We build resilience of families by teaching improved agriculture techniques, delivering informal financial services, linking women to formal financial service providers and educating them about health and nutrition.

Project: Building Resilience in Burkina Faso

Using savings groups as a platform, this project links women farmers to services and formal financing for climate-smart agriculture, strengthens nutrition practices, and improves resilience to food security for vulnerable communities through increased savings and assets.

The project approach uses community-based women’s savings groups as a platform for providing agricultural, nutrition and financial services to help savings group members recover from many common geographic, cultural, social and economic shocks.

Savings group members learn affordable conservation techniques suitable to the local ecosystem, practices to improve their yields, and business skills to better market their crops. As a group, they gain access to suppliers and supplies, including fertilizers, pesticides, and improved seeds.

Savings and loans are generated and managed by the group, which is also offered access to formal financial services through mobile banking.  These products can help finance implementation of the new techniques, or to support other income generating activities, especially during the lean season.

Nutrition education enables group members to make the most of available foods for the long-term health of their families and, critically, during lean times.

Project: Bridge to Financial Inclusion

This project extends savings and financial education to 55,200 rural women and smallholder farmers in Burkina Faso. It builds a pathway to financial inclusion for rural, poor women that begins with grassroots savings, progresses to enhanced financial literacy, leads to experience with small loans, and ultimately facilitates confident access to formal financial services through ethically managed microfinance institutions.

The project uses technology to revolutionize how community-managed savings group are formed, supported, and provided with financial education.

Research Project: Women’s Empowerment and Agriculture Index

This five-year project is the second phase of the Gender, Agriculture and Assets Project, sponsored by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). Its goal is to adapt and validate a measure of women’s empowerment. With that measure, agricultural development agencies and project implementers will have a tool to use to diagnose key areas of disempowerment, design strategies to address them, and monitor outcomes of women’s empowerment projects.

The project is assessing outcomes for female participants in our Building the Resilience in Burkina Faso project.  The participants were chosen because they took part in an earlier survey. With that comparison, the results are expected to shed light on empowerment in two contexts - empowerment of women in rural Burkina Faso and changes in empowerment that can be attributed to participation in Freedom from Hunger’s Building Resilience in Burkina Faso project.

The index will measure empowerment in five domains of agriculture - production, resources, income, community leadership, and time use.