Browse by Theme: Livelihoods

Post-war Sri Lanka (since 2009) has much to offer tourists, and the country is relying on the hospitality and tourism sector to drive up economic gains and create a positive ripple effect on related social factors – such as meeting the employment needs of several million young Sri Lankans on the look-out to secure a job. But why is it that so many women in the sector are not being supported in their careers – and why, in some cases, is it so hard for women to even enter the workforce?

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The global negotiations to agree a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to eradicate global poverty by 2030 will come to a conclusion this September. Many supporters of women’s economic empowerment have backed a petition urging governments to ensure women’s access to financial services is included, so what are the chances?

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Many of us dream of a world free from poverty, but how can this be realistically achieved, especially for smallholder farmers who make up the majority of the world’s poor?

One important answer to this question is found in our new book, Making markets more inclusive: Lessons from CARE and the future of sustainability in agricultural value chain development. In it, we highlight lessons from one of the most intensely developed agricultural value chain initiatives in the world: CARE’s work in the dairy value chain in northwest Bangladesh.

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I have just spent a few days in Dhaka talking to the Bangladesh Central Bank and a number of the key commercial banks in the country, as part of a research project into the role of banks in furthering financial inclusion. At CARE International, our focus is on the poorest people at the ‘bottom of the pyramid’, and the research so far has posed a key question – what do we think of banks placing a strong emphasis on the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) market, rather than reaching further down the pyramid?

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Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) are a key way to provide access to financial services for people living in areas which financial institutions typically ignore and where the cycle of poverty prevails. They do exactly what their name suggests: provide a way for a group of individuals in any community to save their money and to access loans. But the benefits don’t stop there: later on, VSLAs also serve as an onramp to formal financial services.

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The Philippines has been classified by the World Bank as a ‘lower-middle income’ economy. On the surface of things, the Philippines’ economic gains in recent years, and its growing numbers of new middle-class citizens, represent an optimistic narrative. But as the country still struggles to come to terms with the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, is this the real story on the ground?

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Sri Lanka is still only five years free from a long-standing and debilitating civil war, and 10 years since the Tsunami in which 35,000 people lost their lives. But huge changes are taking place in the quest for ‘modernisation’. How will Sri Lanka cope with its transition to a middle-income country? How positive will the process of change be for every Sri Lanka citizen, and how can inclusive growth for all be created in the future?

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