ARC Learning Event on VSLAs in Nexus Programming
The Addressing Root Causes (ARC) Programme in South Sudan seeks to build the resilience of nineteen communities (payams) of diverse and sometimes conflictive ethnic groups in four counties across Jonglei state to endure economic- or conflict-induced shocks through peacebuilding and economic development work. The three programme outcomes—Economic Resilience, Peaceful Conflict Resolution, and Social Cohesion—are mutually reinforcing and together contribute to more resilience and a culture of peace. This programme combines humanitarian programming with development and peacebuilding and is therefore an example of a ‘triple nexus’ programme.
Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs) have been introduced in the programme in order to assist women and men to save and invest money in launching (small) economic enterprises. The MTR findings of the ARC programme indicate that access to loans and training of VSLA groups is empowering women and youth in the targeted communities to engage in Income Generating Activities (IGAs) and micro-enterprises, thereby broadening their livelihood and resilience options and creating market linkages with traders across different ethnic communities.
To learn more about how VSLAs supported by ARC in South Sudan have been contributing to the programme’s social cohesion outcome, and how they have been adapting to the changing context (due to pandemic, floods and conflict), CARE Nederland has commissioned a study centred around the following main research question: ‘How does men and women’s participation in VSLAs in fragile and conflict affected settings (FCAS) affect social cohesion in the community?’ This research will be finalized in June 2021 and will culminate in a learning brief.
Together with KPSRL, CARE Nederland wants to organize a learning session to share the main findings of the research and to facilitate discussion related to the potential of economic programming (esp. savings groups) for social cohesion in FCAS. If there are sufficient findings from the study we will also explain how resilient the VSLAs have proven in case of the pandemic, floods and conflict.
Questions that will be addressed in the session are:
1. What are the enabling factors/characteristics of VSLAs in FCAS that impact social cohesion both within communities and with other, surrounding communities of different ethnic background?
2. How do VSLAs and the emerging income-generating activities and micro-businesses enable women to build bridges with other communities/ethnicities?
3. How does the involvement of young men in VSLA groups (in cattle camps) affect their attitudes and behavior with regards to social cohesion - in and between - communities?
Katie Whipkey, Research Consultant
Sarah Ward, Post-conflict/Post-disaster Market Systems Specialist
CARE South Sudan Speaker TBA
Registration is mandatory to attend this event. Please register by clicking the button below. If you have any questions or concerns, you can reach out to Messina Manirakiza at firstname.lastname@example.org or Berlinda Nolles at email@example.com
Please click here for all answers to the Q&A that took place in the chat during the event.