A path shared for 27 years - IFAD


A path shared for 27 years - IFAD

A path shared

for 27 years

Enabling poor rural people

to overcome poverty

A powerful idea, shining with the beauty of its simplicity,

came to the people of Belgium 27 years ago. That idea

was to use a large share of the proceeds of the State-run

National Lottery to fight world hunger. By way of their

elected representatives in Parliament, the Belgians decided

to help, in particular, drought-affected countries in the Horn

of Africa. Their idea led to the creation of a mechanism for

putting lottery gains to good use and the establishment of

what was at the time, given the natural catastrophes that

had just claimed thousands of lives, aptly named a Survival

Fund. A leading role was assigned to a Joint Programme

between four specialized agencies of the United Nations

System, led by the International Fund for Agricultural

Development. Between end-1984 and end-2011, the Joint

Programme provided grants that sought to assure the

survival and promote greater wellbeing of rural dwellers

in many countries of sub-Saharan Africa. The story of this

partnership is related in this book.

The Editorial Team, December 2011

A path shared

for 27 years

Enabling poor rural people

to overcome poverty

“I am proud that the Belgians should not only be aware of

the difficulties experienced by many less-favoured nations

in the world, but should also acknowledge the part that

they are, themselves, required to play in the joint struggle

against those difficulties. That was the spirit in which,

in July this year [1983], the Belgian Parliament adopted

a Law establishing a Third World Survival Fund, with

a view to ensuring the survival of persons threatened

by hunger, malnutrition and under-development in the

regions where the highest death rates are recorded.

The proposed resources of the Survival Fund amount in all,

to 200 million [US] dollars, to be additional to the regular

aid already allocated by Belgium.”

His Majesty, King Baudouin, King of The Belgians, speaking before

IFAD’s Governing Council in December 1983, Rome, Italy

Proud farmer showing an immature peanut

plant: the harvest will be a good one!

©The Joint Programme


The opinions expressed in this book are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent

those of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The designations employed

and the presentation of material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion

whatsoever on the part of IFAD and on the part of the Government of Belgium concerning

the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the

delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. The designations “developed” and “developing”

countries are intended for statistical convenience and do not necessarily express a judgement

about the stage reached by a particular country or area in the development process.

ISBN 978-92-9072-336-3

Cover photo:

A little girl in north-western Somalia shows

how she washes her hands before eating.

©IFAD/C. Lachat

© 2013 by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

Printed by Quintily, Rome, Italy


Printed on ecological paper


Preface of IFAD’s President ..................................................................................6

Foreword of Minister of Public Enterprises and Development

Cooperation, in charge of Urban Policy of the Kingdom of Belgium ...........7

This book… ............................................................................................................9

History and overview .........................................................................................10

A brief history ................................................................................................11

Overview of the mainstream portfolio ......................................................15

Overview of achievements ...........................................................................17

Highlights from the mainstream portfolio .....................................................19

The Village ......................................................................................................20

Health care ............................................................................................... 76

Microfinance ............................................................................................90

Post-conflict interventions ....................................................................98

The Socio-health Programme in Rwanda ......................................... 102

A path shared .....................................................................................................106

Odds and ends .................................................................................................. 111

Appendices ......................................................................................................... 115

Overview of the mainstream portfolio (by country) ............................ 116

A quick guide to development terminology ........................................... 118

Water ........................................................................................................22

The Lac Lacustre project in Mali ...........................................................32

Knowledge ................................................................................................38

I am boss! .................................................................................................48

We are boss! .............................................................................................60

Deciding and doing things together .....................................................70



The Belgian Survival Fund Joint Programme

(BSF.JP) represents IFAD’s longest partnership

with a single country. It has been a unique

experience, born from a joint IFAD and Belgian

Parliament initiative. Together, the Belgian

Survival Fund Joint Programme and IFAD have

tackled the broad range of problems faced by

the most vulnerable rural people in the poorest

countries in Africa.

BSF.JP grant resources complemented activities

supported by IFAD loans in strategic ways. The

grants, totalling about EUR 150 million, have

improved the livelihoods of rural smallholders in sub-Saharan Africa,

especially women. For IFAD, BSF.JP has served as a vehicle to broaden its

activities, using a special partnership-oriented approach.

But the IFAD/BSF.JP partnership has gone beyond simple cofinancing.

It has fostered a mutual learning process and enhanced knowledge

management. This has allowed us to embed our agricultural development

activities within the broader context of rural development, thereby

improving our targeting of some of the most vulnerable individuals and

households, and increasing the impact of income-generating activities

in the agricultural and non-farm sectors.

When people have better health care, they are stronger. They are

more productive and more willing to try innovative approaches. Rural

women often spend long hours each day fetching water. When they have

easy access to clean water, they have more time for their families and

income-generating activities. When women have access to literacy classes

and learn to read, they gain the confidence to start their own businesses.

For nearly 30 years, the BSF.JP and IFAD have shared a path,

a commitment and a vision. The BSF.JP made it possible for rural

smallholders to attend to some of their most urgent priorities and needs,

especially basic health care and access to safe drinking water. BSF.JP

grant funding of health facilities and deep wells in remote rural areas has

meant great savings in money and time for the local population. And this

has in turn enabled them to invest some of the money and time saved in

their farms or in their microenterprises.

The testimonies in this book tell the story of this partnership and

what was achieved. The stories of people who have transformed their

lives and created a brighter future for their families are an inspiration

to all of us. They bear testimony to the impact of this important

partnership, and how it has allowed them to look to the future with

more hope and ambition.

I wish to express my personal gratitude for the support that Belgium

has always offered to IFAD, and of which BSF.JP is one part. We will

continue on the path that we have shared, working together to overcome

any obstacles and embracing new opportunities so that poor rural people

have the ways and means to make lasting changes in their own lives.

Kanayo F. Nwanze

President of IFAD



At a time when problems linked to food

insecurity are becoming every day more pressing,

we can see with hindsight the wisdom of the

decision to create the Belgian Survival Fund

and the choice of working with IFAD as a

main partner.

Twenty-seven years ago, food shortfalls –

indeed, famines – aroused public opinion.

Members of Parliament, together with my

predecessors and our Administration, grasped the

seriousness of the matter, which concerns one of

the worst inequalities in the world, that of hunger.

This flagrant injustice called for forceful, effective action.

Right from the establishment of this mechanism – a Fund initiated by

the Belgian Parliament and financed by the National Lottery – a key role

was entrusted to the Belgian Survival Fund Joint Programme. This Joint

Programme is the longest running partnership between a country and

IFAD and has enabled us to devise and implement new joint approaches.

It is a partnership we can be proud of and one that benefits the most

vulnerable inhabitants of Africa.

After several years of work in the field, the Belgian Survival Fund

drew the necessary lessons to adapt and update its activities. Thus, the

Belgian Fund for Food Security (BFFS) was created in 2010, in order to

maximize the effectiveness and consistency of its programmes.

This new Fund boosted its holistic approach by setting up

multistakeholder and multisectoral programmes, thereby allowing each

BFFS partner organization to contribute to the success of the programme

with its specific expertise.

The witnesses in this book tell the tale of our joint achievements.

Finally, may I declare and reiterate my wish to continue to work

together for a more just world and one without hunger.

Jean-Pascal Labille

Minister of Public Enterprises and Development Cooperation,

in charge of Urban Policy of the Kingdom of Belgium


This book…

commemorates the innovative partnership that was financed by the

people of Belgium, through their elected representatives, between 1984

and 2011. Instead of the usual focus on development success stories

and best practices, it presents the experiences of people who measure

personal achievement in terms of a full cooking pot for every meal, every

day of the year and some cash for essentials like clothing for the family,

metal roofing sheets and fired bricks for the house, land for crops and/or

livestock, equipment, tools and knowledge for boosting their incomes and

hence, the ability to pay for health care and gain access to education and

the knowledge and skills to run their affairs in a rapidly changing world.

These people feel they have come a long way, indeed, when they can even

think about spending on things that used to be beyond their reach: meat

or fish once or twice a week, a fancy new dress for the girls, a grown-up

suit for the boys, proper shoes for everybody, some nice dishes to serve

guests, or a mobile phone for checking prices in different markets.

The testimonials by these people confirm the strength of the vision

that had prompted the Parliament of Belgium, in 1983, to create a fund

to fight hunger in Africa. The underlying principle of that Law was that

poverty will not decline unless the majority of hungry people are able

to think beyond the next meal, unless they have access to water that

is safe to drink, to food that is filling and nutritious, to quality shelter

and clothing, to affordable health care and education, and to cash for

essential expenditures.

Most of the comments and quotations in this book were gleaned

from the development specialists who have worked in close contact

with such people. Readers interested in learning more about

development may find it useful to consult appendix 2 for a quick

guide to development terminology.

The Editorial Team, December 2011


The Fund has had different names over the years. Known as the

“Third World Survival Fund” and/or the “Survival Fund for the

Third World” from 1983 to 1999, it became the “Belgian Survival

Fund” or BSF from 1999 to 2009, and the “Belgian Fund for Food

Security” or BFFS as from 2010. This book uses “the Belgian Fund”

for all versions.

Meal preparation in Aguié, Niger.

©IFAD/D. Rose



History and overview

A brief history

On 20 October 1983, in response to growing public outrage over the

magnitude of drought-related deaths in sub-Saharan Africa while public

spending on arms continued to grow, the Parliament of Belgium passed

a first law establishing the Third World Survival Fund. Public attention

to the emergency had been awakened by the Manifest against Hunger and

Death signed by over fifty Nobel Prize Laureates in June 1981, and by a

series of events including a mass march in Brussels led by the mayors of

over 2,000 Belgian towns.

The goal of the Belgian Fund, as originally defined in the first law and

strengthened by two subsequent laws enacted in 1999 and 2010, was to

ensure “the survival of people threatened by hunger, malnutrition and

under-development in the regions of the Third World which register the

highest mortality rates due to these causes.” Household self-sufficiency

in food was perceived as only the first – albeit crucial – step on the path

to wellbeing.

The Joint Programme was created as the mechanism for implementing

the multi-sector, partnership-based approach that was ratified by the

Government of Belgium, and the International Fund for Agricultural

Development (IFAD) was appointed as the lead agency for the partnership.

The Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of

Belgium and IFAD was signed on 10 May 1984. The Memorandum of

Understanding between the partner agencies had been signed on

7 May 1984 by IFAD, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the

World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Development

Programme (UNDP). Use of Joint Programme resources was subject to

prior approval by a Steering Committee made up of representatives both

of the Government of Belgium and the partner agencies.

An emphasis on post-conflict interventions that had been added in

1995, in response to the events in the Great Lakes area of Africa, was

confirmed by the second law of 1999. The Parliament of Belgium

also made provisions for the financing of interventions outside the Joint

Programme, i.e. by Belgian non-governmental organizations and by the

Department for Development Cooperation of Belgium.

The third law, enacted in January 2010, redefined the mandate of the

Belgian Fund to focus more decisively on food security and nutrition,

thereby reducing somewhat the previous attention to health services,

education and capacity-building. Significant changes were also made

to the procedures for screening grant applications. The new modalities

are very different from those of IFAD. As IFAD is no longer a privileged

partner through the partnership embodied by the Joint Programme,

it was decided to have a focal point instead of the Joint Programme in

IFAD. The change became effective on 1 January 2012.

“We the undersigned, men and women of science, of letters,

of peace, with different religions, histories and cultures,

[Nobel] prizewinners because we search for honour and

celebrate truths in life and life in truth […] address an appeal

to all men and women of good will, to the powerful and

the humble, in their various responsibilities, so that dozens

of millions of those who are suffering from starvation and

underdevelopment […], may be restored to life.”

Manifest against Hunger and Death, June 1981

Women carrying water from the river

using traditional containers, Ethiopia.

©IFAD/A. Conti



“It so happens that IFAD’s principal objective

and the reason for its existence is to promote

faster agricultural growth in the low-income,

food-deficit regions, and to improve the living

and employment conditions of smallholders,

tenant farmers, landless agricultural labourers,

home craftsmen and fishermen; in short, to

improve the nutrition of the poorest among the

rural population who, unfortunately, make up a

majority in most of the developing countries.

Belgium can become fully identified with the task

being carried out by IFAD. Fighting against the

King Baudouin addressing IFAD’s Governing Council

in December 1983. Queen Fabiola is seated to the left. hunger and malnutrition of the most destitute, by


attempting to remedy the evil with positive

action in the field itself, has long formed a standing part of our

development cooperation policy.”

His Majesty, King Baudouin, King of The Belgians, speaking before the Seventh

Session of IFAD’s Governing Council

“Once the law establishing the Belgian Survival Fund had been

approved, we turned to the thorny question of how to hit the ground

as quickly and effectively as possible. Belgium’s procedures for the

letting of public contracts were too laborious for quick action and

our Development Cooperation Department was fully tied up with

commitments to our traditional partners. IFAD was a logical choice for

several reasons: it was specialized in food production, it had projects

that were ongoing or ready to go and it was small enough for Belgium’s

contribution to make a difference. I remain convinced to this day that,

without IFAD, the Belgian Fund would have gotten bogged down in the

swamps of our bureaucracy and that the assistance it was created to give

would have arrived too late, after the famine had ended.”

François-Xavier de Donnea, Secretary of State for Development Cooperation,

Belgium, June 1983-December 1985

“The Law of 1983 said little about how to pursue the Fund‘s goals.

It contained only a short reference to the need for United Nations

involvement. In the search for a suitable United Nations agency, the

Secretary of State for Development Cooperation, François-Xavier de

Donnea, visited IFAD. After listening carefully to us about our goals

and modus operandi, he concluded that there was a close congruity

between what IFAD was doing and what BSF was expected to achieve.

He asked IFAD to submit an action plan, and the Africa Division was

given this challenge. The Division identified the core set of countries

with the highest rate of mortality and morbidity: all located in the Horn

of Africa. It also suggested that the multi-sectoral approach embodied

in the law could be best fulfilled through a collaborative programme

involving a number of United Nations agencies with complementary

mandates. UNICEF, WHO and UNDP were identified as the most suitable

ones. Subsequent inter-agency consultations led to overall strategy and

the articulation of respective roles for each agency. A Memorandum of

Understanding, signed by the heads of the four agencies, designated

IFAD as the lead agency. Our proposal was accepted by Belgium and the

27-year partnership with Belgium began. This book presents the lively

voices and faces of some of those involved.”

Bahman Mansuri, Director of Africa Division and Manager

of BSF Joint Programme (1983 to 1994)

“The Parliament assigned a particular objective to the Survival Fund

[…] to ensure the long-term food security of populations threatened by

hunger and underdevelopment in parts of the world where those plagues

compromise most life expectancy. It is clear that already at that time it did

not concern emergency aid but rather a structural target to improve food

security and general standards in the fields of public health, hygiene and to

increase income to create the conditions for sustainable development.”

Erik Derycke, Secretary of State for Development Cooperation of Belgium

at Review workshop, Uganda, 1994


“The Belgian Survival Fund was a uniquely innovative idea when it was

first put in place in 1983. It established a new mode of inter-agency

collaboration, long before initiatives like the Joint Consultative Group

on Partnership (JCGP) were conceived. By bringing together, under

IFAD leadership, UNDP, WHO and UNICEF, it represented a unique

attempt to combine a production-focused approach with a set of

social interventions and human capital investment. The emphasis on

household food security, nutrition and health delivery systems offers

a powerful integrative concept to the projects financed by the Belgian

Fund. These concepts are perfectly in line with two of the three core

components of UNICEF’s nutrition security approach, namely access to

sufficient nutritious food including safe water, and access to primary

health care. The third component is “care”, which focuses on the welfare

of vulnerable household members, especially infants and children.”

Denis Caillaux, Liaison Officer UNICEF-IFAD, 1993-1996

“Among the interventions in development cooperation I have dealt with

over the past decade as a financial analyst, those funded by the Joint

Programme were different in that they always contained a substantial

component focused on basic needs like food, water and sanitation,

housing, health care and education, and on building up people’s

ability to work effectively together to improve their living conditions.

Most other projects I’ve worked with focused narrowly on economic

development (agriculture and small businesses) and paid little or no

attention to the social aspects of poverty reduction.”

Ruud Ludemann, Centre for Development Innovation,

Wageningen University, Netherlands

“My ten-year partnership with the Joint Programme (1997 to 2007) taught

me to look through a very different lens, changing my whole perspective

in the field of health, water and sanitation. I personally learned to design

projects with synergy-building elements and

to work with and on behalf of less fortunate

and poorer categories, specifically women and

children. The Joint Programme did not have

large budgets like many other funding agencies

but it focused very strongly on the need to make

lifelong impacts.”

Fatima Eslamu, Consultant, Kenya

“The emphasis on household food

security, nutrition and health delivery

systems offers a powerful integrative

concept to the projects financed by the

Belgian Fund.”

A family in Aguié, Niger.

©IFAD/D. Rose


“The Belgian Survival Fund established a

new mode of inter-agency collaboration,

long before initiatives like the Joint

Consultative Group on Partnership

were conceived.”

