It is hard to believe it has been more than a year since the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in Kenya, forcing us to make many unanticipated adjustments about the way we worked.
Most significantly, we had to shift to remote working. One year down the line, I am immensely proud of our team for staying the course so far and maintaining our momentum despite the disruption of 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.
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.
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.
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.
FSD Kenya has been working since 2005 to promote financial inclusion in Kenya. Kenya has made huge strides during this time with over 75% of the population having access to a formal account.
This is the third blog in a series about Financial Service Associations (FSAs) and their potential for growth and customer value creation based on an FSD Kenya commissioned survey by BFA. Read the first blog here: Financial services associations: an imperfect solution and the second blog here: FSA asset financing: when paying more yields more.
This is the second blog in a series about Financial Service Associations (FSAs) and their potential for growth and customer value creation based on an FSD Kenya commissioned survey by BFA. The survey took place in 2017 in Bamba, Kakeani and Mukuyuni and involved in-depth interviews with over 60 respondents including customers, their non-member neighbours and FSA staff.
FSD Kenya commissioned Oxford Policy Management (OPM) to conduct an in-depth impact assessment of their savings groups programmes which were undertaken in collaboration with two international non-governmental organisations, CARE and Catholic Relief Services (CRS).
Financial services associations (FSAs) are rural community-level member based semi-informal financial institutions, that are a hybrid of savings and credit cooperative organizations (SACCOs) and microfinance institutions (MFIs).
Our first blog in this series discussed the Hunger Safety Net Programme and savings groups (SGs), for which we’ve also sought to use market based approaches. Part Two, discusses the use of a market based approach in graduation programmes.
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.
I spent a week in Kenya, courtesy of Financial Sector Deepening, an initiative of a number of aid agencies, including Britain’s Department for International Development, the Swedish government, and the Gates Foundation.