Livelihoods/enterprise/employment programs working on inclusion and equity?

Reply on DGroups | 4 comments

Sept. 20, 2021, 8:02 a.m.

Abiodun Abaniwo

Hi Lynn,

I will be happy to learn and share in the documents you will share. Looking
forward to it. There are similar experiences in north-east Nigeria as well
best

Abiodun

Sept. 20, 2021, 4:30 a.m.

Steev Lynn

Dear Laura -

Your message is timely. I recently worked on just such a Livelihoods
project in Burma/Myanmar that was oriented toward marginalized ethnic
minorities such as the Karen, Kachin, Karenni, Shan, etc. We increased our
effectiveness by hiring field staff from those ethnicities who speak the
relevant languages, and linking up with indigenous CBOs as well as the
ethnic homeland governments of the liberated zones (ethnic minorities have
their own militaries, and many have self-governed zones under their
control.) Trust is a HUGE issue when working with persecuted people; we had
to avoid being seen as an extension of majority control into their areas.

Our work was mostly funded by European donors, and it focused on small
business, agriculture, & markets. USAID, unfortunately, was funding
livelihood activities mostly in the central part of Myanmar where the
population is ethnic majority Bamar, and it had no mechanisms for
deliberate inclusion of ethnic minorities. This matters in the Myanmar
context because exclusion & inequality are the drivers of Myanmar's 70+
year civil war. It was very odd that USAID had no plan for inclusion of the
marginalized or rectifying the imbalance of opportunity.

An exception was a small but very successful coffee production & marketing
project implemented by ACDI/VOCA in Shan State, that ended in 2018.

This was all pre-coup. Nowadays it is difficult to focus on livelihoods
when everyone is concerned with the democracy struggle, Covid, and
immediate survival.

I would be happy to share what we learned at Norwegian Refugee Council, if
you think it relevant.

-Steev Lynn
Former Livelihoods Program Development Manager
Norwegian Refugee Council
Hpa-an, Myanmar 2019-2021


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Sept. 8, 2021, 7:17 p.m.

Laura Meissner

Hi MiCers,
Have you worked on a current or recent livelihoods, employment, or microenterprise project that went to great lengths to include normally excluded groups and to ensure equitable options and assistance? We're especially looking for inclusion of marginalized racial, ethnic and social groups; people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities; persons with disabilities; and older people. (Gender and youth of course matter but there is a wealth of resources on that so we are trying to explore groups that may be more often overlooked).
USAID/BHA's markets team is planning an upcoming webinar sharing lessons learned on operationalizing equity and inclusion in livelihoods programming in crises, building on our past blog piece (https://www.marketlinks.org/blogs/promoting-equity-and-inclusion-unequal-marketplace) and Marketlinks' August theme on LGBTI+ inclusion. If you're interested in participating and showcasing your project please email lmeissner@usaid.gov! (It's great if it was a USAID-funded project, but it doesn't have to be.)
Thanks,
Laura
-------------------
Laura Meissner (she/her)
Senior Economic Recovery & Markets Advisor
Office of Technical and Program Quality
USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (Univ. of Arizona)
[Hidden email]

Sept. 8, 2021, 6:49 a.m.

[Hidden email]

Hi MiCers,

Have you worked on a current or recent livelihoods, employment, or
microenterprise project that went to great lengths to include normally
excluded groups and to ensure equitable options and assistance? We're
especially looking for inclusion of marginalized racial, ethnic and social
groups; people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities;
persons with disabilities; and older people. (Gender and youth of course
matter but there is a wealth of resources on that so we are trying to
explore groups that may be more often overlooked).

USAID/BHA's markets team is planning an upcoming webinar sharing lessons
learned on operationalizing equity and inclusion in livelihoods programming
in crises, building on our past blog piece (
https://www.marketlinks.org/blogs/promoting-equity-and-inclusion-unequal-marketplace)
and Marketlinks' August theme on LGBTI+ inclusion. If you're interested in
participating and showcasing your project please email lmeissner@usaid.gov!
(It's great if it was a USAID-funded project, but it doesn't have to be.)

Thanks, Laura
-------------------
Laura Meissner (she/her)
Senior Economic Recovery & Markets Advisor

Office of Technical and Program Quality

USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (Univ. of Arizona)
[Hidden email]