Denis Caillaux, Liaison Officer UNICEF-IFAD, 1993-1996

Overview of the mainstream portfolio

Between 1984 and 2011, the Joint Programme provided the partner

agencies with grant resources to undertake an innovative, multi-sector,

partnership-based approach. The assumption was that efforts made to

boost productivity-oriented activities and incomes would generate far

greater and far more lasting results if they were accompanied by activities

aimed at improving access by the producers and their families to essential

social services like safe water and sanitation, primary health care, schools

for children, literacy training for adults, and capacity-building through

information, awareness-building, training and technical assistance.

The sum of achievements would thus be greater than its parts. The Joint

Programme was established to finance a partnership

The first interventions were located in between IFAD for agriculture and rural development,

WHO for primary health care, UNICEF for the

the four countries most heavily affected

care and protection of children, and UNDP for

by the droughts that hit the Horn of supervision and oversight of implementation.

Africa during the late 1970s/1980s.

The first interventions were located in the four

countries most heavily affected by the droughts

that hit the Horn of Africa during the late 1970s/early 1980s (Ethiopia,

Kenya, Somalia and Uganda). By 2011, grants had been allocated for

development activities in 18 countries. Two of these countries – Sudan and

Libya – were not on the official roster of eligible countries but the grants were

justified by the risk of deadly pests spreading into the partner countries.

The early grants focused heavily on testing the feasibility both of the

multi-sectoral approach and participatory methodologies for bottomup

development. Financed entirely by the Joint Programme, these pilot

projects included a broad range of measures for improving the productivity

of crops and livestock, primary health care, safe water and sanitation,

and microfinance. Strong emphasis was placed on capacity-building for

individuals, groups, villages and groups of villages. The first results justified

the taking over – by IFAD – of the financing of production-related aspects.

Thereafter, the grants from the Joint Programme were used mainly to

improve the delivery of social services in the same project areas. In some

cases, they provided additional resources for the IFAD-financed project,

especially capacity-building through training and technical backstopping.

Caravan of transport camels, Chad.

©IFAD/J-Ph. Audinet



“A major share of Joint Programme resources was allocated for additional

actions under rural development projects financed by IFAD loans. The

Programme also did some ground-breaking work on its own. Two projects,

each one involving several grants, made a major contribution towards the

strengthening of self-reliant microfinance institutions in Kenya and Uganda.

Several rural development grants were used to test

“All projects applied the multi-sector participatory approaches and procedures that were

incorporated in the design of projects cofinanced

approach that had inspired the

by IFAD loans: Hoima-Kibaale which inspired

establishment of the Joint Programme.” three District Development Projects in Uganda;

North-West Integrated Community Development,

Mahadday Weyne and Wenle Weyne in Somalia; and Farmers’ Groups

(Siaya) in Kenya. The latter fostered a string of projects culminating in the

on-going Southern Nyanza project. All projects applied the multi-sector

approach that had inspired the establishment of the Joint Programme.”

François Lemmens, Manager of the Joint Programme from 1995 to 2007

Between mid-1984 and early-2012, the Joint Programme financed a total

of 74 grants that can be classified under two headings: a mainstream

portfolio comprising 61 grants for multi-year interventions (appendix 1)

and a complementary portfolio (13 grants) comprising one-off

contributions and/or special events (see the section entitled “Odds and

ends”). An analysis of the mainstream portfolio is provided below.

Additional tables are available on the DVD included with this book.

The structure by type of activity of the mainstream portfolio was analyzed

using the forms of “capital” (or “assets”) from the “sustainable livelihoods

approach”: human capital (77 per cent of mainstream grants): individual

capabilities developed through education, training and information; social

capital (47 per cent of mainstream grants): groups and associations, good

governance at village and district levels; institutional capital (78 per cent):

training and technical assistance for permanent institutions, mostly public

sector but also private (as in the case of microfinance institutions); financial

capital (47 per cent): credit funds for lending to small-scale rural producers

and businesses; physical capital (78 per cent): buildings and other assets, water

points, latrines, equipment and vehicles, etc.; natural capital (4 per cent):

land, water, forests, fishing grounds, pastures, etc. Total outlay for the

mainstream portfolio was about E160 million.

Mainstream portfolio by type of activity

The structure by category of expenditure of the mainstream portfolio

reveals the shares that were spent on “hardware” and “software”. The

largest share of funds was allocated for civil works (29 per cent): mostly

the rehabilitation and construction of village-level facilities and social

services like primary health care centres, safe water, primary schools, food/

cereals banks, storage facilities for marketing purposes, and other villagelevel

assets. The other shares were: 20 per cent for capacity-building through

technical assistance and training, 17 per cent for vehicles and equipment,

12 per cent for operating costs, 10 per cent unallocated, 5 per cent for other

purposes (one-off allocations), and 4 per cent for credit (funds for on-lending

to villagers). About 3 per cent of the grants could be used as and when

needed by the IFAD project.

Mainstream portfolio by category of expenditure


Overview of achievements

Between 1984 and 2012, Joint Programme grants were used to pay

for building a broad range of village-level infrastructures, including

263 primary health centres (first-contact level), 4 hospitals (first

referral level), 3,385 water points (wells, boreholes, protected springs),

16,456 latrines, 151 primary schools, 229 post-harvest/marketing

facilities (cereals/food banks to hold buffer stocks, storage facilities

for marketing purposes), 1,381 km of rural roads, and 163 small-scale

irrigation schemes. The installation of each facility was accompanied

by strong support for the establishment and running of elected local

management committees. Care was taken to ensure that women and

other vulnerable categories were adequately represented. The committees

were encouraged to work out their own ways to ensure that vulnerable

categories were not left out, an approach that strengthened the

traditional solidarity mechanisms.

Grants from the Joint Programme were occasionally used to provide

additional resources for the production-oriented measures of IFADfinanced

projects: e.g. pumps for small-scale (family) irrigation in Mali,

where the main thrust of the IFAD project was on large-scale works; and

funds to cover the operating costs of the NGOs engaged to manage the

credit funds set up by three IFAD projects in Rwanda.

Care was taken to ensure that women

and other vulnerable categories

were adequately represented and

the committees were encouraged to

work out their own ways to ensure that

vulnerable categories were not left out.

Young mother washing her cooking pot

at the village tap, Angola.

©IFAD/G. Pirozzi


Highlights from the

mainstream portfolio

Women waiting their turn outside

the grain mill, Ethiopia.

©IFAD/A. Conti



The village is the focus of life in Africa. Without

an understanding of what the village is, how it

works and why it is there, development is not

likely to get very far. To get where you want to

go you have to know where you’re starting from.

Walking into

Water will not be refused to those who a typical African

village, you may at

need it. Land has been traditionally owned

first be struck by all

collectively and given out to those who the things you don’t

ask for it. There is a kind of credit, through see. No paved roads,

no hospital, no town

informal groups that pool resources.

hall, maybe not even

There is health care, in the form of village a market. In sub-

Saharan Africa, more

midwives and traditional healers.

than a third of the

population lives over five hours from a market

town of 5,000 people. And only a third lives

within two kilometers of an all-season road.

But the village has resources – land, water,

animals, rain, fields, trees. And like any

community, the village’s greatest resource is

its people.

There are other things too that you don’t

see immediately. The ancestors may have sited

the village near a spring, which gives life to the

inhabitants and to anybody who happens along

asking for water. There are also traditions, ways

of doing things, ways of sharing the precious

resources that there are. Water will not be

refused to those who need it. Land has been

traditionally owned collectively and given out

to those who ask for it. There is a kind of credit,

through informal groups that pool resources.

There is health care, in the form of village

midwives and traditional healers. There are

traditional medicines, too. There are traditional

drama and song and dance groups that are not

just entertainment but conduits for holding and

sharing knowledge.

In all of this, there is a tradition of working


But there is also hunger, poverty and

malnutrition in the village. With a growing

population there may not be enough water,

land, food, medicine or credit to go around.

A village that has occupied the landscape for

generations may be facing diminished horizons.

And that is why there must be development.

If you go to the village to work on

development you have to first see it for what it

is. You have to appreciate it and its people and

to help them build on its past so that it can have

a better future. This is the space of development,

and this book is filled with the voices of the

people who occupy it.

Texts by IFAD Communications Division


A Kenyan lady at work

in the field.

©IFAD/R. Chalasani



Water is essential for crops, animals and

people. In a village, water can be the difference

between life and death, not just for living

things but for the community itself. The water

you have during the dry season really decides

if you can live year round in a place or not.

Women and children from villages often

spend the greater part of the day fetching

water for the family. When their shallow wells

and seepholes dry up, they have to walk long

distances or wait in line for hours and hours.

Villages are often located near springs. By

tradition, however, the water doesn’t belong

to the community alone. Others can use

it too – to deny them water in this climate

would be like killing them and their families.

Helping villagers drill boreholes means that,

in addition to huge savings in time that would

otherwise be spent carrying water, farmers

can grow dry-season vegetables, enjoy better

sanitation and reduce many illnesses caused

by unsafe water. Village health volunteers help

the people understand the risks of using water

from certain streams, or even puddles.

“Before the project helped us build the irrigation system, we relied on the

rains and practically never got more than ten 50-kg bags of sorghum

per hectare, even in a good year. With irrigation, we’re harvesting

200 to 300 bags per hectare. That’s more than enough food to feed our

families until the next harvest and we can sell the rest. Any cash left

after buying what we need is used to buy animals. Animals can be sold

during hard times.”

Adam Humed, farmer in Gash Barka Region, Eritrea

We used to get water from anywhere: a big puddle or pond, a stream, a

traditional well that we had to dig every year if not more often, seepholes

on the banks of a wadi (a seasonal stream). If the same places were used

by animals, the ground around them would get very muddy. We didn’t

know anything about germs. For us, water was water.

Women interviewed in North Guéra, Chad

We used to get water from anywhere. We didn’t know

anything about germs.

A woman using a yoke to carry two

buckets of water at a time, Chad.

©IFAD/S. Morgan

When the rains start, women collect water

from the puddles to save time, Niger.

©IFAD/D. Rose



Now that we have plenty of water, we can keep livestock.

Comment from farmers in Rukanga, Kenya

“Thanks to the project, I get water from the tap near my home. I don’t

have to go to the river and carry heavy jerrycans on my head. I have

plenty of water, too: I’m using four jerrycans a day instead of three.

Because I have more time for farming, my family has enough to eat

and I can even sell some.”

Elderly lady in Rukanga, Kenya

“I used to get up well before dawn to be among the first in line at the

spring. If I went later, I’d have to wait a long time and the water would be

full of dirt after so many people had dipped into it. In the evenings, I’d

send the children to the spring right after school even though that meant

they’d get back too late to do their homework. That’s all past us now.”

Leah Wanjiku, Water Users Group member, Wakahare protected spring, Kenya

“We used to spend all our time fetching water. Now we can

spend more time on our farming”.

Jemat Akute, Local woman leader, Eritrea


Village health worker carrying water

from the rain water harvesting tank,

Kondoa, United Republic of Tanzania.

©IFAD/C. Nesbitt

Young men using bicycles and jerrycans

to fetch water for customers, Rwanda.

©IFAD/S. Beccio

Farmer using plastic sheeting to limit

wastage of scarce water, Niger.

©IFAD/D. Rose


Africans get water from many places. In a typical

village, you don’t just turn on a tap.

A seephole is a pit that people dig when

their stream, pond or lake dries up. Water seeps

into the bottom of the pit and is dipped out

carefully. If used by many people and animals,

the water can get so muddy that you have to

let it settle for several hours before using it.

(Sometimes it’s hard to be patient, with not-sogood


A borehole is drilled by a machine deep into

the ground. The pipe is too small to allow people

to use buckets to draw the water, and so if the

pump breaks down, people have to go back to

the old ways.

A tubewell (or lined well) is a large shaft

usually dug by hand and lined with concrete

rings to prevent the walls from collapsing. Some

of them are open, with or without a pulley.

Others are closed and have a pump.

A spring is protected by fencing off the

place where the water comes out of the ground,

capturing the water and piping it to a place

where people can fill their containers. The water

at the spouts or taps is as pure and clear as it was

when it came out of the ground.

And there are puddles.


Girls dip water from a seephole in a dry

river bed, United Republic of Tanzania.

©IFAD/C. Nesbitt

Young women at the water pump

(borehole), Chad.

©IFAD/S. Morgan

“I’d say I save at least five hours a day because of the water project.

I have more time to cultivate my family’s land and to do paid work

for other farmers. My husband and I grow enough food for the whole

year and we sell maize and tomatoes at the local market.”

Woman farmer, Rukanga, Kenya

“We don’t charge fees for water during the rainy season. That’s to

encourage people not to use rainwater from puddles.”

Liliane Denehaudjimbaye, Nutrition field worker, North Guéra, Chad

“The new wells in our village are most helpful to the women living near

them. They can spend more time on crops and fishing for shrimps.

My children and I still have to walk three hours round trip to get only

40 litres a day.”

Woman living at a distance from the centre of Gelo, Mozambique

“Good water is so important! The well is used only for drinking, cooking

and bathing. We dig pits and seepholes for the vegetable gardens.

Just imagine: we used to drink that water! The taste was bad to awful

depending on how much dirt, leaves and branches had fallen into it.

Now we know that we were often sick because of that water. We take a

bottle of clean water with us to the fields.”

Mr. Shana, President of a local credit branch office, North Guéra, Chad

“We know that this water has improved our health. Last

year, 70 people were hospitalized for intestinal diseases.

So far this year, nobody has had to be hospitalized for that.”

Mr. Mugana, Chairman, Water Point Committee, (north-western) Somalia

Local man drawing water from a

deep tube well, Aguié, Niger.

©IFAD/D. Rose

Children fetching water at the

protected spring, Kenya.

©IFAD/R. Chalasani



We’re convinced that the project has helped reduce poverty, especially

where it gave us good water. In those places, women are earning more

money and they spend less on medical care.

Comments from the members of women’s associations, North Kivu,

Democratic Republic of Congo

We used to be desperate for water! The women had to walk

5 km for it and it took them two hours per bucket or

jerrycan. A full jerrycan weighs about 20 kg.

Comments from men of Mormo village, North Guéra, Chad

At the end of the dry season, the women used to spend the whole night

at the seepholes in order to get water for the family. The borehole

has changed that. The water is used only for drinking. We still dig

seepholes for the animals during the dry season.

Comments from men and women at Bankane, Niafunké Cercle, Mali

We consider water to be a right for all people, no matter who owns

the land where the spring is located. You can’t refuse water to people

simply because you own the land.

Comments from the water user groups, Kenya

It’s the women who benefit most from the project because it’s they who

fetch water, care for the sick, grow crops, etc. In this village, the women

and children used to walk 10-15 km to get water during the dry season.

Now, they walk a maximum of 5-7 km.

Comments from the Homa Bay villagers, Kenya


Family group using their donkey to draw

water from a very deep tube well, Maradi, Niger.

©IFAD/L. Rosa

Farmer and son changing position of

irrigation pipes, Ethiopia.

©IFAD/F. Mattioli

Women and children carry water back to

the village after watering the animals, Ethiopia.

©IFAD/A. Conti


Drilling a borehole in Kondoa, United Republic of Tanzania.

Top: adding another drill bit. Bottom right: it’s a gusher!

Bottom left: onlookers watch as the crew sets up the drill rig.

©The Joint Programme

Different stages in the construction of a lined tube well in Aguié, Niger.

Top: digger at early stage of construction. Bottom right: women drawing

water from a completed well. Bottom left: concrete rings ready for use.

©IFAD/D. Rose (top and bottom right), The Joint Programme (bottom left)

The project helped us build a dam across the bed of a seasonal stream.

The area behind it filled up with sand almost immediately, but there is

always water just under the surface. We don’t need to dig as deeply

as we used to and the crops don’t start withering as early as they used

to. The project people call this a ‘sand storage’ for water. They say it’s

like an underground lake.

Comments of villagers in (north-western) Somalia

“When the project offered to help families install their own latrines, we

accepted immediately because the women were finding it harder to find

an isolated spot to relieve themselves. We allow our neighbours and

relatives to use it as well.”

Man in Gash-Barka, Eritrea

Children may spend hours carrying

water, Mozambique.

©The Joint Programme

Family latrines under construction

and finished, Ethiopia.

©IFAD/F. Mattioli



32The Lac Lacustre project in Mali

Our lake was dying …

Things were really bad when the first IFAD project arrived.

For over 15 years, our lake (Takadji) hadn’t been filling

up properly because the channel between it and the River

Niger had filled up with sand during several years of

drought. The annual flood had been too weak to flush out

that sand and less and less water came into the lake from

the river. Less water meant less land for crops and less fish

to catch; even the migratory birds had disappeared. The

annual hungry period could be as long as 8-9 months,

instead of the usual 2-3 months. For years men and boys

had been leaving the villages after the harvest to look

for paid work elsewhere. The food and money they sent

back was never enough and families had started leaving

for good.

With help from the first project, we cleared the channel

and built the water control works. Those works protect our

fields against flash flooding and against water shortages.

Right from the start we were growing more food than

we had ever produced before and we even had a surplus

to sell. We were also learning new ways to make money.

