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Dorase Zulu

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Country: Zambia
Background: Education

Research Project: An investigation into the economic empowerment strategies employed by Zambia National AIDS Network, targeting women in Lusaka Province of Zambia.

The Zambia National AIDS Network, introduced grants for income generating activities to Civil society organizations as a means for sustainability. Taking into account contributions from community led efforts and initiatives in the fight against HIV /AIDS, ZNAN projected that it will be worthwhile for community organizations to continue implementing HIV prevention, treatment and care and support programmes rather than depending on donor funding. In light of this the initiative to fund sub projects for income generating activities was born.

This study an investigation into the economic empowerment strategies employed by Zambia National AIDS Network (ZNAN) targeting women in Lusaka Province of Zambia employed mixed methods approach to explore the strengths and weakness or challenges encountered by ZNAN and the women implementing the income generating activities.

Participants were sub divided into three levels: national level programme officers responsible for coordinating the IGA programmes, district level project coordinators responsible for supporting and overseeing the women groups and community based organizations managing businesses for income generating.

Using focus group discussions and interviews, the following were identified as barriers to sustainability of group owned businesses: high poverty levels, lack of access to financial resources, lack of infrastructure and equipment, gaps in training, in adequate personnel, lack of an impact evaluation framework, weak monitoring and evaluation system, succumbing to donor pressure to disburse funds in short time frame and lack of opportunity for exposure tours on business management trainings. A survey (quantitative) was undertaken to ascertain whether the interventions actually empower women or not.

Findings from the survey indicated that interventions by ZNAN empowered the women both at society (local level) and market (intermediary level) domains. Women empowerment on both domains is discussed in detail in the results and conclusion.

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Last updated 23 November 2016 School Web Administrator (Email).