gender-Sensitive Livelihood Security (LINKAGES) program was a multi-country initiative designed to improve the livelihood security and resilience of vulnerable women, girls, men and boys in Bolivia, Ethiopia, Ghana and Mali. Each LINKAGES country implemented its own project, based on the program’s outcomes and existing development plans and/or structures in the targeted regions. In Mali, the Initiative for Food and Nutrition Security in Segou (IFONS) capitalized on the already established relations with community health centres . In Ghana, the Promise project responded directly to one of the national development agenda’s strategy, which calls for ‘promoting economic empowerment of women . In Ethiopia, the Abdishe initiative was specifically designed to provide alternative pathways towards graduation from the Government’s Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP). In Bolivia, Tukuy Yanapana (TY) responded to the identified needs and strategies laid out in CARE Bolivia’s Adaptation to Climate Change and Food Security program. The project is now completed. Results achieved at the completion of the project (August 2016) include: (1) women are producing more crops than four years ago (soybean, cowpea, millet, sorghum, groundnut and sesame), and diets are more diversified, including the increase consumption of more nutritious foods (e.g. moringa) by 99% of households; (2) training on farming best practices and processing of soybean and cowpea has helped increase women’s incomes in Ghana on average by 47%; (3) women’s savings generated by participation in Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) and incomes from economic enterprises have increased by 44% in Ethiopia, mainly due to the diversification of income generating activities; (4) the establishment of the women’s assets groups in Mali resulted in women having greater access and control of productive assets, increasing women’s agricultural production and consequently 70% of women participants have reported increased income and (5) in Bolivia, the project helped increase women’s empowerment by facilitating women’s inclusion in rural small micro-enterprises (SMEs) as official members and as part of executive committees; In summary the project has achieved or surpasssed most of its objetives for food security, nutirtion and enterprise development. This project is part of Canada’s commitment to climate change action in developing countries. Activities in the project’s three African countries emphasized building the capacities and asset-base of smallholder farmers, primarily women farmers, to mitigate climate-change related risks including rainfall variability, increased water scarcity, loss of soil fertility and pests. Through the promotion of climate resilient agriculture techniques and increasing access to productive assets in Mali, Ghana and Ethiopia, a total of 19,565 women and 15,760 men benefited directly from interventions that aimed to increase the resilience of their communities in the face of climate change.