Today, we have cash with which to buy food when stocks

run low. During the second project, we were asked to

build things that we did not feel were all that important,

like health centres, schools, wells and latrines. We’re very

happy to have these now, and we’re doing our best to run

and maintain them properly since the project ended about

five years ago. Our people are no longer leaving the area

and new people are arriving all the time, farmers as well as

traders and businesspeople.

Comments from a men’s group at Nounou, Mali, May 2011

Lake Takadji at the end of the dry season.

©The Joint Programme

Water colour map of Lake Takadji and

its surrounding area, Mali. (2009)

©Marlene McLoughlin, private collection



“I can’t believe my eyes! Those were my first words when I arrived in Niafunké

early in 2007, over 15 years after my first visits. In the early 1990s, I was

working in the Diré area about 85 km from Niafunké. We had been told to get

supplies at Niafunké but there was practically nothing to buy there. The town

looked abandoned and the whole region was dying. In 2007, I saw a thriving,

bustling town that had many shops with all sorts of

“Most of the families who’d left the goods; women selling a wide range of staple foods,

vegetables and prepared dishes in the weekly

zone had returned and there was a

market; solid buildings and tree-lined streets.

steady flow of newcomers attracted People told me the change had begun in the

by the flourishing local economy.” late-1980s, when the IFAD project arrived to help

local farmers clear the channels linking their lakes

to the river and build water works to regulate water flows. Farmers started

growing enough to eat and many even had some to sell. Women as well as

men had new sources of income – more cash to spend – and tradespeople

came to set up businesses in the town. Trade with other parts of Mali had

increased thanks to a new road and ferry link. Most of the families who

had left the zone had returned and there was a steady flow of newcomers

attracted by the flourishing local economy. The change was amazing.“

Bakary Sékou Coulibaly, Coordinator, Cell for policy dialogue on rural poverty,

in charge of monitoring IFAD projects in Mali

“The project’s economic development actions were financed by two IFAD loans

for rehabilitating croplands around the temporary lakes created each year by the

flood cycle of the River Niger. The second loan was associated with a grant

for social development from the Joint Programme. The grant was to help

build a network of basic social services (primary health centres, schools,

safe water, latrines) managed by local committees. This called for a strong

emphasis on training and capacity-building. The grant also financed smallscale

irrigation using diesel pumps. Implementation of the grant-financed

activities fell badly behind schedule, mainly because the project staff were

specialized in agriculture not social services development. We completed

the full programme thanks to our partnership with national and local

institutions. Our very positive results motivated the cofinancing, by

IFAD and the Joint Programme, of two other projects in North Mali.”

Périn Saint Ange, IFAD Country Portfolio Manager for Mali, 2000-2005

“Everything in that region was difficult: the isolation, the remoteness,

the weather and the mentalities. People were too preoccupied with just

surviving to think about the long-term aims we were promoting. The

project changed all that. A huge increase in agricultural production was

associated with a huge change in mentalities.”

Abdel Kader Djénépo, project staff, Zone Lacustre Development Project (PDZL) and

Northern Regions Investment and Rural Development Project (PIDRN)


Screenshots from the video on the

Zone Lacustre Development Project, Mali

(see attached DVD).

View of Nounou village, Mali

©The Joint Programme

“The nine villages on our lake each have an elected representative for

the water users association. Whenever a village wants to open or close

the sluice gates, we hold a meeting at the works so that we can inspect

them. We work out the details both for regulating water flows and for

doing any repairs or maintenance that may be needed: dredging of the

channel, clearing away shrubs and trees, greasing of moving parts, etc.

We know what has to be done and we’re doing it.”

Alassane Touré, Village chairman, Nounou, Mali

The men planted the first woodlot using the seedlings provided by the

project. After five or six years, they started cutting trees for building

wood. They’re now selling wood as far as Mopti. Our women’s group

asked the chief for more land to plant our own woodlot. We’ll soon

be selling wood as well as seedlings and crops. Women never did

that before!

Comments from a women’s group at Nounou, Mali

The main beneficiaries of the primary school are of course the children,

but their parents also benefit. In fact, they’d not be able to send their

children to school if there was no school, now would they?

Women’s group commenting on their matrix of benefits and beneficiaries,

Nounou, Mali

Our lake was filling up with sand and there was less room for water and

crops. The project people said we could block the sand by planting trees

along the shores. They asked us, the women of the village, to grow the

seedlings. We’d have done anything to help our families! The village

gave us the land and the project gave us the tools, the supplies and

training. They paid us for the seedlings. That should have been the end of

our little nursery, but we had enjoyed the work and decided to do it again

the next year. That was four years ago and we are still making money

from that nursery. Our clients include local women who want to protect

their irrigation scheme from wind and sand.

Comments from a women’s group at Nounou, Mali

Women filling plastic bags

for the seedlings.

©IFAD/R. Chalasani


Kingfisher (above) and blue heron (p. 37)

now come back every year to the lake.

©Marlene McLoughlin, private collection

“Village women have two kinds of savings clubs: one where the pot is

taken away immediately by a member and one where the money is

kept safe for several months. When the men’s cooperative needs fuel

for the pumps in order to flood the fields and soften the soil for land

preparation, rice prices are low and they would not make enough to

finance the whole crop season. By borrowing cash from the second kind

of women’s club, they can start land preparation in good time without

taking a loss on rice sales. When they finally sell their rice, they make

enough both to pay back the loan (with a bit extra for the help) and to

cover their costs for the rest of the season. Everybody benefits from a

good harvest. That’s four wins!”

Yaya Dondie Ballo, project staff, PDZL and PIDRN, Mali

As women, we had always done a bit of petty trading but our incomes

rose after the project came. People had more money to spend and we had

learned new ways to make money ourselves. We use our money for little

extras, especially things for the children, as well as food, condiments and

clothing, a coin to buy something to eat during playtime at school…

Comments from a women’s group in Tonka, Mali

“Things are improving steadily. I am able to complete most of the

vaccination cycles and children are no longer dying from easily

preventable diseases like measles, meningitis and whooping cough.

People come in immediately for treatment of wounds, malaria and

malnutrition; they are gradually realizing that we can do a lot more than

the traditional practitioners.

A few years ago, cholera had broken out in one of the villages and

we stopped it by setting up a base camp there. We knew what to do

and we had everything we needed to treat the sick and clean up the

environment. That was an epidemic that didn’t happen.”

Abidine Baby, Male head nurse, Tonka health centre, Mali

Before the health centre was built, women gave birth at home with the

help of a traditional midwife and many of them died. The midwives

trained by the project encourage us to go to the health centre for pre-natal

visits and even to give birth. If a woman insists on giving birth at home

the midwives know what to do if something doesn’t seem right: they take

her straight to the health centre. They’ve saved the lives of many women.

Comments from women’s groups in Tonka, Mali


At first, we were bothered by the fact that the head nurse was a man but

we soon got over that. Nurses and doctors don’t see you as a man or a

woman: you’re a sick person who needs help, that’s all.

Comments from women in Tonka, Mali

“All our villages have at least one person who knows how to monitor the

health of mothers and children (health, growth, etc.) as well as one or

more volunteers who understand the importance of knowledge and

the advantages of modern health care. Their advice is respected in the

rural areas.”

Abidine Baby, Male head nurse, Tonka health centre, Mali

“I have been head nurse at Tonka since 1980. At that time, the dispensary

built in 1957 covered a vast area. Getting a seriously ill person to

Niafunké or Timbuktu used to take several days: all we had were canoes,

donkeys or camels. Today, we have an ambulance. People call us by

cellphone to arrange for pickup at a roadhead. Without the project, they

wouldn’t have had the money to buy a mobile phone, they wouldn’t have

known how important it was to get to a health centre in time and the

system wouldn’t have been in place to get them to the hospital. Some

places are still isolated but people no longer wait until the last minute.

People who would have died only five years ago are surviving today.

Abidine Baby, Male head nurse, Tonka health centre, Mali

The women in our culture didn’t do much field work, that was for men.

We were expected to cook food and take it to them. The project changed

all that when it helped the village build that irrigated area for us. Things

were so bad we would have have done anything to help the family!

Each of us has her own plot, we grow mostly rice, wheat and vegetables.

We sell some of the vegetables at the local market. And after learning

how good they are for health from the nurse and the matron, we are

adding a lot more to our sauces.

Comments from a women’s group in Tonka, Mali

The project left five years ago but that didn’t change things at the health

centre: the staff and the (health centre) association are still doing a

good job and the medicines we need are always available. All that is

lacking at the centre is better equipment.

Comments from villagers in Tonka, Mali

Screenshots from the video on the

Zone Lacustre Development Project, Mali.

(see attached DVD).





Traditional knowledge and skills have been

passed on for generations. In the past, people

may have had fewer expectations, were certainly

fewer in number, and often did not know that

better ways could exist. The traditional ways

of doing things allowed most people to fulfill

their wishes so long as they were in good health

and had the strength to work in the fields. But

times change. There are more and more people

and less land to go around. This means there

is a need for a variety of new occupations so

that everyone has a livelihood. People want to

learn new ways of doing things in order to have

better houses, better clothing and shoes, better

tools and utensils, better health care and better

education. They see education and new ideas

not as a substitute for traditional knowledge, but

a path to a better life.

“When a woman is educated, she gains our respect. If I marry again,

I’ll make sure my wife gets an education.”

Abdoulaye Issa, President of food bank, North Guéra, Chad

Before attending the literacy and nutrition education sessions, we didn’t

know that malnutrition was an illness and that it could be prevented.

Many children died.

Comments from women in North Guéra, Chad

The main reason for those improvements in health? Mrs Kagwe’s people

in the Community Development Department! They helped us set up our

credit groups but the loans never came. For three years, her agents made

it interesting for us to attend weekly meetings by bringing in people

to speak on a lot of things: health, hygiene, nutrition, how to run a

business, how to prevent illness, etc.

Comments from women’s groups in Kibaale district, Uganda

The project has made a big difference. We’ve learned how to manage our

food stocks better. We used to have to borrow from moneylenders in

order to get through to the next harvest. That’s because we cooked too

much food when it was plentiful. We were throwing a lot away.

Comments from women at Mormo village, North Guéra, Chad

“Before receiving my training as a community health volunteer, I used to

sell my beans and eggs in order to buy bread for the children. I don’t do

that anymore because I know beans and eggs are better for them than the

bread I’d been buying. I have also changed how I do things at home: I

clear bushes from near the house, keep the courtyard tidy, use safe water

especially for drinking, boil the water if in doubt, use mosquito nets

at night, allow light and air to pass through the house, etc. I encourage

other women to do the same. It gives me pleasure to be what the project

people call an ‘agent of change for the better’ in my village.”

Theresia Wambui, Kenya

Entry to a primary school, Kenya.

©The Joint Programme

Woman demonstrating use of drying rack

as part of a lesson on hygiene, Kenya.

©IFAD/R. Chalasani



“I didn’t learn only how to read and write: I learned how to improve

living conditions in my home; I can help the children with their

homework; I understand the importance of cleanliness and personal

hygiene; I know which health card belongs to which member of my

family; I know when it’s my turn at the health centre because I can read

the paper they gave me when I arrived; I know how to get where I want

to in the big town; I know how to make our food last longer; I know

how to use a mobile phone.”

Village woman, Chad

We have learned a lot about health and especially how to prevent

malaria, but we don’t always do it. It just doesn’t seem worth the

bother. We used to use the mosquito nets for fishing. We hadn’t stopped

to think what that did to the fish stocks.

Comments from women in fishing communities, Mozambique

We used to give the babies flour mixed with water almost immediately

after birth. We’ve learned how important it is to breastfeed them

exclusively for the first six months and then to give them enriched

weaning foods. We use local products that are always available and less

expensive. There’s a big difference between the older children and the

younger ones. The younger ones don’t get sick as often or as seriously.

Comments from women’s nutrition group, North Guéra, Chad

At first, the project people said they weren’t going to support literacy

training but they did anyway, after realizing that it was something a

lot of women wanted. The other training we’d received made us realize

how important it was to know how to read and write. The women’s

associations are paying the teachers themselves.

Comments from women at a participatory evaluation workshop in North Kivu,

Democratic Republic of Congo


Sewing class, Rwanda.

©IFAD/R. Grossman

A newborn waiting her turn at the

health centre, United Republic of Tanzania.

©IFAD/C. Nesbitt

“The older women were the first to attend the literacy classes. We had

never been to school and we didn’t understand how important it was to

know how to read and write.”

Saida A. Suleyman, President of local literacy committee, North Guéra, Chad

We would like the village health posts to be reactivated. That way, a

local person would know how to give first aid and treat little things like

a headache or diarrhoea. As that person would probably be a relative

or neighbour, he/she would always be available and more likely to be

willing to wait for payment.

Comments from villagers in Burkina Faso

“I had to leave school when I got married. The certificate

I’ll get after completing the literacy course will allow me to

go back and get my seventh grade certificate. I am already

teaching others to read and write.”

Comments from a literacy student in Mozambique

It is difficult for women to attend training at a centre like Bulindi

Farm Institute. The sessions last three days and there are no separate

washrooms for women and men, no way to bring nursing infants. If a

woman brings a housemaid to take care of her baby, she has to pay for

her travel, room and board.

Comments of women farmers in Masindi, Uganda

“We are developing an adult literacy programme in 13 local languages.

This is important not only for preserving local cultures, but also for

improving children’s performances at school. We have found that

children whose mothers have taught them to read and write a bit in their

own language have a head start when they get to primary school where

the teaching is in French.”

Nossor Doungous, Head of School Department, North Guéra, Chad

Literacy class for grandmother,


©IFAD/R. Chalasani




In the past, poor people had little time for

education, which may not have seemed very

useful for farmers, herders and fishermen – and

even less so for girls, who rarely were schooled.

People preferred to keep the children at home,

the girls to help with

Today most parents will do everything housework and child

care, the boys for

they can to send their children to school,

fieldwork or keeping

even to college or university.

animals. But the

world changes and the

village right along with it. Today most parents

will do everything they can to send their children

to school and even to college or university.

Little boys watching the family livestock, Niger.

©IFAD/D. Rose

Our working group couldn’t think of a single problem concerning

education. We don’t know much about it.

Comments of women participants at a participatory design workshop

in Burkina Faso

“Although old attitudes towards education persist in some villages,

about 70 per cent of the children of school age in our region are in

primary school and a little over 40 per cent of them are girls. The gap

between girls and boys is getting narrower.”

Nossor Doungous, Head of School Department, North Guéra, Chad

The literacy classes helped us realize the importance of

education. That is why our village development committee

decided to build the school. Without learning the village

won’t develop.

Comments from men in Kolvo Bet, North Guéra, Chad

Literacy class for a grandfather,


©IFAD/R. Chalasani

School children mobilizing for

a field trip, Ethiopia.

©IFAD/A. Conti



“The project helped us build 11 schools and 32 classrooms in durable

materials. That prompted the parents in other villages to build their own

schools with assistance from other donors (e.g. the Catholic missions).

You could say that those schools were a result of the project, too.

A big problem had been the shortage of teachers. In our system, it is

the parents who recruit the teachers and pay their salaries. The project

helped alleviate the problem by helping the parents earn more money.

Today, we have 1,129 teachers in our rural schools: over three times the

number we had before the project came. Despite the occasional difficulty

with payments, the system is working fairly well.”

Nossor Doungous, Head of School Department, North Guéra, Chad

“My mother got into trouble for trying to send me to school

with my brothers. I spent only one day in the classroom but

all my daughters have gone to school. Also because I can

afford to send them.”

A woman from the Kenya Women’s Finance Trust (KWFT) solidarity group in Kenya

“Many parents who do not send their children to school feel that schools

are for creating civil servants or townees. They say schools take their

children from them, that schools ruin the children, etc. Nomadic herders

claim that children need to learn how to take care of the animals and

that schools encourage them to leave for town. In any case, their children

have chores to do and are free only from 10 am to 3 pm.”

Nossor Doungous, Head of School Department, North Guéra, Chad

“The construction of schools has contributed significantly towards

implementation of the Government’s education policy by improving

working conditions for teachers and by reducing many of the constraints

that used to delay the start of classes.”

Toyoum Nguenaye, Consultant, Chad


Helping her son do his homework, Kenya.

©IFAD/G. Pirozzi

Primary school pupils, Kenya.

©The Joint Programme




Cell phones and the internet haven’t replaced

some of the traditional ways of communicating,

such as the popular local drama groups

present in practically every village in Africa.

Some development projects have used them

to communicate new knowledge and ideas,

with great effect. Think of the last electronics

instruction manual you had to puzzle over and

then imagine if you had seen it acted out instead.

“The Hoima project in Uganda was the first situation where we encouraged

IFAD-supported local drama groups to develop skits on key development

issues, not only the production of crops and animals, but also the

changing relations between men and women, HIV/AIDS, health and

hygiene. I was roped into participating in the very first show as ‘Mr. Pajero’,

because the project had that make of vehicle.”

Bahman Mansuri, Manager of the Joint Programme, 1984-1995

“We have developed many educational programmes on nutrition, health,

hygiene, preventing meningitis and cholera, preventing and treating

diarrhoea and malaria, education, the dangers of alcohol and drug

abuse, the road code, etc. We broadcast in six languages, including

four local ones. People use their mobile phones to listen or call in to

comment and ask questions. We know we’re reaching our listeners

because we get a lot of complaints whenever there’s a power cut.”

