Livelihoods and Economic Strengthening Task Force: Convened by the Women’s Refugee Commission

Women's Refugee Commission

The following six reports constitute the highlights of the Livelihoods and Economic Strengthening Task Force convened by the Women’s Refugee Commission. For more information please refer to the Child Protection in Crisis  – a Network for Research, Learning & Action  and sole owner of the following content.

The protection and well-being of children is directly connected to issues of livelihood, especially in emergency contexts. Families who have lost their means of making a living in a crisis may pull their children, especially girls, out of school to contribute to household incomes, do chores or care for siblings. Children who have lost their parents may turn to harmful livelihood strategies to meet their basic needs.

Governments and international agencies increasingly turn to economic strengthening programs (skills training, savings groups, microcredit, cash transfers, etc.) to help communities recover from crisis and build wealth. The impacts of these programs on children have been poorly documented. Economic strengthening (ES) programs can have many positive effects for children including in mental and nutritional health, access to healthcare, and school enrolment. But they can also introduce risk of harm, undermining the benefits. Introducing new economic incentives may cause children to change their routines in dangerous ways. In programs engaging caregivers, even when they bring more money into the house, programs may be ineffective in reaching the youngest, and can even put children at greater risk of school-leaving, exploitation or harmful labor.

The study addresses the relationship between household livelihoods and children‘s well-being and protection in two districts of Western Uganda supported by the Western Uganda Bantwana Initiative (WUBP).The study involves a survey of a total of 246 households with orphans and vulnerable children (OVC). Sampling allowed comparison of 142 households that had received WUBP services (for one or two years) with 104 households that had not yet received services.