ActionAid International is a global federation committed to find sustainable solutions to end poverty and injustice. With more than 45 national members and country programs worldwide, ActionAid focuses its resources on working with millions of the poorest and most excluded women, men, girls and boys – making long-term commitments to advance their human rights and transform the world in which everybody can have a life with dignity. ActionAid International is collectively governed by all its members, supported by an International Secretariat in Johannesburg. The Asia Regional Office is situated in Bangkok, Thailand, providing managerial, governance and technical support to eleven country programs across Asia. Action Aid’s worldwide work is guided by our international strategy document titled “People’s Action to End Poverty 2012-2017”, focusing on rights based approach by challenging unequal power relations that causes poverty and inequality.

The 4 AACRS scheme partners for REALISE that worked with Actionaid are:  AKF, Oxfam,CARE, WorldVision and the 2 local implementer partners are: OHW and PAC

Project: REALISE (Resilient Agriculture and Livelihoods Initiative for Socio-economic Empowerment)

The Resilient Agriculture and Livelihoods Initiative for Socio-economic Empowerment (REALISE) project under AACRS has been implementing since 2014 in Balkh, Bamiyan and Jawzjan provinces in Afghanistan. The project’s overall objective is to strengthen community resilience among vulnerable households by improving food and nutritional security, increasing their economic asset base, and by strengthening their engagement in influencing decision making, service provision and policies at village, district, provincial and national level. In phase II the project is focusing on sustainability of the contribution to women’s empowerment including economically, and the gender responsiveness brought by phase I of the project. In Phase II, ActionAid chose to work in four districts of Balkh and Bamyan which are Panjab and Yakawlang in Bamyan, Dawlatabad and Kaldar in Balkh and covering 68 villages and 9967 HH, where initial gains are being made by the previous phase and existent other programs that have strong potential for scale-up and expansion. These are all rural districts, which face increased vulnerability within the broader Afghan context, and high levels of gender inequality. Project activities are designed to address the challenges of low agricultural productivity, low capacity to generate income and weak community participation. Organization of Human Welfare (OHW) and Labor Spring Organization (LSO) have been the two local implementation partners in this phase

Project Duration

4 Years

Districts

6

Direct Targetted Areas

97 Villages

Targeted beneficiary

69,769 People

Indirect beneficiary

121,525 People

Gender Wise

9969 Women, 2660 Men

Project Details

Outcome Description
Outcome1 Increased food & nutritional security for community vulnerable men, women and children in participating households
Outcome2 Increased economic asset base for vulnerable men and women in participating households.
Outcome3

Participating groups of vulnerable men and women influencing decision-making, service provision and policies affecting theirfood and livelihood security.

-to achieve outcomes: monitoring of the input provided for the communities, determine the result of the distributed animals and poultry, develop tables and measure the result, study and survey on food security

For achievement of outcom2: focus on small business, train the community for income generating activities and learn them skill business and vocational skill trainings. Create job opportunity for the targeted communities.

For achievement of outcome3: provide necessary trainings on human right advocacy, engagement and evolve the communities on the social works and support the local governments

-key approach and methodology for outcome1:

-FGDs with women and men, People Living With Disability and elderly,

Household surveys disaggregated by male headed and female headed. There will be specific questions for men and women in households

-Key approach and methodology for outcome2: FGDs with women, men, People Living With Disability and elderly and household survey

Key statistical achievements Beneficiary
Backyard gardening training For 970 ppl
Provision of seed For 970 ppl
Provision of tools For 970 ppl
Provision of poultry for 485 women
Provision of livestock For 388 men
Demonstration plot 6 dp
Extension worker training For 120 m,20W
FFS( visitors ) For 800 m, 200 w
Seed production for (180 m, 20 w)
Micro irrigation 60 catchment
Animal fodder for 97 villages
Vocational market analysis For 20 w
Business development training 100 w trained
Establish market linkage 4 event achieved
Establish cold storages 4 completed
Establish cooperative 6 established
Management training for coops 80 m,25 w
Support for cooperative for 2 cops tools provided
Exposure visit for cooperative 3 round for 30 w, 60 m
Community development plan 97 villages
Community development activities for 97 villages completed
Establish FSN RC 29 established
Strength FSN RC 97 FSN supported
Advocacy training for groups in 60 villages For 120 people
District NGO coordination meetings 90 meeting conducted
Staff/partner training 3 round completed

Narrative on achievement:

We supported and formed 6 districts associations in 3 provinces( Bamyan,Balkh and Jawzjan) and provided capacity buiding trainings and exposure visits. We worked closely with government sectors like DAIL,MAIL,MRRD, Economy and DoW and district government. We worked closely with FSN,RCs,CDCs in community level. we constructed CDAs, Micro irrigations, association buildings and cold storages in community level.

