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Promoting Inclusive Markets and Financial Systems

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STRIVE Mozambique

by on Nov 25, 2013  |  posted in Youth  |  0 Comments
Although Mozambique has maintained steady economic growth since the end of the civil war in 1992, it remains one of the world’s poorest countries.  In Nampula Province, in Northern Mozambique, the majority of the population relies on smallholder and subsistence farming as their main source of food and income, yet low productivity and natural disasters continue to threaten these crops.    Many households struggle to feed their family members, resulting in high levels of child malnutrition.

Implemented by Save the Children between 2009 and 2012 STRIVE Mozambique supported village savings and loan (VSL) groups and rotating shared labor schemes (Ajuda Mutua or AM) in Nampula Province.  The program was complemented by the Segurança Alimentar de Nutrição e Agricultura (SANA), a USAID Title II food security program that focused on nutrition, agriculture, and disaster risk reduction.  STRIVE Mozambique aimed to increase the resources available to households and enable them to produce and purchase more food.

Furthermore, the program sought to smooth consumption and increase dietary diversity to improve child nutritional outcomes.  Selected project findings include:

  • Overall all three interventions (VSL, AM, VSL+AM) had positive effects on income and assets.    Findings suggest that VSL loans were used to invest in high value crops and resulted in an increase in production.  Both interventions, through loans (VSL) and social support (AM), offered mechanisms to cope with shocks.
  • Although project participation led to improvements in seasonal food security, families continue to experience challenges with child nutrition. While most participants reported not growing enough food to feed their families at all times, they appeared self-sufficient in staples until the hungry season.
  • All groups saw an increase in the number of different food groups consumed in the household with no positive statistically significant impact. The only measurable impact was negative, where the control group’s gains were more than the VSL+AM group’s gains in dietary diversity as measured by the HDDS.
  • About half of respondents bought special food (such as bread, biscuits, fruits or milk) for children. While some parents reported greater knowledge about children’s nutritional needs, many reported not having enough cash to buy the recommended food for their children.
For more information on STRIVE and the STRIVE Mozambique project, check out the Activity Brief and www.microlinks.org/strive.

STRIVE is a 6.5-year, $16 million program funded by USAID’s Displaced Children and Orphans Fund (DCOF) and managed by FHI 360. The program aims to fill current knowledge gaps about effective economic strengthening approaches and their impact on reducing the vulnerability of children and youth. In partnership with Action for Enterprise (AFE), ACDI/VOCA, Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) and Save the Children, STRIVE is implementing four economic strengthening projects in Africa and Asia between 2008 and 2014. Coupled with a robust monitoring and evaluation framework and learning strategy, STRIVE is documenting the impacts of these diverse interventions on children.

This post is a part of a series of blogs highlighting activities implemented under the STRIVE project, which was featured in a lunch panel at the SEEP 2013 Conference on November 7.

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