Dimanche Gaye, Rural Radio at Mongo, North Guéra, Chad

“One of the nutrition groups in our district developed a sketch

on health and nutrition. We gave them transport to hold

their shows in other villages.”

Jean-Baptiste Habimana, Head Physician, Nemba Hospital, Rwanda

“Although most tofu groups (traditional song and dance groups) hold

shows on love and happiness, our group has songs and dances on family

planning, how to use condoms, how to avoid catching HIV/AIDS, etc.”

Villagers of Pebane Sede, Mozambique


Women’s theatre group (tofu) singing songs

about health and nutrition, Mozambique.

©IFAD/R. Maass

Youth song and dance group promoting cattle

dipping in the United Republic of Tanzania.

©IFAD/R. Grossman

48I am boss!


People are not the same everywhere, and neither

is poverty. In some places, people have no land,

in other places, particular social categories

may be vulnerable, like the elderly or women,

migrants, former slave castes, etc. What poor

people everywhere mostly have in common,

however, is that they lack the possibility of

choosing among different possible ways of

earning their living, and the power to refuse

some of the most unsatisfying ones and the

drudgeries they come with. They have to accept

whatever work they can find. They might not

survive without food given to them by others

who do not have all that much to share. Strong

healthy people feel in control, and even if

struggling they have hopes for a better future.

But today it’s not enough to be strong and

healthy, even if you have plenty of land. You

also need new knowledge, new skills and money

to invest in more profitable activities. Most

villagers don’t have access to that sort of thing

unless they are covered by a project or a nongovernmental


One thing that has changed for the better

is that women who have access to knowledge,

skills and money for investments are better able

to ensure that their children are cared for.

“The [intended] beneficiaries of the Belgian Fund and more specifically

of the Joint Programme are by priority the poorest rural communities

and the most marginalized groups. Very special attention is paid to

poor rural women who are often heads of families.”

Erik Derycke, Secretary of State for Development Cooperation of Belgium,

at a review workshop, Uganda, 1994

For us, the poor are people who have no home, no land, no food, no

cash and – above all – nobody to help them on a steady basis. They

survive because other people give them odd jobs and handouts but they

live hand to mouth, meal to meal. They are mainly disabled, elderly

widows or Pygmy. Although most of the families in our villages are

‘struggling’, they manage to make ends meet most of the time and they

can count on each other in times of need. Nobody knows who will be

hit by the next disaster.

Comments from women and men at a participatory evaluation workshop,

North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo

Nobody wants to join a group that everybody knows is supposed to be

for the poor or the poorest. Those words mean they are not able to help

themselves. We may be struggling but we’re not like them.

Comments from women members of KWFT, Kenya

Poor women are those who have to work on other people’s

fields in order to buy food. They do not have time to till a

field of their own. In very poor villages, they often work

a whole day just for a meal. Even if they eat practically

nothing, what they take home is never enough for the

children. When they can afford to pay workers themselves,

they feel that they’re back in control over their lives. We are

trying to help those women just as the project helped us.

Comments from members of Uganda Women’s Efforts to Save Orphans (UWESO),

Lira, Uganda

The squatters live all squashed together and make their living by working

at low wages for others. They cannot afford to pay anything for the

community projects and they have no use for advice or training on

anything that requires land – they do not have any.

Comments of participants at a participatory workshop, Kenya

Woman showing how she weeds

her cowpeas (niébe), Chad.

©IFAD/S. Morgan



“Our loans are too small for better-off women and the weekly meetings

are a waste of time for them. It can, in fact, take several hours for

everyone to make the weekly repayments and savings deposits. We

don’t have to do anything special to keep the better-off women away.

Women who are struggling actually enjoy the chance to sit and chat

with other women. They help each other understand.”

Pelucy Ntambirweki, Director of UWESO, Uganda

“As my husband is serving in the army, I have to do all the field work

myself. Neighbours help me a lot. They may do the ploughing for me

or lend me their oxen. So far, I’m managing to cultivate all our fields

but I don’t have much time for anything else. I try to attend community

meetings but I don’t have time to participate in collective work and I

can’t afford to give cash for community projects.”

Mrs. Saba, Gash-Barka, Eritrea

“As I grew older, it became more and more difficult for

me to go out to my field. That’s why I used my first loan

to start growing mushrooms near my home.”

Elderly woman, member of Duterimbere group, Nemba, Rwanda

We don’t have to pay school fees but we still cannot send the children to

school because we cannot afford to buy uniforms, shoes or snacks.

Parents in fishing communities, Mozambique

Sending a child to school is expensive. We can’t get a loan for petty

trading or other money-making activities during the off season.

Comments of men participants at a participatory design workshop in Burkina Faso


Woman presenting the results

of her working group, Rwanda.

©IFAD/S. Beccio

Woman preparing maize fodder

for her calf, Kenya.

©IFAD/R. Chalasani

“Hunger creates a vicious cycle that is hard to break. A family that cannot

feed its children will not be sending them to school.”

Nossor Doungous, Head of School Department, North Guéra, Chad

“My family was among the first to deposit cereals with the food bank

so that we would get our matching grant. We got nothing, however,

because we ran out of food and had to take our contribution back.

Only the families that didn’t run out got their grant.”

Village woman in Baro village, North Guéra, Chad

“Things have changed a lot for the better for us. We used to eat everything

we harvested, even the seeds. Thanks to the project, we are limiting our

risk by growing different types of crops, using seeds that take less time

to grow and growing tomatoes for sale. We have enough to eat and cash

from our sales. If the rains are late, we will be able to borrow food from

the new village food bank. People have money to buy bricks for building

new homes. There is money in the village and young people are setting

up shops. Yes, things are changing for the better thanks to the project.”

Mr. Shana, President of local credit branch, North Guéra, Chad

The poor have no money for membership fees or personal

contributions, no land for planting trees, no house of their own

where they can build a rain-protected kitchen [for installing a

fuel-saving stove], etc. The assistance on offer did not generate the

immediate benefits that are needed by the poor.

Comments from villagers of North Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo

“The family planning graph in my room at the health centre shows

that we see fewer couples in November, December and January. That’s

because parents want their children to be born between September and

December so that they can be accepted in school as soon as possible.

Those born in the middle of the year have to wait an extra year.”

Nurse, Kenya

Proud farmer showing his

prize watermelon, Niger.

©IFAD/D. Rose

Woman working in her

field, Rwanda.

©IFAD/G. Pirozzi



“Before the food bank was opened, I could feed my family for only three

to four months a year. With the bank, my stocks give us enough for two

extra months. I used to work four days a week for other farmers in order

to buy millet. Nowadays I work only one day a week for cash and can

spend more time on my own fields. I grow more and I have less debt.

I don’t have to harvest too early as I used to. We can give the children

four to five meals per day, three per day for the adults. Last year, we had

to sell four sheep and goats; this year only one. In 2006, I sold part of

my cowpea (niébé) crop to buy the millet my wife needed to reimburse

the cereals she’d borrowed from the food bank. The bank doesn’t have

enough cereals to start distributions earlier. If it did, I’d no longer have

to work for others at all. The general feeling in the village is that we are

very happy with the food bank.”

Yahouza Djibo, farmer, Aguié, Niger

“Since I started working as a village health volunteer, I have become

a role model in the community. People even ask me to help settle

family disputes!”

Sospeter Mwangi, female village health volunteer, Rukanga, Kenya

“In 2009, I harvested barely enough grain to feed my two children and

myself for a month. My husband’s crop allowed us to eat for another

three months. For the rest of the year, my husband was able to send us

a bit of cash but most of our food was gifts or loans from relatives. With

the food bank, I can borrow the food and both my husband and I are

able to spend our time working on our own fields.”

Mrs. Rabi Mahaman, Dan Bako, Aguié, Niger

“The best thing I can say about the loans is that my family is doing well.

I can afford to buy a small gift or treat for my mother. I feel different,

more hopeful. I never knew that I could be so independent. I had always

depended on others but now I am free. I can even pay for educating my

sons. The bad things? … sometimes I have difficulty paying back the

loan. But that doesn’t stop me from being happy!”

KWFT member, Kenya

“I never knew that I could be so independent. I had always

depended on others, but now I am free.”


Women play a critical role in agriculture. While

women in some places don’t farm at all, in others

they do practically all the farming as part of their

“domestic” duties. In some places, women have full

control over their production and income. In others,

they are expected to hand everything over to their

husbands. But people everywhere want a better life for

themselves and their children, though how they do it

varies a lot. One thing is sure, and that is that helping

women gain equal access to resources is one of the

most effective ways of reducing poverty and hunger.

Women selling roots and

tubers, Angola.

©IFAD/G. Pirozzi

Woman and her milk cow, Kenya.

©The Joint Programme

Woman selling her crops

at the weekly market, Uganda.

©IFAD/R. Chalasani

Woman showing

her carots, Kenya.

©IFAD/G. Pirozzi



If you have land, you are If you have land, you are more in

control. In the past, all a villager had

more in control.

to do to get it was to ask for some –

from the chief if you were a man, or from your

husband, father or brother if you were a woman.

Practically everywhere, land used to be owned

only by men (mostly collectively, through their

extended family) and men were also expected to

deal with outsiders. But things started changing

as villages grew and as the need to earn money

became stronger. People were no longer content

just to make ends meet: they wanted a better

life, to send their kids to school, to pay for

health care. Land became increasingly hard to

get and individuals started laying permanent

claim to such land as they were able to get. It

was only a matter of time before they started

buying and selling land. That was unthinkable

in the traditional village. Although the poorest

cannot get land for free anymore, anybody with

money, including women, can buy land, today.

That’s made a huge difference in the lives of

rural poor people – but only if they have money

and can get a strong title.

“I am more confident and plan to set up a shop on my plot of land. I’ll

hire someone to run it. I have learned to keep accounts. My husband

has more respect for me because I can help provide for the family. Our

relationship has improved.”

Woman member of KWFT, Kenya

“After my husband died, what saved me is that I was aware of my land

rights. I had participated in many workshops and trainings on women’s

rights. At the funeral, I paraded my three children before the mourners,

who included my in-laws, and told everyone that I was going to live

with my children on the land we’d been using when my husband was

alive. I don’t have full control of the land and the cows. I have to ask for

the clan leader’s permission to sell a cow or rent out the land.”

Margaret Cherop, teacher, Kapchorwa, Uganda

“The land I work and live on belongs to my father-in-law.

He insists that it is still his and that he hasn’t given it to me

or my children. He tells us where we can cultivate and it is

always in a different place. I have no idea what will happen

when he dies.”

Should we ever want or have to sell our land or put it up as collateral,

it will be easier because we have a deed to prove it’s our property. Also,

having a deed makes the land a lot more valuable.

Comments from small landowners in Dan Saga, Niger

“Even after I die, nobody will be able to contest the ownership of my

land because the deed is the strongest possible proof and paper doesn’t

lie even after 100 years. My children and grandchildren won’t have

problems defending their rights to the land.”

Large landowner, Dan Saga, Niger

“The way the land titling procedure was carried out actually reduced the

risk of land disputes. Anybody who didn’t speak up when a deed was

recorded in front of the whole village won’t be able to lay claim to that

land afterwards. Anybody who tried would lose that fight out of hand.

Land titles make our life easier as local authorities because it is our job to

arbitrate fairly on land disputes.”

Moussa Bara, Village Chief, Dan Saga, Niger

“The children know that their mother has a field in a given place; they

know its location and that it is not part of the family property.”

Ladidi, President of a women’s group, Dan Saga, Niger

Yunia, Nyanza Province, Kenya


Men showing their land titles; women got

their titles the same day, Niger.

©The Joint Programme


Although people living in villages across

Africa may do things differently, there are

also certain things that don’t change much

regardless of where you are. This is especially

true of control of the land itself. In the past

women only got land through men. They were

in the background. But when people realize

that women have been missing out on a lot of

things, relations between women and men start

changing – sometimes faster than you might

think! Relations between men and women were

not so different in many other countries about

50 years ago, when gender and women’s rights

became major political issues. That’s pretty

reassuring,because it shows that people are not

so different, that in time things change and that

African women can get more control over their

own lives.

“Women who belong to UWESO look and act different, we have more

knowledge and we are used to dealing with the outside world. Other

women tease us by saying we’ve become like first ladies. I’m 52 years old

and have had eleven children. Do I look like a first lady?”

Woman member of UWESO in Kasansara, Uganda

“Women-only activities aren’t a good thing. Men can’t

be totally excluded if we want them to understand and

support changes that concern women. Working with

men is important but it’s necessary to work with the

reliable ones.”

Woman in Masindi district, speaking to Alice Carloni, consultant, Uganda

“Traditionally, women had only small spaces they could call their own

and even those could be taken over by the men who owned both

the land women cultivated and the houses they lived in. The small

businesses financed by loans to women created a new kind of space

for them. They perceive it as being their own and it is recognized

as such by others. When the new space is completely separate from the

traditional land-based space, women’s independence is particularly

strong. Self-employment has given women in Kenya and Uganda full

control of the proceeds.”

Dev Nathan, consultant, on impact of UWESO and KWFT, Kenya and Uganda

We used to have to hold out our hands for money every morning or go

down on our knees to beg for it. If we sold some vegetables at the market,

we had to spend it right away. If we went home with any cash, our

husbands could take it from us.

Women speaking to Dev Nathan in Kenya and Uganda


A farmer on his land, Niger.

©IFAD/D. Rose

“I can even talk to my husband about the bad effects of alcohol and

cigarettes. I would never have dared before.”

Rose Maina, village health volunteer, Rukanga, Kenya

Women were not highly regarded before the project came, but that has

changed. We have our own earnings, our own savings and our own

assets. We can get loans to finance our businesses. We are able to mobilize

ourselves – and even the men – for community work. We are more willing

to speak up, even at community meetings, and our opinions are listened

to. Our husbands have more respect for us now that we are able to help

them maintain the family… and we have more respect for ourselves.

Women at a participatory evaluation workshop, North Kivu,

Democratic Republic of Congo

We used to be up to the waist of men. Now, we’ve

come up to their shoulder. We’re still not equal but

we’ve moved up a long way from where we were.

Comments from women members of KWFT in the Rift Valley, Kenya

“I have only one thing to say. This project has helped women a lot.

We have learned to grow new kinds of vegetables, and learned to read

and write. In my opinion, the project was a good thing, especially for

women! And we hope it will continue to help us.”

Wazina Mahamat Taber, at the Restitution/validation workshop,

interim evaluation, Kanem, Chad

“Men used to earn cash from their own coffee trees or as workers on

larger plantations and it was they who paid for school, medicines,

building and repairing the family home, etc. Those earnings disappeared

due to a coffee disease in the late 1980s and women have filled the gap.

That has given women leverage to challenge traditions and customs.”

Completion evaluation report, North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo

A Kenyan lady.

©IFAD/R. Chalasani



Functional literacy classes are one of the

most effective means of empowering

women to learn and acquire selfconfidence.

The second most important

means is microfinance.

Women speaking to Alice Carloni, Consultant,

throughout Uganda


The cereal banks were supposed to be managed by the women of our

village, but the men didn’t accept that.

Comments from women in Kanem, Chad

“We’re not like other men, we have no problem belonging

to a group with women. We learn a lot and can pass it

on to our families.”

Men members of UWESO solidarity groups, Mbarara, Uganda

“My husband heard about KWFT before I did and he encouraged me to

join. I presented his carpentry shop as my own and gave him the loan.

Other loans that I took out were used to buy land in his name and

we’re growing vegetables on it. The fact that I could get the loans for

him has improved our relationship and we are now secure.”

Woman member of KWFT, Kenya

When a woman asks to join our group, we look hard at

how well she can control her husband. We listen to how

she talks. If she says things like ‘I have to ask my husband’

or ‘My husband says’ she probably wouldn’t be able to

stop him from taking her money. We would have to repay

her loans.

Comments from women’s groups throughout Kenya and Uganda

The leaders of our group are women, but we have appointed a man to

represent us in relations with government offices and outsiders. It is

easier for a man to do that.

Comments from women’s water users groups, Farmers’ groups project, Siaya, Kenya

“Although I’m a woman and the chairperson is a man, the health

commission asked me to present our experiences to the visitors.”

Member of village health commission, Mozambique

A women’s group in Niger.

©IFAD/D. Rose

Husband and wife in front of the house they are

building together in Hoima, Uganda.

©IFAD/R. Grossman



60We are boss!


In the old days, people wouldn’t have survived

if they hadn’t found ways to work together

and help each other. Women and unmarried

men, in particular, have always formed groups

for specific purposes:savings clubs of various

kinds, drama groups, sports groups,laboring

teams to work for wages of food. The habit

of working together for a common goal is

traditional and is something that development

projects can build upon by introducing new

types of groups like credit groups, farmers’

groups or women’s organizations.

People themselves can manage projects and

facilities, whether it be a school, a health centre,

a storage shed or a well. “Capacity building”

means taking the skills and traditions that are

already there and improving the villagers’ ability

to manage funding, maintenance and oversight.

