Browse by Theme: Livelihoods

Demand for financial services from low-income groups is at an all-time high. Some of that demand is by informal savings and loans groups – including CARE’s 5 million Village Savings and Loan Association members – who want access to quality group bank accounts and mobile-based solutions. East Africa is leading the world in setting up informal savings groups and linking them to formal financial services. The recent East Africa Linkage Summit provided exactly the kinds of insights that other regions can learn from to scale up financial inclusion in 2017.

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CARE’s programmes on dignified work have for a number of years included training sessions for women in factories. Recent research provides further evidence, backing up our own findings, that investing in training for women workers makes good business sense for factory owners.

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The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is upon us. Too much to be excited about, right? Or, like me, you may still be wrapping your head around what this revolution means...

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Since starting an internship at CARE International UK in the Policy and Advocacy team, I’ve had the chance to support research on women’s economic empowerment programmes, with a specific focus on the ready-made garment sector in South East Asia. CARE’s broader role in training value chain workers in partnership with companies like Mondelez, establishing savings groups with women, and committing to a Dignified Work agenda, is crucial to tackling widespread injustice in global value chains across all industries. Researching ready-made garment value chains specifically has led me to re-evaluate some of my own shopping habits, and shown me that change has to come from consumers.

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This week CARE launches its newest paper on women’s economic empowerment in fragile settings and I’ll be laying out the key points in a presentation online and in person (Thursday 8 December, 12-2pm). Here is a preview of what I’ll be saying.

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Functioning market systems and a responsible and responsive private sector are critical to livelihoods, autonomy and well-being. However they are both heavily impacted by crisis, including war.

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Women are very important stakeholders for the whole cocoa industry – not just as customers and consumers, but also because of their roles as cocoa producers. Although cocoa is seen as a “male crop” in most of the producing countries, women have a key role in activities that are critical for the volume and quality of the production. Nevertheless, the “invisibility” of women has serious consequences for their access to technical training and productive resources in general, which is unjust and also represents a huge inefficiency in business terms.

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