We toke active role on exhibition planned by government, DAIL and other sectors. 140 women graduated from first round of vocational skill trainings that 50 of these women open tailoring courses personally for themselves.

6 cooperatives assisted to make their businss plan and practical works on the values they formed cooperatives. After receiving training by AAA, now association are able to provide trainings for their members in community level. with distribution of livestock and poultry AAA was able to make a secure job opportunity in community that caused to prevent the migration and dislocation of the community. The beneficiaries learnt how to rear animals and poultry.

With establishment of 6 demo plots in 6 districts, now the FFS members, lead farmers and association members learnt new techniques of saffron cultivation and other new variety of the plants now they practiced this techniques in their own lands. With seed production activity we introduced new certified wheat seeds to the community for 400 farmers that they multiplied this seed to the other village farmers and harvested high yield and product then the local seeds. With construction of Micro irrigation, Community development activity and cold storages 900 families get improved. Already they had problem.

We established artificial and improved nature pastures in the community that directly affected the community livestock fodder. With conduct of capacity building trainings for the community now they able to take part to any social events and do the advocacy for their rights.

What is next for the project:

  • Work in progress vocational for second round in the targeted areas
  • Close coordination with HI, ACE, ICARDA and AACRS partners on normal operation.
  • Support Producer Associations enhancing their capacity (technical and Operational)
  • Continue the close coordination with DAIL, MRRD, DoWA on major activities.
  • Complete the remain CDA, cold storages and Micro irrigations – after winter season
  • conduct business management and market linkage training for cooperative
  • do the advocacy trainings and community events
  • do exposure visit among women groups and associations
  • conduct NGO coordination meetings in districts level.
  • staff/partners capacity building trainings and capacity building workshops
  • The major event well be Annual Participatory Review Refection and Planning workshop ensure all stakeholders have the opportunity to share their observations and needs another major event will be the alliance building event of our project in district level.
Project Duration

2 Years & 8 Months

Districts

4

Direct Targeted Areas

68 Villages

Targeted beneficiaries

69,769 People

Indirect beneficiaries

121,525 People

Gender Wise

Project Details

Outcome Description
Outcome1 Sustainable increase in food and nutritional security for community men, women and children in participating households
Outcome2 Sustained and increased economic asset base for women and men in participating households
Outcome3 Participating groups of men and women influencing decision-making, service provision and policies affecting their food and livelihood security

What’s new in extension phase

  1. The activity of refresher training for improvement of agriculture association members capacity added
  2. Response on Covid-19 which was important to aware right holders and reduce the infection
  3. Jawzjan province phased out in second phase because of security situation
  4. Project Implementation system which was 50% direct and 50% indirect implementation, changed 100% to indirect implementation

How Success under REALISE looks like?

  • Province: Balkh
  • District: Dawlatabad
  • Village: Markaz
  • Participants: Qudsia (Director) and Aisha (Deputy Director)

 

Dawlatabad women soap making group is a woman-led organization, it was established by the REALISE project under AACRS in 2016. Four women including Qudsia (the storyteller) was trained on soap production by REALISE project, and thereafter they continued to produce and sell soap in the local market. This business provides income to around 26 community women in center of Dawlatabad district.

(Qudsia): “If we look back at the past, there were limited opportunities for women to develop, women were kept restricted to home activities and most of us were living a life we did not choose. We were not allowed to go outside, even to visit a doctor for treatment, hundreds of women lost their lives because of lack of care and restrictions on their movement. Women did not have access to education, health facilities, markets, and social gatherings at community level. My husband whilst an educated person did not agree that my daughter should be educated and going to school. He understood the importance of education for a woman, but the main cause of his resistance was local traditions and people’s negative mindset regarding women’s education. Women in Dawlatabad district were in a bad economic situation, they were used to supporting their male family members in farming, but their labor was not recognized and not paid. Whilst livestock work was entirely performed by women, they had no right to the money generated from the sale of livestock/dairy products. At that time dairy production was the only potential source of income for women in Dawlatabad, but their products were of low quality and were sold to the local community at a low price. Now situation changed and we have regular income and known more in the community and our production selling in good price.”