Then the skills can be transferred to the next

project that the people want to undertake to

build their community. Collective decision

making through village committees means that

people and communities can take responsibility

for their own development, set their own

priorities, and come to consensus about the

most urgent needs, such as helping those who

are most vulnerable or disadvantaged. Another

benefit is that decision-making groups that used

to be dominated by men are now more and

more open to women.

“People have always formed groups called ‘mahber’ to pursue common

goals. Some groups are formed exclusively by men while others may

have men and their wives as members. The leaders are always men and

women have little or no say in what the groups will do.”

Eva-Maria Bruchhaus, retired consultant and free-lance journalist

on group formations in Eritrea

“In addition to taking out loans from KWFT, our solidarity group runs

a traditional rotating savings club (‘money-go-round’) for other needs.

Members who use their pot to meet loan repayments don’t have to

pay interest. Those who ask for the pot out of turn pay interest to the

member whose turn it was.”

Women’s group, KWFT, Kenya

“We visited two adjacent villages in Angola to investigate local

appreciation of project assistance. Both village committees declared

themselves to be happy with the support received (funds for brickmaking

and roofing sheets for a primary school), but both added that the

schools were too small to accommodate all the children. In one village,

the villagers had built two more classrooms. Our question as to why they

hadn’t started building the extra classrooms as the other village had done

sparked off a discussion that was still going on when we left.”

Ruud Ludemann, Consultant, Netherlands

“Only men used to form groups. Nowadays, women have

their own groups and they are even allowed to attend

meetings with men.”

Yacoub Hassan, District Health Manager, North Guéra, Chad

Women’s group at a meeting in

(north-western) Somalia.

©The Joint Programme



“The village water committee identified three families as being

particularly vulnerable. Mine is one of them because I’m blind and

I used to beg for food. We’ve not had to pay anything. The committee

even gave me some farm tools. With the water and tools, my family has

been able to grow enough food for us (we are eleven) and we can even

sell some. I have used part of my earnings to set up a kiosk where I sell

vegetables and peas. None of this would have been possible without

the water and the kindness of the water committee.”

Beth Njoki, Gathuka, Nyandarua, Kenya

“The loans aren’t the only thing my group does for me.

We help each other in many other ways: help buy medicines,

visit a member who’s ill to see if she needs anything, etc.

Just talking about our problems can help us cope with them.

If nothing else, we can listen and offer advice.”

Member of women’s group, KWFT, Kenya

“The women here have always formed groups to work together and help

each other in times of need. That’s just as important as making money.”

Men speaking to design mission, North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo

“We don’t think our groups would collapse if KWFT were to stop

giving loans to members. We’re stronger now, thanks to KWFT. We

would probably work out our own ways to get loans. The confidence

we have acquired is probably enough to approach other lending

organizations, even the banks.”

Women leaders of long-established KWFT groups in Kenya


Participants at monthly

community work day, Rwanda.

©The Joint Programme

Community infrastructure

management committee, Kenya.

©The Joint Programme

The project was going to rehabilitate the old health centre but we

wanted a new one because the old one wasn’t solid: it was made of

unfired bricks. The project accepted our idea and our leaders were fully

in charge of mobilizing the community’s contribution (labour, sand

and gravel).

Comments from villagers in Hoima-Kibaale districts, Uganda

“As one of the beneficiary representatives in the project management

committee of Homabay district, I have taken part in the preparation of

annual work plans and budgets, annual review workshops, mid-term

review, monitoring and evaluation, etc. The annual review workshops

are especially helpful for understanding what the project is supposed

to do, is doing, why and for whom.”

Beneficiary representative, Kenya

“In 1997, when the project decided not to give loans after all, we decided

to set up our own fund. We call it the Kakamega Social Development

Revolving Fund. Our money came from the sale of shares to members,

contributions from local committees for social and women’s

development, interest on loans and the sale of loan application forms.

Two years later, we were issuing loans through 42 solidarity groups

(1,200 members) to finance the start-up and/or expansion of small

individual and group businesses.”

Members of the Shishende Mugo Women’s Group, Kenya

“Our women’s association has started organizing regular meetings with

other associations to share experiences, discuss problems and possible

solutions, identify resource persons needed to carry out the solutions,

etc. This was our idea, not the project’s.”

Women attending the participatory evaluation workshop, North Kivu,

Democratic Republic of Congo

Men and women sit together at a

village meeting in North Guera, Chad.

©The Joint Programme

Weekly meeting of KWFT credit

groups, Kenya.

©The Joint Programme



“When the Government decided that people should pay for health

treatment at the local dispensary, we established our own system

for collecting monthly fees. Everybody has to pay except those

who are too poor to pay anything. Some people complain but most

of us don’t mind.”

Health facility management committee members, Nyeri, Kenya

Our village decided to do something to help pregnant mothers. We built

the waiting home near the health centre. Mothers nearing their time

can stay there until the birth. The project provided cooking utensils and

food and the village makes sure there is somebody with them all the

time. Other villages have done the same for their women.

Comments from women in Eritrea

“The support given by the project to our milk cooperative allowed me to

increase my milk sales from 2 litres a day to 10 litres a day. The extra

income allows me to rent a small field on which to grow fodder, send

my four children to school and pay for medicines, even hospital care.

My family is healthier because the staff at the cooperative taught us to

boil the milk before drinking it.”

Solomon Beraki, small-scale livestock owner and member of the Mendefera

milk cooperative, Dedub region, Eritrea

“When our first pump broke down, no one came to repair it and

everybody suffered. That will not happen again because we have set up

a management committee to collect fees for repairs and maintenance.

Men pay more than women.”

President, Water management committee of Mormo village, North Guéra, Chad


Group of young men returning

from the field, Niger.

©IFAD/D. Rose

Women carrying fresh milk

in traditional containers, Niger.

©IFAD/D. Rose

Member of a 20-30 man team pulling

a collectively owned beach net back to

shore, Mozambique.

©IFAD/A. Webb

“Trawlers were a big problem: they came and

destroyed our nets, leaving us with nothing.

At the request of our network of fisheries

management committees, central government

made a law against trawlers working within

3 km of the coast. We are helping the Fisheries

Department enforce the law.”

Abaca and Abdalla, committee members and fishermen

from Larde village, Mozambique


“When outsiders come, we are proud to show them a health centre that is

clean and tidy, in good repair and well decorated. The way we manage

our facility is an example for many others in Nyeri district.”

Member of a health facility management committee, Nyeri, Kenya

“If the harvest is good, the (food) bank managers can

sell some of the surplus to do repairs and pay labourers

to carry and move the grain. If the harvest is poor, the

village committee in charge of the bank meets to decide

how to adjust the repayment rate for replenishing the

stocks distributed.”

Roumanatou Ekadé, Sociologist and gender focal point, Aguié, Niger

“When times are tough, grain prices rise and livestock prices fall. The

agents from the Ministry of Agriculture are encouraging us to set aside at

least 10 per cent of our income for emergencies. Our group has opened

its own savings account and we plan to build a grain storage facility so

that we can sell grain instead of animals.”

Adam Humed, farmer in Gash Barka region, Eritrea

Our village was one of the first to respond to the project’s offer of

assistance to undertake assisted natural regeneration of vegetation to

protect our land. With their help, we defined our own rules. Anybody

caught breaking them has to pay a fine. The fines for local violations go

directly into our village development fund. Violations that affect several

villages are reported to the environment authorities and the fines are

shared among the villages.

Comments from villagers in Dan Saga, Aguié, Niger

“We keep detailed records on the cases we treat and the Government

has been pretty good about filling our orders. The elected local health

committee uses the fees paid by villagers to buy replacement drugs, fuel

for my motorcycle and consumables like disposable gloves, bandages

and syringes. They also pay the watchman’s wages and the electricity bill.

They bought the batteries to store power from the solar panels.”

Abidine Baby, Male head nurse, Tonka health centre, Mali

That food bank over there belongs to a village group that refuses to

accept new members. The interest rates on food loans are a lot lower

for members. It would have been better had the project encouraged us

to build the food bank as a village initiative. In other villages, the food

bank belongs to the whole village and not to a small group.

Comments from villagers in Niger


Girl withdrawing grain from the

village cereal bank in Niger.

©IFAD/D. Rose

We know how to keep the water control works in good working order.

Our Water Users’ Association of Lake Takadji covers all nine villages

around the lake. Elected representatives meet whenever there is need to

discuss how and when to open and close the water gates. The meetings

are held at the gates so that we can inspect them and discuss what needs

to be done to keep them in good working order.

Comments from men’s group at Nounou, Niafunké Cercle, Mali

Our community is a large one, so we have set up a mother committee

to guide and supervise several sub-committees, one for each quarter.

The mother committee meets every week to hear reports by the subcommittees.

Right now, we are working out the details on how to

combine our own resources with those made available by the project in

order to build our own health post and school. Each sub-committee will

then mobilize its neighbourhood to do the work assigned to them in

collaboration with the other neighbourhoods. We’re still having a lot of

problems; this sort of collaboration is completely new to us.

Comments from fishermen in Sofala province, Mozambique

“The Hashenkit River Diversion Project covers 14 villages with a total of

1,300 families. Each village has a farmers’ organization to represent it

at meetings where decisions are taken on how to run and maintain the

irrigation works, how the water is to be distributed to farmers, what

farmers should pay or do to keep the system in good operating condition.”

Adam Humed, leader farmer, Gash Barka region, Eritrea

“The first activities of the project were all about sensitization

and organization. There was no culture of collective action

for development here and even I didn’t realize why that

was so important. Now, I understand that it is easier to help

people help themselves if they are better organized.”

Nossor Doungous, Head of School Department, North Guéra, Chad

Our village development association joined the union of associations

called ASANG because we were told that we had to in order to benefit

from the project. However, ASANG has no vision and it has done

nothing for young people. The local representative of ASANG lives in my

village but he does nothing even though ASANG gave him a motorcycle

to inform the people. He treats us as though we were scum.

Comments from members of a village development association in Eref,

North Guéra, Chad

Solidarity credit group, Kenya.

©The Joint Programme



Our water users group levies a monthly charge per family. The money

is used for maintenance and repairs, to pay the pump attendant and to

finance vegetable growing if there is surplus water. The money may also

be used to give loans to members. If there is money left over, we may

have a party.

Women members of water users group, Nyeri, Kenya

“All the members of our health facility management

committee, including me, were elected at a village-wide

meeting called by the chief. The committee is registered

with the Department of Culture and Social Services. We

decide which health services are to be paid for and the

fees, and how the money is to be spent. We keep detailed

accounts because we are accountable both to the village

and to the Ministry.”

Members of health facility management committee, Nyeri, Kenya

“The project made some mistakes. For one, the pumps provided to us were

expensive: we would have paid a lot less if they had given us cash loans

instead. The project people didn’t always discuss things with us and the

seeds were often provided too late.”

Abakar Seid and Moustapha Ahmet, at a restitution/validation workshop,

Kanem, Chad


Women’s group in Mozambique.

©The Joint Programme

70Deciding and doing things together

Creating the causal model during a participatory

design workshop in (north-western) Somalia.

©The Joint Programme

Participatory project design

in (north-western) Somalia

The Belgian Fund has always placed a strong emphasis

on bringing together the people involved in the struggle

to eliminate food insecurity and poverty, including and

especially the populations of economically depressed regions.

The Fund’s interest has led to the creation of a powerful set

of tools for the comprehensive and participatory design and

evaluation of development projects. A practical guide to these

tools was prepared and published thanks to funding from the

Joint Programme lodged within IFAD. The guide is included

in the DVD.

The tools were used during a four-day workshop in

(north-western) Somalia in August 2007. The aim was to

collect ideas on what could and/or should be done by a new

project to be cofinanced by the Belgian Fund and IFAD.

The tools allowed ordinary people and other stakeholders,

including specialists in crops, livestock, forestry, education,

health, water supplies, irrigation, etc., to identify the

full range of underlying causes of child malnutrition

and to reach consensus on the sort of actions that could

help remove those causes. The people of (north-western)

Somalia are reputed for their pride and ability to articulate

their opinions in fierce debate: the perfect recipe for a

constructive workshop.

Participants included representatives from the whole

spectrum of prospective beneficiaries: farmers, herders,

traders, artisans and other economic operators, women as

well as men. It also involved a broad range of specialists

in agriculture, livestock, economics, water, food security,

nutrition security and human health. The intensity

of the debates exceeded expectations. Everybody got

involved and – although outsiders often felt that they had

created chaos – the participants got the job done. What

had started as an example of how to map the causes of

malnutrition soon covered the walls of a large room and

the debate raged for hours.

The end result was eminently satisfactory; ordinary

people had taken over the exercise, made it their own,

often holding their ground against the specialists. The

workshop had been a steep learning curve for everybody:

they had learned how a collaboration between different

players can tackle malnutrition (hence poverty) from

all sides. The map of causes provided the basis for a

questionnaire survey to be carried out before the project

(to get the “baseline situation”) and at various times

during and after the ongoing North-West Integrated

Community Development Project.

Carl Lachat and Patrick Kolsteren, Nutrition and Child Health Unit,

Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium

After creating the matrix of benefits and

beneficiaries, everybody wanted to make

their own copy, Lira, Uganda.

©The Joint Programme




It takes time to win people’s trust and convince

them that “community participation” isn’t just

a nice-sounding phrase, but can be a reality.

And without it projects have poor chances of

sustainable success. Shouldn’t people be part of

making their own future?

“One of the problems with the participatory approach is if people don’t

understand why latrines are important, they won’t make them a priority.

How can they know that the water from a well is different from the water

from a puddle? They can’t see the germs, bacteria and microbes.”

Yacoub Hassan, District health manager, North Guéra, Chad


UWESO members around their matrix

of benefits and benficiaries, Uganda.

©The Joint Programme

“It’s easy to say the community is in charge, but notice what happens

in a large project which is struggling to meet its physical targets.

When the project is behind schedule, project agents throw the whole

participatory process out the window and force project implementation

without the real participation of the community or without the

community having finished raising their contribution.”

CARE International, quoted in mid-term review report on Mara Region Farmers’

Initiative project, United Republic of Tanzania

“The people should decide what is to be done and then look for help

if they cannot do it on their own. The project comes to help but the

people and the project should decide together. Our community would

never refuse any offer of help but it’s not real participation if we cannot

help decide anything.”

Comments from villagers in Hoima and Kibaale districts, Uganda

“Participation is when people sit down to talk about the advantages and

disadvantages of doing something, decide together on what is to be done

and then work out the details on how to go about it. That’s how we did

everything with the project, except for the latrines, where we were simply

told to do what the project wanted.”

Villagers during participatory evaluations in Hoima and Kibaale districts, Uganda

Everybody who comes to offer help wants us to help cover

the costs. We need everything but we can’t afford to accept

all the offers.

Comments from villagers at a participatory evaluation workshop, Kenya

The Duterimbere credit group after

conducting a participatory evaluation

of experiences, Rwanda.

©The Joint Programme



We helped the project people select the balley (a water-holding

depression) to be improved. The village provided labour and local

materials free of charge. The balley is fenced to keep out animals. The

water is pumped to a water tank from which it is piped to separate

points for animals and humans. We have been maintaining the system

ourselves since the project left. We elected a management committee

and the members were trained by the project. The monthly fees collected

from all the families are used to pay for repairs and maintenance.

Comments from villagers in (north-western) Somalia

People from different organizations always come to talk with us,

but they do nothing apart from wasting our time.

Comments from women in Sawla, Goffa Woreda, Ethiopia

“We were not much involved in anything before the project came. The

project asked us to provide our time and labour as well as local materials

and cash. Having done that, we don’t understand why we have to pay

so much for health care or water. The traditional healers are just as good

and they cost a lot less; water from the ponds costs nothing.”

Villagers interviewed for completion evaluation, Kenya

“Whatever anybody says, we’re powerless to decide whether or not a

project will do anything. They’re holding the stick. However, this project

(Hoima) was different because they actually listened to us. If they had

other ideas, they discussed them with us. They wanted to rehabilitate

the old health centre but we wanted a new one and we got it. The project

wasn’t listening so well for the boreholes and especially not for the

latrines. That was ‘take it or leave it, period!’”

Men’s and women’s groups on community participation, Kibaale, Uganda


Creating the activities column

of a hippopoc table, Ethiopia.

©The Joint Programme

UWESO village volunteer making her copy of

the hippopoc table created by her working group.

The presentation received a standing ovation, Uganda.

©The Joint Programme

“At the start of the project, its staff helped us negotiate with the local

authorities on how the irrigation works were to be built and maintained.

The local authorities agreed to take care of the leveling, clearing bush

and improving the channels if we agreed to take care of running and

maintaining the works.”

Adam Humed, Farmer in Gash-Barka region, Eritrea

“Villagers are increasingly wary of all these incessant calls to

‘participate’ but my field agents are able to overcome their

hostility because they live in the villages. They talk with their

neighbours as equals, not from above.”

