Dr. Jody Delichte is an experienced researcher and programme advisor and manager. She has worked across four continents and has extensive experience in sub-Saharan Africa. Her specialisms include youth entrepreneurship and employment, livelihoods development programmes, microinsurance, and mobile for development.
FSD Kenya implemented a four-year pilot graduation project targeting beneficiaries of the Hunger Safety Net Programme (HSNP) in Laisamis Sub County (Laisamis, Gudas, Logologo, Korr, Merille, Irrir), which provides a bi-monthly cash transfer of Ksh 5,400 (about US$ 54).
The building livelihoods programme is a modified financial graduation project that emphasises market-based programme components to increase cost-effectiveness and potential for scale. The aim of the programme is to help those living in extreme poverty build sustainable livelihoods through business to enable them to live above the ‘survival threshold’, whereby households can meet basic food needs without external assistance (Fitzgibbon & Cabot Venton, 2014).
In mid-July we interviewed a subset of FSD Kenya/CARE’s Building Livelihoods programme beneficiaries in Northern Kenya to understand the extent to which resources built up through the programme are supporting resilience of beneficiary households during COVID-19, and how these compare and interact with traditional pastoralist coping mechanisms.
Over the past four years, FSD Kenya’s Building Livelihoods programme in Northern Kenya has explored how extremely poor households can be transitioned out of poverty and into sustainable livelihoods through stronger engagements with markets.
This study examines how building livelihoods programmes, or financial graduation projects, shape who participants become as businesspeople.
Laisamis is a settlement in Marsabit County in the Northern part of Kenya towards the Ethiopian border.
Throughout this blog series I have examined FSD Kenya’s Building Livelihoods programme from an identity perspective. I have shown how the Hunger Safety Net Programme (HSNP) creates valued identities in the community and how there are different pathways to savings group identification and value.
The role of community-based facilitators (CBFs) is to encourage participation in savings groups, ensure groups function effectively, and provide training on basic financial and business skills, as well as prepare participants for formal loans.
Over the past two years I have travelled to Marsabit County in Northern Kenya four times to talk to the same 50 people about their lives and experiences as participants of FSD Kenya’s Building Livelihoods programme. The programme aims to help participants develop sustainable livelihoods through business.
Where there is already a strong value associated with savings groups, people are likely to more rapidly join, participate more fully, and exemplify what it means to be a member of the group.
FSD Kenya’s Building Livelihoods programme is a market-based adaptation of the Graduation approach popularised by BRAC in Bangladesh. Over a period of two years, participants shared stories about their lives and early experiences with the programme giving insight into who they are and how they think and change throughout the programme.
The impact of the recent six-month drought is readily apparent. The earth is dry and cracked and most of the trees and shrubs are barren. Riverbeds are full of dried branches and the livestock that roam the area are but skeletons, with many dead along the road.