Livelihoods

Blogs & publications
Livelihoods

Inclusive Finance for Sustainable Economic Development in Kenya

Kenya’s progress on inclusive financial sector development over the past five years places Kenya at the front of the curve relative to its peers. But beneath its headline success story, falling financial health and growing disparities in financial usage point to underlying challenges that compromise the ability of financial inclusion to deliver on its promise for inclusive and sustainable growth.

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Blog
Livelihoods

A new approach to women’s economic empowerment: FSD Kenya’s Marsabit Pilot

In 2016 FSD Kenya branched outside our core financial inclusion remit to embark on a new pilot in Marsabit county where we sought to develop a more holistic approach to economic inclusion. The ambition was to deepen the value of finance in people’s lives, moving beyond financial access and use and investing in building capabilities and market linkages to enable finance to yield stronger impacts on livelihood resilience and growth. Our aim was to reach the extreme poor and especially women, who are not well served by the financial sector.

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Blog
Livelihoods

Reflecting on the 2021 FinAccess numbers

I love numbers, charts, infographics and digging into insights, especially from the robust FinAccess survey that FSD Kenya has co-led with the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) and the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) since 2005. Not just because I find it interesting, but because FinAccess is a temperature check for Kenya’s financial inclusion and financial health. FinAccess points us to the questions which remain open about how Kenya’s financial system can deliver on its promise  in meeting the needs of the real economy. As we closed 2021 with the FinAccess launch on the 15th of December, I had the honour of sharing some of these initial questions as I reflected on the numbers in my remarks. I look forward to exploring the answers with many across the sector as well as surfacing more questions that can lead us further down the path of a truly inclusive financial system for Kenya.

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Article
Livelihoods

Building Livelihoods

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Blog
Livelihoods

How has COVID-19 impacted Financial Service Associations?

Restrictions introduced in March 2020 to control the spread of COVID-19 have had a devastating effect on rural livelihoods in Kenya.

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Covid-19
Livelihoods

Graduation Resilience study findings for phase 1 and 2

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).

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Building livelihoods
Livelihoods

Building livelihoods: Participant journeys and impacts

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).

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Annual Lectures
Livelihoods

6th FSD Kenya Public annual lecture 2020 – A glimpse into how scarcity shapes life in Kenya

The year 2020 will undoubtedly go down in history as the point in time when COVID-19 paralysed the world.

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Blog
Livelihoods

Combining new and traditional mechanisms in Northern Kenya to cope during COVID-19

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.

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Blog
Livelihoods

When hustling fails: The impact of coronavirus mitigation efforts on ordinary people’s livelihoods

Unlike many Kenyans, Esther in rural Makueni is not yet too worried about the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on her livelihood. 

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Blog
Livelihoods

Understanding drivers of resilience in Northern Kenya in the time of COVID-19: Part 1

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.

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FSD Kenya and BFA webinar on the impact of COVID-19 on low-income Kenyans
Events
Livelihoods

FSD Kenya and BFA webinar on the impact of COVID-19 on low-income Kenyans

FSD Kenya and BFA Global held a webinar on the economic and social impact of COVID-19 on low-income households in Kenya on the afternoon of Thursday, June 11th, 2020.

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Livelihoods
Livelihoods

Becoming businesspeople: A study of the building livelihoods programme in northern Kenya

This study examines how building livelihoods programmes, or financial graduation projects, shape who participants become as businesspeople.

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FinAccess
Livelihoods

Inclusive Finance? Headline findings from FinAccess 2019

Kenya aims to become a middle-income country by 2030, delivering a high quality of life to all. Finance plays a central role in our economy, facilitating trade and underpinning the efficient pooling and allocation of resources and risk.

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Blog
Livelihoods

Building livelihoods using inclusive finance for chicken farming

FSD Kenya set out to explore ways of using finance to build livelihoods of poor households in Kitui. The survey identified indigenous poultry and pulses as the agriculture value chains with the greatest opportunity for low-income households.

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Blog
Livelihoods

Building livelihoods: An identity perspective (Part 5)

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.

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Blog
Livelihoods

Building livelihoods: An identity perspective (Part 3)

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.

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Blog
Livelihoods

Building livelihoods: An identity perspective (Part 4)

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.

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Blog
Livelihoods

Building livelihoods: An identity perspective (Part 2)

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.

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Blog
Livelihoods

Building livelihoods: An identity perspective (Part 1)

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.

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Blog
Livelihoods

Light at the end of the tunnel: building livelihoods under tough conditions

“We have been working towards this moment for a long time. With the bank loans just a few weeks away we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.” 

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Blogs & publications
Livelihoods

Graduation pilot: Market assessment and IGA modeling

FSD Kenya and CARE Kenya jointly designed a project for implementation in Laisamis, Marsabit county, applying the graduation approach. The objective of the project is to test use of market based approaches to building the livelihoods of poor households.

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