Florence Kagwe, Community Development Department, Kibaale, Uganda

“The farmers of Kanem are aware that the project has done a great deal

of good in our region, but it lasted only six years. We are its orphans;

our organizations aren’t strong enough to do everything the project was

helping us do. The project left before it had responded to all our needs.”

Ali Moussa, Kanem, Chad

“In February 1995, I was invited along with other farmers from Nyeri

Province to participate in a workshop where we worked together with the

project staff and consultants to analyse what the project had done and

make proposals for improving its performances. That was quite a change

from the way things are normally done here.”

Farmer from Nyeri Province, at a mid-term review workshop, Kenya

UWESO staff putting their hippopoc table

on the wall for presentation to workshop

participants, Uganda.

©The Joint Programme



76Health care


Grants from the Joint Programme were used to help implement

national policies for the delivery of health care services,

including the struggle against malnutrition. In most cases,

those policies were also promoted by the World Health

Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund. In

Rwanda, a Joint Programme grant financed the establishment

of the national policy on nutrition.

“In 1996, after graduating from university, I was appointed

to head the new Nutrition Department in the Ministry for

Health. The Ministry wanted to adopt an approach based

on community-level growth monitoring of infants, the aim

being to detect and treat those who were malnourished and

to prevent malnutrition among others. This was entirely

new to me and I had nothing: no policy, no strategy, no

textbooks, no training materials. Nothing. The grant

provided the money for me to attend a three-week course

on the planning of nutrition programmes in Montpellier,

France. When I came back, I had a better idea of what was

needed and I’d met many people who were willing to help.

With project financing, I established a task force to write our

first training manual. The teachers I had met at Montpellier

sent us a huge amount of material and they read our drafts

with care. Within the space of five years we had reduced

severe child malnutrition among returning refugees from

over 40 per cent to well under 10 per cent. Although we

have updated that manual many times, the basic structure

has not had to be changed.

I can without hesitation say that the grants provided by

the Joint Programme helped our country’s nutrition and

health professionals lay the foundations for practically

everything we are doing today, from policymaking down

to community-based delivery of health services in the rural

areas. The grants helped us do our duty.”

Dassan Hategekimana, Director, Nutrition Department,

Ministry for Health, Rwanda

“Within the space of five years we had reduced

severe child malnutrition among returning

refugees from over 40 per cent to well under

10 per cent.”

Hearths for cookery classes for the mothers of malnourished

children, built in 1995 at Karambo health centre, Rwanda.

©The Joint Programme

Vaccinating a child in Kenya.

©IFAD/R. Chalasani



Primary health care centres

Fifteen of the Joint Programme grants provided funds to

expand coverage of rural areas by primary health care

services. By doing so, they helped national governments

apply the “affordable health for all” approach recommended

by the Alma Ata Agreement of 1978. In areas where

people move about mainly on foot, access to health care

is improved by building a network of local health centres

within easy walking distance (say 10-15 km) and by linking

them with referral hospitals where serious cases are treated.

The centres are managed by local health committees in

collaboration with Government-appointed health staff.

From the start, health staff are expected to visit the villages

regularly to treat small wounds and ailments and talk

about health and nutrition. Patients pay part of the cost

of treatment either directly (as fees) or by subscribing to

a health plan or mutual health schemes. Health care for

children and mothers (vaccinations, growth monitoring,

diet supplements, treatment of malnutrition etc.) is often

provided free of charge or at heavily subsidized rates.

The new health centre is only 6 km away.

Before the project helped us build it, the nearest

one was 50 km away!

Comments from villagers speaking to the completion

evaluation team, Kenya

Recently completed rural health centre in Burundi.

©The Joint Programme

Karambo health centre in Rwanda, main block.

©The Joint Programme


Child-weighing day at Bahi Sokoni

health centre, United Republic of Tanzania.

©IFAD/C. Nesbitt

“I did not like the idea of being posted to a rural health facility but I’m

glad I accepted. The project and the village have done a lot to lessen

the hardship of working here. I have a house for my family and a

good school for the children. The health facility is well equipped and

maintained; we rarely run out of drugs and medical supplies and we’ve

received a lot of training. The village gave me some land to cultivate and

food is cheaper than in town. The road to town is also good and there

are many vehicles to take. Yes, I’m glad I accepted.”

Nurse, Kenya

We think our village is growing because of the health centre.

Elderly people from the other villages and elsewhere have

built homes here. Their relatives and friends who come to

visit almost always buy something before leaving.

Comments from a women’s group, Tonka, Mali

“We helped build our health centre in record time but it’s not working

properly. It is often closed because the nurse lives in another parish.

He is also bad tempered and impolite. People prefer to go to a

sub-dispensary that is a bit farther and you have to pay more, but the

staff are nicer.”

Villagers at participatory evaluations, Hoima, Uganda

“Our health facility management committee is paying for the telephone

at the dispensary and we have set up a fund to pay for a private vehicle

if the ambulance at Nyeri hospital is not available. We have also hired a

clerk to keep our accounts and a watchman to guard the health centre.”

Leaders of the village health facility management committee, Nyeri, Kenya


Waiting to see the nurse for a

post-natal visit, Kenya.

©IFAD/R. Chalasani

“People sometimes ask me why I stay in this backwater town. Well, why

should I leave now that the worst years are past me? My life is here. The

people respect me and they’ve even elected me Deputy Mayor.”

Abidine Baby, Head nurse, Tonka health centre, Mali

“There was practically no middle ground between being healthy and

terminal coma. People didn’t immediately realize that our services could

be better than those of the traditional healers and midwives so they

came too late for us to do much for them.”

Head nurse at Andjiam health centre, Mali

“We feel that our health has improved a lot for many reasons. Public health

centres are better run and they’re cheaper than the private clinics. People

are eating better and less likely to run out of food. They know more about

hygiene and sanitation. Everybody has more energy to work.”

Villager representatives at completion evaluation, Nyeri, Kenya

“We are expected to make anybody without a health card pay for

treatment. In practice, we do not charge those who can’t pay. Everybody

knows everybody else here and nobody would even think of cheating.

We also treat many children who do not normally live here (nomads).”

Abidine Baby, Male head nurse, Tonka health centre, Mali

“These lifesavers are second only to God. If you are sick and can get to a

clinic, with the help of God, nothing bad will happen to you. There’s

really nothing better than the clinic. They provide you with food and

medicine. Anyway, that’s what I think.”

Farma Osman, sister of a patient, Eritrea

We used to have to travel long distances to get health care and the

medicine was not always available. We would go only when we were very,

very sick and many of us died. The project has changed all that.

Comments from villagers in Nyeri, Kenya

Mother and child in the

children’s ward, Burundi.

©The Joint Programme

Nurse preparing medicine packets

for patients, Kenya.

©IFAD/R. Chalasani



“A big problem is the distance between health centres: about

25-30 km. Pre-natal visits should be done every month

from the third month but that’s a long way for a pregnant

woman to walk.”

Liliane Denehaudjimbaye, Nutrition field worker, North Guéra, Chad

“The nutrition programme was run by a lady called Agnes working at

the hospital. Her assistant took over when she died. Like Agnes, she’s

there to reassure the mothers of malnourished children referred to us

by the health centres. She urges them to enter the nutrition education

programme at their local health centre where they learn how to monitor

child growth and prepare nutritious meals. They bring most of the

ingredients from their homes and the hospital provides supplements.

All that is still going on.”

Didace Nkubana, Nurse-radiologist, Ngarama Hospital, Byumba, Rwanda

“The health centre is far away and the road is very steep. I take the babies

there only when they are really sick. The nurse tells me I should take

them there for periodic check-ups and vaccinations but I cannot see why

I should do that if they’re OK. Myself, I go there only when I’m feeling

really sick.”

Mrs. Saba, Gash-Barka, Eritrea

Our health centre is always running out of medicines. We have to

buy practically everything ourselves and we haven’t had a midwife

for months. If it weren’t for the training provided to the traditional

midwives, nothing much would have changed even though the health

centre is completely new.

Comments from villagers in Buhanika subcounty, Hoima, Uganda

The health centre is part of our daily life. It encourages us to help each

other and work together. The fact that all the villages have an elected

representative on the health centre management has increased exchanges

between us, we no longer live in isolation.

Comments from a women’s group in Tonka, Mali


Patient returning home on a

traditional stretcher carried by men

from her village in Rwanda.

©The Joint Programme

Traditional stretcher used by people

in remote villages in Rwanda.

©The Joint Programme

Every primary health centre should have a

cow on the premises for nutrition rehabilitation

and education (WHO recommendation), Rwanda.

©IFAD/R. Chalasani

Child receiving a penicillin jab

in Tanzania.

©IFAD/C. Nesbitt



It is well recognized that the best way to help

people is to enable them to help themselves.

Training health volunteers in villages builds

on the community’s own human resources and

a depth of knowledge of the people and the

place that outsiders probably never acquire.

What the project brings is new knowledge and

ideas, about disease transmission, hygiene and

sanitation, HIV/AIDS, malnutrition and many

other health issues. Volunteers who have grown

up in a place can translate the information

into the right words. They can conduct health

campaigns, teach people to grow new foods and

eat better, distribute medications, and convince

parents of the need for deworming and special

care of children when required. They make the

villagers owners and generators of knowledge

and not just receivers of it.

“It’s a terrible thing to have a malnourished child.

The solidarity that the mother receives as a member

of the association allows her to feel less alone.”

Comment from a mother, who is a member of the Karambo nutrition group

in Nemba, Rwanda.

As village health volunteers trained by the project, we distribute the

dietary supplements and deworming tablets that the Government

provides free of charge to families with children. We weigh the children

at home, identify the disabled who may need special care, and make

sure people with tuberculosis, leprosy and mental problems take their

medications. We also organize health education campaigns, including

the planting and care of kitchen gardens and the raising of rabbits

and chickens.

Comments from primary health care self-help group in Kagaa, Nyera, Kenya

“My wife and I are HIV positive. We know we will die young, so we are

trying to build a future for our five children. Luckily, none of them are

HIV positive. We have built two houses and hope to finish the other

three before we die. The doctors at Hoima Hospital provide us with

drugs and counseling. They helped us get up the courage to admit that

we had the ‘slimming sickness’. We help them and the people from the

Community Development Department talk about the disease in the

parishes. We aren’t shunned here because that lady over there won’t

allow it. She’s a retired nurse, but still strong.”

HIV/AIDS patient, Ruyanga Parish, Hoima, Uganda


Child receiving polio vaccine, Uganda.

©IFAD/R. Chalasani

We make sure the children

wash their hands after relieving

themselves and before meals.

Mothers responding to survey, Kenya

Our own children don’t fall sick from water-related diseases and the

knowledge we have acquired through nutrition education and cooking

classes has allowed us to improve their nutrition. Our homes are

cleaner and tidier. We have become role models in our villages.

Comments from village health volunteers in Kenya

“The home improvement programme was developed by the Community

Development Department many years ago but it had fallen into disuse.

All it does is teach people how to build latrines, bathing areas and

dish-drying racks using local materials that are free or cheap; how to use

cattle dung mixed with mud to insect-proof their homes; how to protect

water from contamination; the importance of washing your hands after

going to the latrine and before meals. Really basic stuff but effective.”

Retired nurse, Ruyanga Parish, Hoima, Uganda

AIDS? We don’t talk about that. It doesn’t exist.

Responses of villagers in a participatory evaluation in Kibaale District, Uganda

The illnesses that have practically disappeared in our village are measles

and whooping cough, as well as malnutrition, skin rashes, tropical

ulcers, eye ailments and diarrhoea. The reasons are vaccinations for

measles and whooping cough; knowledge of better weaning and feeding

practices for malnutrition; safe water and knowledge of better hygiene

for skin diseases, tropical ulcers, eye ailments and diarrhoea.

Comments of villagers responding to participatory evaluations in Hoima

and Kibaale, Uganda

Hand washing station made from easy-to-find

materials, Rwanda

©The Joint Programme

Child washing hands before

eating, Rwanda.

©IFAD/S. Beccio



The nutrition education classes would allow us to improve the health

of the whole family, but we do not always have the money to buy

the ingredients.

Comments from members of a nutrition group in North Guéra, Chad

The use of bicycles by women is not acceptable here, so most of the

women working as village health volunteers have to walk. That means

they cover only a small area.

Comments of village volunteers at a participatory evaluation workshop,

North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo

“We are given disposable gloves and condoms for the demonstrations

but we do not have any to give or sell to people. We would be able to

do a lot more if we had simple first-aid kits with disinfectant, bandages,

pomades and pain killers. A scale for weighing children at home would

help us monitor the growth of infants whose mothers think they don’t

have the time to come to the health centre.”

Theresia Wambui, Village health volunteer, Kenya

“I had already been working as the village health volunteer: it was an

honour I couldn’t refuse. When the local management committee of

our health centre decided to make people pay for certain treatments, in

compliance with government policy, I was given a starter kit of drugs

and supplies to sell. I was told that my sales should cover the cost of

replenishing the kit and give me a reasonable income. We discuss the

prices I should charge. I go to the communal pharmacy once a month to

buy replacement drugs, report on what I have been doing, ask questions

and get the latest news on what’s happening in the health sector. I’m able

to support my family and the villagers are happy to have someone nearby

who can provide first aid and pain killers. The village health volunteers

at Gakawa and Warazo say they would like to set up the same system.”

Village health volunteer in Nyeri district, Kenya

Some women are hard-headed; they say it’s indiscreet, indecent, to be

touched by a man who’s not their husband. That’s the force of tradition

talking. They’re not so many anymore.

Comments from members of a women’s group in Tonka, Mali

Although our services are appreciated, working conditions have

changed. The original idea had been that we would always be available

to treat people. The village provided a building where we could receive

patients and ways were found to make sure we could support our own

families. Some families gave us a share of their harvest as compensation

for our service; others worked in our fields, others paid a weekly or

monthly fee. The building has collapsed and we’re paid something only

if we actually treat somebody. We can no longer afford to be available

because we have our families to support.

Comments from village health volunteers at a participatory design workshop,

Burkina Faso

“Nobody believes that old tale about malnutrition being caused by

poisoning. We know that it can be caused by many things: lack of food

or the wrong kinds of food, poor hygiene and parasites. If a mother

does everything right and her child is still malnourished, she should

take it to the health centre to find out why.”

Karambo nutrition group, Nemba, Rwanda

Health staff dipping mosquito net

in insecticide for a village woman,

United Republic of Tanzania.

©IFAD/C. Nesbitt

Villager installing his mosquito net,

United Republic of Tanzania.

©IFAD/C. Nesbitt




Walk into any African village and you are sure

to find at least one traditional healer and one

midwife, most villages have several. They have

much experience and accumulated knowledge

from what they have seen over the years. Plus,

they have the trust of the community.

Instead of being pushed aside, they were

invited to join the local health team because

their expertise is important. They also were the

first to realize how effective the new medicines

were. As part of the local health team, they

helped people realize when they should go to

the health centre. Patients are grateful and every

life that is saved increases trust. The traditional

healers and midwives are complementary – they

are not in competition with the health staff.


Traditional birth attendent using

a fetus-scope, United Republic

of Tanzania.

©IFAD/C. Nesbitt

Village-level collaborators at the Karambo health centre:

traditional healers and traditional birth attendants in front,

village health workers behind, Nemba, Rwanda.

©The Joint Programme

“Traditional healers and midwives used to hide from the authorities. Some

of them were charlatans, of course, but the majority knew a lot about

illness and the use of natural remedies. Local midwives in particular

were highly trusted. The Health Ministry decided to invite them to

work within the national health services delivery system as part of the

community-based approach. The associations of government-approved

traditional healers and midwives are exercising a high standard of

self-regulation. They are aware that their own reputations are enhanced

if they refer serious cases to the health centre.”

Dassan Hategekimana, Director, Nutrition Department, Ministry for

Health, Rwanda

“At first, we were afraid of being thrown in prison because

we were not much loved by the medical profession.

We are happy that we were forced to come out into the open.

We have saved many lives by encouraging our patients to

seek treatment at the health centre.“

Traditional healers, Karambo health centre, Nemba, Rwanda

Initially, the local authorities provided our association with a building

for meetings and training sessions. We have built our own now and we

have created a district union of associations of traditional practitioners.

Comments from a group of traditional healers/midwives, Karambo health centre,

Nemba, Rwanda

“The collaboration with traditional healers and midwives involved a lot

of talking. We had to convince them that it was in their own interest to

encourage seriously ill persons to seek medical help. They live among

the people and are highly respected. We were so successful at Ngarama

that I was invited along with two other Rwandan doctors to present our

experiences at a seminar in Nairobi.”

Dr. Charles Bizimungu, Head Physician at Ngarama Hospital in 2001,

Byumba, Rwanda

As members of the association of registered healers and midwives, we

have to protect our reputation. We don’t accept just anyone. We check

their references, interview them and ask the village health volunteer

to monitor the effectiveness of their treatments. It is not easy to be

accepted and membership may be withdrawn. If someone seems to be

less effective than before, we encourage him or her to retire in favour

of a younger person. That’s usually the child or grandchild who used to

collect the plants and other ingredients for them.

Comments from a group of traditional healers, Karambo health centre,

Nemba, Rwanda

Woman selling traditional

herbal remedies, Rwanda.

©IFAD/IFAD project, Rwanda




Institution-building microfinance

The Joint Programme helped strengthen three microfinance

institutions in East Africa:


Uganda: Uganda Women’s Effort to Save Orphans

(UWESO). This national, welfare-oriented nongovernmental

organization (NGO) adopted a professional

approach to the delivery of microfinance services to

families that care for AIDS orphans. The support involved

considerable training and the creation of a network of

branch offices in five districts. UWESO’s microfinance arm,

Success Microfinance Services, is fully owned by the NGO.


Kenya: Kenya Women Finance Trust. The professionalism

of this NGO specialized in the provision of microfinance

services to women was strenghened through capacitybuilding

and the provision of funds for on-lending; the

microfinance arm, KWFT, is fully owned by the NGO arm

called Kenya Women Finance Holding.


Rwanda: Duterimbere. The Socio-Health Programme

covered the operating costs of Duterimbere, the NGO

selected to manage a credit line in Nemba district.

Duterimbere MFI is fully owned by the NGO called

Duterimbere ASBL (90 per cent) and members (10 per cent).

All three NGOs use solidarity groups to help low-income women

obtain the financial and non-financial services they need to earn

more money. By end-2010, the financial services operations of all

three were managed by a self-financing microfinance institution

regulated by the central bank of their respective countries. To

continue focusing mainly on low-income women (and men),

they still rely heavily on their parent NGO to provide the

crucially important non-financial services. The parent NGOs

rely heavily on grant resources to finance these services.

“We are about to be regulated by the Central Bank of Kenya

and are in the process of getting a licence. […] The money

we currently hold in the bank is considered as security for

loans. Once we have the Central Bank licence, we will be

able to mobilize savings and lend them out.”

Dr. Jennifer Riria, CEO of KWFT, African Banker, Kenya

“UWESO had started as a charity for children orphaned by

the civil war, then it shifted its attention to the emergency

caused by AIDS/HIV. Its original emphasis was on helping

individual orphans. When it realized that huge numbers

remained without assistance, they decided to adopt a

“whole family” approach by helping the host families boost

their incomes. This was the start of the UWESO Savings and

Credit Scheme.”

Interim Evaluation, UWESO Development Programme, Uganda

“We lend mainly to rural clients (90 per cent), mostly

economically active low-income women. The better-off are

not eligible unless they can help small-scale producers, e.g. as

buyers and/or collectors. About half the loans to low-income

borrowers are for small businesses, 35 per cent are for agrobased

activities and 15 per cent are for artisans and services.”

Delphin Ngamije, Director, Duterimbere IMF-S.A., Rwanda

“We didn’t have to pester them to attain loan recovery rates

higher than 90-95 per cent. Most of the first defaults were

due to theft by bandits from Congo. They’d find out that

someone had used her loan to buy goods and they’d go steal

it from her. Sometimes they’d even kill her. In most cases,

the loans were repaid.”

Rachel Nuyoboke, President, Duterimbere-Ruhengeri, 1996-1999

Men’s savings and credit group, Chad.

©IFAD/S. Morgan




Traditional savings groups have long been a

part of village life. However, the resource base

was limited – to put it simply, “small money

in, small money out”. Today’s microfinance

institutions and their community credit

schemes can use such savings groups as a basis

for their activities, adding financial resources

to achieve the critical mass of money needed

to generate more substantial impact. The

members of the savings groups affiliated to the

credit schemes agree to pay back the loan of

any member who defaults – a sure way to make

certain that applications are properly screened!

Solidarity groups have also been very useful

for reaching women, who have traditionally not

had the same access to credit as men. Women

are now using loans to start all kinds of small

businesses, and are further empowered by the

opportunity to work outside the home and

to meet regularly to discuss issues that are

important to them.


Professional dressmaker and

UWESO member, Uganda

©IFAD/R. Chalasani

KWFT member in front of the water

tank financed using a loan, Kenya.

©The Joint Programme

KWFT member showing the tomato

preserves she makes and sells, Kenya.

©IFAD/G. Pirozzi

“My husband uses the loans I take out from KWFT and he would get to

keep everything if we divorced. I don’t want to think about that. But, if it

happens, I would use my savings from the KWFT group to start over.”

Woman member of KWFT, Kenya

“The loans have helped us a lot. The new sewing machines

have boosted my business, we’ve bought some cows and we

are growing vegetables to sell. Without the loans, we would

have moved only two miles out of ten. With the loans and

working together, my wife and I have moved eight miles out

of ten. On my own, I’d have moved only four miles out of

ten even with a loan.”

Husband of member of KWFT, Kenya

“Without the KWFT loans, I would still be a housewife, dependent on

my husband for everything. I earn my own money and I have learned

a lot from the other women in my group. My husband is in favour of

educating the girls and he pays for the housekeeper because I don’t have

time for housework anymore.”

Woman member of KWFT, Kenya

“I haven’t joined KWFT because I don’t like their conditions. Weekly

meetings are a waste of time and the loans are too small.”

Non-member of KWFT, Kenya

KWFT member updating her

savings book, Kenya.

©IFAD/G. Pirozzi



“Before marrying, I worked as a nurse at the hospital. I had to resign

because a wife who worked was a source of shame for her husband.

That taboo has practically disappeared. After joining Duterimbere and

undergoing the obligatory initial training in 1997, I got my first loan

and used it to do petty trading. My business grew. After the sixth and

final loan, I got a bank loan. I bought some dairy cows and still have

five good milkers. I’ve installed a biogas plant near the stable and am

paying for our childrens’ education. Three have finished university and

one of them already has a good job. Two are in secondary school in

India where it’s cheaper and three are still in primary school. We live

well in my home. I have Duterimbere to thank for that.”

Afsa Nukarugema, President, Duterimbere-Ruhengeri, 2000-2008

“Before joining Duterimbere, I had no job, no prospects. A friend’s mother

suggested I join her solidarity group: this one. I used my first loan to buy

land and I’ve built a house on it. I repaid the loan by working for wages

and then I opened my own shop. I’m respected by my neighbours and

hope to marry soon. Girls haven’t the time of day to give to a man without

a home and prospects. I plan to use my next loan to expand my shop.”

Celeste, Male member of Duterimbere group of shopkeepers, Nemba, Rwanda

“When we lost our teaching jobs, the banks would have nothing to do

with us. Only Duterimbere gave us a chance, a way out. They gave us

loans and lots of training. We visited Kigali for the first time and learned

that it wasn’t so far away, that we could do business even there.”

Comments of former teachers, Members of Duterimbere group of shopkeepers,

Nemba, Rwanda

“We were so happy to get our first loans! We got RWF 50,000

each. Most of us can borrow from the banks nowadays, but

we’ll never forget that Duterimbere gave us our first chance.”

Comments of founding members of Duterimbere solidarity group of shopkeepers,

Nemba, Rwanda

“I was supposed to use my loan to expand my business, but I started up a

new one instead. With two businesses, I’m sure that I’ll always have some

income coming into the house.”

Woman member of KWFT, Kenya

“My children don’t have to wear torn school uniforms anymore.”

Woman member of KWFT, Kenya


UWESO-sponsored AIDS orphan underwent four

years apprenticeship then received a loan to set up

his own repair shop, Masaka, Uganda.

©IFAD/R. Grossman

KWFT solidarity credit group listening

to their president at the end of the

weekly meeting, Kenya.

©IFAD/G. Pirozzi



“Duterimbere helps women overcome their fear of credit.”

Former teacher, Member of Duterimbere group of shopkeepers, Nemba, Rwanda

If we are able to buy equipment and bicycles, we won’t need to pay others

to dig in the fields and carry things for us. We were really unhappy

about this until we realized that we could help them become members


Comments of men and women members of UWESO groups, Masaka, Uganda

“We used to work for others and all we’d get was a meal. We’d eat only

a little bit so that we could take the rest back to the children. But it was

never enough and we didn’t have money to buy more. The loans have

allowed us to increase our incomes and we can afford to hire workers. We

give them some cash in addition to the meal, so that they can feed their

families. We’ve not forgotten what it was like.”

Women members of solidarity group in Kumi, Uganda

“My mother started this group in 1998. She was killed by

bandits from Congo in 2003. The group said that I could take

her place if I repaid her loan and I agreed. Since then, I have

been taking out school loans for my two siblings and myself.

The business my mother had set up gives us what we need

both to live and repay the school loans.”

Son of founding member of Duterimbere solidarity group of shopkeepers,

Nemba, Rwanda

“Most of the care-takers are women but there are some men as well,

especially boys who don’t want to be separated from their siblings. As

men have poor reputations for loan repayments, a group can have only

one male member and he cannot occupy a leadership position.”

Pelucy Ntambirweki, Director UWESO, Uganda


KWFT member and her husband in the pharmacy

financed through several loans, Kenya.

©The Joint Programme

“In 2003, I received the annual award from the Nzambazamariya

Veneranda Foundation for my work on behalf of poor women.

Veneranda was a co-founder of Duterimbere. I’d always been perceived

as a dynamic woman. That’s why the members of Duterimbere-

Ruhengeri elected me to be their President. I resigned to run for

elections in 2002. Working with Duterimbere had given me the

audacity. I won the local election but wasn’t sufficiently well known to

win at the next levels. People still kid me by saying ‘Here’s the lady who

got to the threshold of Parliament!’ Afsa had taken over as President

and she was doing a good job. I had no reason to run against her.

In addition to petty trading and livestock, I organize weddings,

baptisms and other ceremonies. My husband is retired and it’s my

income that allows us to send four of our six children to a private

university. The last two are still in secondary school.”

Rachel Nuyoboke, President, Duterimbere-Ruhengeri, 1996-1999

“Before I joined UWESO, we had little food in my home so

the children (four of my own and three left by my brother

and his wife) would loiter around other homes hoping to

get something to eat. They don’t have to do that anymore

because I have money to buy food and there’s always a bit

left over for other children who come around.”

Woman member of a solidarity group in Lira subcounty, Uganda

We need different kinds of training nowadays: how to keep proper

accounts, how to run larger businesses, how to file a tax declaration, etc.

Comments from the Duterimbere solidarity group of shopkeepers

in Nemba, Rwanda

UWESO member watching while a payment is

being recorded by the credit agent, Uganda.

©IFAD/R. Chalasani

KWFT member showing the cheque for her loan

and the credit application form, Kenya.

©IFAD/G. Pirozzi



98Post-conflict interventions

Highlights from a special sub-portfolio

Originally created to address widespread hunger and

death caused by a long series of droughts in various parts

of sub-Saharan Africa, the Joint Programme was to focus

increasingly on the suffering caused by war and strife. By

end-2011, 15 of the 66 grants for field operations were for

post-conflict response in Angola, Burundi, the Democratic

Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire), Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mali,

Rwanda, Somalia/(north-western) Somalia, the United

Republic of Tanzania and Uganda.

The first grant agreement for a post-conflict intervention

was signed with the Food and Agriculture Organization

of the United Nations (FAO) in January 1994, for an

integrated set of relief-cum-recovery and development

actions in the southern parts of Somalia. Field operations

were severely disrupted by continuing

By end-2011, 15 of the 66 grants violence and finally transferred to the quieter

north-western region.

for field operations were for

The second grant was signed with the

post-conflict response.

United Nations High Commissioner for

Refugees (UNHCR) in July 1994, to help

fund emergency relief both in Rwanda and in the refugeehosting

areas of Burundi, the United Republic of Tanzania

and Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo). Over

two million people had fled from Rwanda to these countries

scarcely two months earlier. The grant to UNHCR was quickly

followed by the following eight grants designed to help

national governments lay the groundwork for post-conflict

reconstruction and development.


Four grants were allocated for recovery-cum-development

assistance in the areas where large refugee camps had been

established (three grants focused on Kagera region in the

United Republic of Tanzania and the fourth one on North

Kivu region in the Democratic Republic of Congo). In

addition to replanting forests that had been devastated by

the massive surge in demand for firewood and cropland,

money was provided for rehabilitating local infrastructures

and services, especially health, but also education, safe

water and sanitation. The grants also contained provisions

for financing small-scale economic activities, especially

those run by women. A strong emphasis was placed

on helping people obtain the knowledge and skills to

manage these assets themselves. The work done in Kagera

(including a three-year survey aimed at identifying the

most vulnerable categories for special attention) prompted

IFAD to give the Government of the United Republic

of Tanzania a loan to finance a full-scale development

project. This could not be done for North Kivu, due to

continuing violence and political instability.


Four grants to help rehabilitate and strengthen social

and health services in Rwanda were also provided: one

grant to strengthen the policy-making and managerial

capabilities of the national health and nutrition services;

three grants to rehabilitate and expand the primary

health care delivery system in three rural districts covered

by as many ongoing IFAD projects for agricultural

development. A small amount was also provided to

cover the operating costs of Rwandan NGOs hired to run

the microcredit operations of the three IFAD-financed

projects. Details on the experiences of these four grants

given to Rwanda are provided elsewhere in this book.

Makeshift housing in

(north-western) Somalia.

©The Joint Programme



“I think that one of the most important things we did as Duterimbere

volunteers had nothing to do with credit. We urged group members

to pay attention to their appearance. Most of them couldn’t afford

good clothes but whatever they wore to attend weekly meetings had

to be clean; we urged them to wear a clean headscarf and not to come

barefoot. It was amazing to see how quickly they changed. After only

2-3 months, they had regained their dignity. Other women who had

come from the same refugee camps would exclaim: ‘What on earth

has happened to you? How could you have changed so much?’ Group

members would talk about Duterimbere and many of their friends

became members. Our first clients had become role models.”

Afsa Nukarugema, President, Duterimbere-Ruhengeri, 2000-2008, Rwanda

“It’s important to realize how bad things were when the project arrived

in 1997: we had ‘nothing’. People lived in deep misery and everything,

including the health facilities had been pillaged or destroyed. The

Belgian grant was the only project willing from the start to help us

rebuild the health services delivery system; all the others were still

providing only emergency relief.”

Jean-Baptiste Habimana, Director, Nemba Hospital, Rwanda

If the project had not helped our villages rebuild water

supplies, health care services, schools and transportation,

etc., we would probably have stayed where we were.

Comments from refugees having returned to Angola

“The relative importance of the project resides on the fact that, up to

now, it is the only attempt in the region that is working from a

perspective of structural rural development, instead of lending only

relief support services.”

Completion evaluation report, North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo

“A recent major destabilising factor was the arrival of over 700,000 refugees

from Rwanda during a four-day period in July 1994. They stayed in

seven over-crowded camps until November 1996, when most returned

abruptly to Rwanda following the onset of fighting in eastern Congo.

The incursion of so many refugees from mid-1994 to late-1996

accelerated the degradation process, mostly reflected in uncontrolled

tree clearing near the refugee camps, in severe clearance of areas

adjacent to the natural park and in uncontrolled production of charcoal

in the park. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

(UNHCR) had started trucking fuel wood from distant places in an

attempt to alleviate negative environmental impact. There had been a

dramatic decline of wildlife in the park.”

Final design report, Support for Women’s Groups in North Kivu

“When Duterimbere arrived in 1997, the situation was very difficult.

People who had fled to Congo had started returning in 1996 and they

were still coming back in large numbers. Those people had absolutely

nothing: no clothes, no goods, no food, no hope. Not a shred of dignity.

The women were especially pitiful, not to mention the plight of those

children. In addition to helping people like myself and Afsa develop our

businesses, Duterimbere gave us a chance to help reach those women.

Our work as volunteers was hard, but immensely rewarding.”

Rachel Nuyoboke, President, Duterimbere-Ruhengeri, 1996-1999, Rwanda


Settlement on the outskirts

of a town, (north-western) Somalia.

©The Joint Programme

“It is known that traditions can be influenced more easily in unstable

situations such as post-conflict areas, where men are no longer

contributing much to household food security and income and where

women are filling the gap. The project challenged some of the local

institutions but not on purpose.”

Completion evaluation report, North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo

“I’d never seen the consequences of decades of war, poverty and lack of

maintenance so clearly as I did in Angola. I remember vividly the heavily

damaged buildings, the broken bridges, the dilapidated houses and

offices, the poor roads. The project unit was under-staffed and it had given

priority to getting things done at the expense of administrative duties like

records-keeping and monitoring and evaluation. Although we didn’t have

any records, it was clear that they’d done a great job. More importantly,

the services they’d rehabilitated or put in place were being used.“

Ruud Ludemann, Consultant

“Our region (Boro) used to have a good education system. I started

school then, but all the schools were closed during the political-military

troubles. The project’s functional literacy programme has given me a

chance to go back to school. The lessons are attended mostly by women

but there are men, too. Nobody’s bothered by this anymore.”

Male literacy student, Sissi, North Guéra, Chad

“Although the project was originally designed to address serious

environmental degradation, that need was significantly reduced by

the massive departure of the Rwandan refugees in November 1997.

The emphasis on replanting of large areas was replaced by a focus on

promoting plantings by individuals (social forestry) but only on a

limited scale because the very poor do not own land on which to plant

trees. This is especially true of the women who head their households.“

Completion evaluation report, North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo

“Although not desirable, an unstable political and economic

environment may provide opportunities to challenge local

institutions, power relations and beliefs, norms and values

that represent women’s strategic gender interests. The project

decided explicitly not to focus on these strategic needs but

to focus on the immediate needs of women.”

Completion evaluation report, North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo

Screenshots from the video on the Support for

Women’s Groups Project in North Kivu, Democratic

Republic of Congo.



The Socio-health Programme in Rwanda

The Socio-Health Programme

in Rwanda, 1997-2002

In April-May 1994, over two million Rwandans fled their

homes to escape ethnic violence. The outbreak of civil unrest

and banditry in the North Kivu area provoked their return

en masse back to Rwanda. The returnees had little more than

the clothes on their backs; they were emaciated and cowed;

over 40 per cent of the children were severely malnourished.

They returned to a devastated country where both private

and especially public facilities had been damaged, pillaged

or destroyed. In 1998, the three IFAD-financed agricultural

development projects that had been suspended during the

events were restarted. Four grants were awarded through

the Joint Programme with a view to helping finance the

rehabilitation of health and other social services in the same

project areas. The three grants connected with the IFAD

projects were managed by the staff of those projects. The

grants were to be used to: a) rehabilitate/build and equip the

primary health care system in Nemba, Ngarama and Kigeme

districts; b) introduce a community-based approach to the

delivery of health and nutrition services; and c) finance

the operating costs of NGO partners engaged to run the

microfinance schemes of the three IFAD projects. The aim of a

fourth grant was to strengthen the ability of the central health

administration to improve the delivery of primary health care

services in compliance with the recommendations both of the

World Health Organization and United Nations Children’s

Fund (UNICEF).

Recording a child’s weight on the graph. Green is well

nourished, red is dangerously malnourished, Rwanda.

©IFAD/R. Grossman

A consultation at a child-weighing

clinic, Rwanda.

©IFAD/R. Grossman




“I was manager of the IFAD-financed Buberuka rural development

project that operated in north-western Rwanda, on the border with the

Democratic Republic of Congo. The project was suspended during the

events but we’d been back in business for a couple of years when the

grant for social and health services was added to our responsibilities. As

specialists in agriculture, we started off by signing everything placed in

front of us. We were lucky that our partners in the Ministry for Health

knew what had to be done and that they were as dedicated to the cause

of rebuilding our country as we were. I can think of only one time when

we felt something wasn’t quite right. The fuel costs for the ambulance

provided to Nemba Hospital were sky high. One vehicle wouldn’t have

been able to use up that much even if it ran 36 hours a day, every day

of the week. We discovered that the hospital’s accountant had only one

budget line for fuel and it referred to the ambulance. The fuel used

by the generator was being recorded in that line. We knew that the

generator was on for at least four hours every evening and it was easy to

identify the nights when emergency operations had happened. A quick

calculation confirmed that no fuel had been sold off or wasted. We all

had a good laugh and the accountant created a separate budget line for

generator running costs.”

Raphael Rurangwa, Director General for Planning, Ministry for

Agriculture and Livestock, Rwanda

“Our efforts to introduce a local health insurance scheme

were successful despite a slow start. When I left Ngarama

a few years after the project ended, we had managed to

register almost 60 per cent of the population.”

Dr. Bizimungu, Head Physician, Ngarama Hospital, 2001, Rwanda

“The project was the first to train local volunteers to do awarenessbuilding

on nutrition and health at village level. Many of the original

volunteers are still active today. They hold monthly weighing sessions for

children in the villages. If a child hasn’t gained weight for 2-3 months, its

mother should take it to the health centre for a check-up. The volunteers

talk to parents about the advantages of vaccinations, the principles of

good nutrition and hygiene, the importance of going to the health centre

before it’s too late, etc.”

Didace Nkubana, Nurse-radiologist, Ngarama Hospital, Byumba, Rwanda


A crowded but orderly waiting room

at Nemba hospital, Rwanda.

©The Joint Programme

“The cookery sessions are run by a health centre staff with the help

of volunteers who are identified by the groups for training as village

nutrition workers. At first, many of them were men and the early results

tell me that they did a good job. Today, we are training one man and one

woman per village. From the start, the mothers’ thirst for knowledge

was so strong that it was often hard to distinguish between the trained

volunteers and ordinary group members. The messages spread like

wildfire and malnutrition levels fell to ‘acceptable’ levels. The sessions

were immediately popular among the mothers. Child malnutrition was

rampant and they had heard – probably in the refugee camps – that the

cause was not some sort of ‘poisoning’. They wanted to learn how to

cure and prevent it. Mothers throughout the country are still meeting

every month to weigh their children, talk about nutrition and try out

new recipes. They have learned to use local ingredients to make enriched

weaning foods. I have seen some mothers eat those dishes themselves:

that pleased me because some of them were just as malnourished as

their children.”

Dassan Hategekimana, Director, Nutrition Department, Ministry

for Health, Rwanda

“We used to work in isolation, separately from each other: traditional

healers, health volunteers and health staff. The project was the first to

encourage us to work together as partners. The potions and creams of the

traditional healers and midwives really work for many minor ailments

and they have the expertise to realize when a case should be referred to

the health centre. They have saved many lives because the rural people

listen to them.”

Village health worker, Karambo health centre, Nemba, Rwanda

A well-attended child-weighing

session, Rwanda.

©IFAD/R. Grossman




A path shared

The first projects financed by IFAD loans focused on boosting the

production of staple foods, especially cereals like rice and maize. The

range of eligible actions was gradually expanded to include a broader

range of food crops (millet, sorghum, roots and tubers, vegetables and

fruits) as well as livestock, fishing and forestry, followed by attention to

cash crops (first, the traditional ones like coffee, tea, cocoa and cotton,

then new ones, like pineapples) and then to small-scale non-farming

cash-generating activities like processing, manufacturing, commerce

and services. This gradual expansion initiated a learning process that

culminated in IFAD’s current emphasis on promoting the development

of efficient backwards and forwards linkages between the producers,

their suppliers and their markets. This is called the “value chain

approach” in development literature.

The archival search for testimonials brought to light strong

circumstantial evidence that the Joint Programme may have played a

major role as “midwife” for many of IFAD’s core policies and strategies.

Sharing the goal of reaching particularly vulnerable categories,

especially women, the Joint Programme gave IFAD and recipient

governments the resources needed to develop and test innovative

approaches. This intriguing possibility is corroborated by the timing

and the multi-sectoral focus of the early projects.

When the Joint Programme was established in 1984, IFAD was only

six years old and its first projects had been approved scarcely four years

earlier. Although IFAD’s lending terms were extremely favourable (in

most cases a service charge of less than 1 per cent for 40 years with a

10 year grace period), recipient governments were reluctant to use the

loans for experimental purposes. The Joint Programme was IFAD’s

first major source of grant resources and the Government of Belgium

allowed part of that money to be used for the critically important

learning process that generated a broad range of innovations.

Four of the five projects approved for Joint Programme support

between 1985 and 1990 were financed entirely by the grants, adopting

a multi-sectoral approach that sought to address both the economic

and the social development needs of particularly poor regions. The

four projects also adopted a participatory approach with a view to

fostering bottom-up development. Active participation by ordinary

farmers, women as well as men, in decision-making fosters a sense of

local ownership and autonomy so strong as to generate a self-sustaining

process of development. The results of these pioneer projects were

sufficiently promising for IFAD and national governments to consider

using loan financing for follow-up projects. The emphasis laid by IFAD

on participatory approaches and capacity-building for individuals,

groups, villages and groups of villages became a core element of what

came to be called IFAD’s specificity.

The first four pilot multi-sector projects with a strong emphasis

on participation were in Kenya, Uganda and Somalia. In Kenya, the

Farmers’ Groups and Community Support Project gave rise to five

other projects, four of which were cofinanced by the Joint Programme

and IFAD. In Uganda, at least three projects built on the lessons

learnt by the Hoima District Integrated Community Development

Project, including the District Livelihoods Support Programme which

is financed entirely by an IFAD loan. In Somalia, worsening security

conditions made it impossible to continue working in the project areas

(Mahadday Weyne and Wanle Weyne). It should be no surprise that the

process of democratization through participation was at times slowed

by the all-too-human reluctance of those in power to share even a

small part of it. However, the partnership with Belgium through the

Joint Programme allowed IFAD to push increasingly hard in favour of

genuine participation by rural populations in the planning, execution

and management of their own development.

Young women showing millet

that they will pound, Niger.

©IFAD/D. Rose



“During the 1990s community development projects

funded by the Joint Programme in Hoima, Kibaale and

Masindi districts [in Uganda] marked the start of IFAD’s

involvement in multi-component rural development

projects in the western region, to which the District

Development Support Project was conceived as a

follow-up programme.”

Completion Evaluation, District Development Support Project, Uganda

“The Hoima District Integrated Community Development Project was

designed in 1989, scarcely three years after the end of the civil war.

It was [financed] by a grant from the Joint Programme (90 per cent),

with contributions from Government (4 per cent) and beneficiaries

(6 per cent, mostly in the form of labour and local building materials).

Its primary objective was to reduce the rates of morbidity and mortality

amongst the most disadvantaged sections of the community, namely

rural women and children, by improving their nutritional and health

status and by helping them increase their incomes from on and offfarm

sources. Participatory development was perceived as fundamental

to the achievement of these goals.”

Appraisal report, District Development Support Project, 1990, Uganda

“The basic goals of the District Development Support Project were

inherited from the integrated community development projects of

Hoima and Masindi: the raising of incomes and the improvement

of health in districts with large numbers of chronically poor, very

few income-earning opportunities and infrastructure and services

destroyed by long periods of mis-government and civil disorder in the

1970s and 1980s.”

Completion Report, District Development Support Project,

Hoima/Kibaale, Uganda

“The Joint Programme grant introduced a more multi-sectoral approach, in

which greater prominence was given, firstly to primary health care, water

and sanitation and, secondly, to labour and time-saving technologies,

all of which are very significant for women. These interventions were not

intended to distract from the agricultural developments, but rather to

reinforce a more holistic approach which was particularly suited to the

combination of grant and loan funding available.”

Completion evaluation, Phase 2, Farmers Group and Community

Support Project, Kenya

“Although the design calls for full beneficiary participation which is

to be realized by use of the national strategy for the decentralization

of implementation, the channeling of funds does not allow for

participation in the identification or prioritization of development

activities. Instead the beneficiaries are being provided with a predetermined

package of support, and [their] participation is defined

as contributions of labour or cash only. In addition, the staff of the

implementing agencies are not being provided with the sort of training

which would allow them to undertake participatory planning.”

Completion evaluation, Dry Area Smallholder and Community Services

Development Project, Nyeri, Kenya

“The [Southern Nyanza Community Development] Project benefits

from valuable experience gained from the projects funded by IFAD and

the Joint Programme in the region. In Kenya, the projects include the

Farmers’ Groups and Community Support Project (1991-99), Nyeri

Dry Area Smallholders and Community Services Development Project

(1991-99) and the ongoing Central Kenya Area Smallholder and

Community Services Development Project (2000-2011).”

Formulation report, Southern Nyanza Community Development Project, Kenya


Two women, Ethiopia.

©The Joint Programme

“The over-riding lesson, however, was that the

successes appeared in interventions where the

beneficiaries had been able to express their

priorities and had been actively involved in

the development, for example, of community

health care and domestic water supplies.”

Completion evaluation, Phase 2, Farmers’ Group and community

Support Project, Kenya

Odds and ends

Herders watering their cattle

in the United Republic of Tanzania.

©The Joint Programme



The Joint Programme provided grant funds for a number of initiatives

that were not explicitly contemplated by its mandate but that were

recognized as important.


One grant allowed IFAD to initiate prompt response following the

detection, in Libya, of the New World Screwworm, whose larvae feed

on the flesh and brains of warm-blooded creatures including humans,

birds and animals. This pest was immediately recognized as a serious

threat to the fauna, livestock and humans throughout sub-Saharan

Africa, where veterinary and health services were weak or non-existent,

and also throughout the Mediterranean and the Middle East. It had

been eradicated in the United States and Mexico using a “sterile insect

technique“ combined with intensive surveillance, animal treatment and

animal movement control. Libya was, however, under an embargo that

would normally have banned access to the technology. Aware of the

risk that the pest could take advantage of cross-Saharan trading routes

to spread southwards, IFAD petitioned the United States Congress

to allow laboratories in the United States to produce sterilized males

for shipment to Libya. A grant for almost €790,000 from the Joint

Programme got things started immediately and other donors came on

board. The first shipments of sterilized male flies were made late in 1990,

scarcely a year after the flies were first detected. By end-1991, infestation

rates had dropped to safe levels. According to a manual published by the

World Organization for Animal Health in 2008, attempts to eradicate the

pest had been successful.

The first shipments of sterilized male

flies of the New World Screwworm to

Libya were made late in 1990, scarcely

a year after the flies were first detected.

By end-1991, infestation rates had

dropped to safe levels.


Mother and child with a goat, (north-western) Somalia.

Their lives would have been at risk had the New World

Screwworm not been eradicated in Libya in 1989-91.

©The Joint Programme

The first Summit on the

Economic Advancement

of Rural Women, held in

February 1992 under the

high patronage of Queen

Fabiola of Belgium, was

attended by 64 wives of

heads of state/government

as well as representatives

from 47 other countries, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, ten

heads of United Nations agencies and representatives from twelve others.

“Dear Sisters of the world,[…] I would first of all like to address you in

the name of the International Steering Committee for the Economic

Advancement of Rural Women. A Declaration on the hardships and

needs of these women was adopted at the 1992 Geneva Summit by the

wives of heads of state and government. It was subsequently endorsed by

the Economic and Social Council and by the General Assembly of

the United Nations. Our Steering Committee follows its implementation.

On its behalf I make an urgent appeal to this Conference, requesting

that priority be given to the rural women, especially to those in

poorer countries.”

Address by Her Majesty Queen Fabiola at the Fourth World Conference on

Women, Beijing, September 1995


The Joint Programme provided three grants for a total of €845,600

to organize the first Summit on the Economic Advancement of Rural

Women. Two grants were used to finance background studies and

four preparatory regional workshops in 1991 as well as the Summit

itself. The third grant helped finance the establishment of a Steering

Committee. The first Summit took place in Geneva (Switzerland) on

25-26 February 1992, under the high patronage of Queen Fabiola of

Belgium. It was attended by 64 wives of heads of state/government

as well as representatives of the heads of state/government from

47 other countries, the Secretary-General of the United Nations,

ten heads of United Nations agencies and representatives of twelve

others. World reaction was very positive to the Geneva Declaration

(http://habitat.igc.org/open-gates/gdrw.htmw) and mechanisms were

created to promote national, regional and international initiatives for

the economic advancement of rural women.


The grant for emergency assistance for desert locust control in Sudan

provided almost €250,000 to help finance the campaign led by the

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Although

Sudan was not a partner country of the Joint Programme, the grant

was justified by the need to prevent – if possible – the spread of

swarming locusts to Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya, all of which were

partner countries.


The Joint Programme also provided €388,000 to help finance

the Conference on Hunger and Poverty held in Brussels in 1995.

Response was so strong that the fire department had to be called in to

verify the stability of the meeting hall. Their verdict was that no more

than 1,000 persons could be present in the hall at any given time.


In 1997, the Joint Programme funded the publication of a pocket-sized

manual on the Comprehensive Participatory Planning and Evaluation

methodology that had been developed by consultants from the

Child Health and Nutrition Unit of the Institute of Tropical Medicine

(Antwerp, Belgium). The manual is available on the DVD.

1985 King Baudouin and Queen Fabiola

during a visit to the Democratic Republic of

the Congo (formerly Zaire).





Girls carrying water in traditional

and modern containers, Niger.

©IFAD/D. Rose

Overview of the mainstream portfolio

(by country)

Country Grant name Acronym







Grant amount net

of cancellation

in Euro


Northern Region Foodcrops Development Project PRODECA BG 024

Northern Fishing Communities Development Programme



BG SUP 008


02.01.1997 30.06.2007 2,136,485

22.05.2006 30.06.2007 344,873

15.02.1999 30.06.2005 888,454

Burkina Faso South West Rural Development Project PDRSO BG 025 12.01.1998 30.06.2007 1,974,412

Burundi Transitional Programme of Post-Conflict Reconstruction TPPCR BG045 15.12.2005 30.06.2014 4,483,000

Chad Ouadis of Kanem Agricultural Development Project PDAOK BG 027 04.12.1997 31.12.2003 2,094,700

Food Security Project in the Northern Guéra Region Phase II PSANG II BG 031 12.12.2001 30.06.2010 2,431,246

Democratic Republic Support for Women’s Groups in North Kivu - - - BG SUP009 06.07.1999 30.06.2003 4,734,765

of Congo Agricultural Revival Programme in Equateur Province PRAPE BG 039 11.10.2005 30.06.2013 5,400,000

Agricultural Revival Programme in Oriental Province PRAPO BG 041 14.11.2007 01.08.2012 1,460,000

Eritrea Eastern Lowlands Wadi Development Project ELWDP BG 013 01.03.1995 30.06.2006 2,502,675

Eastern Lowlands Wadi Development Project (UNICEF) ELWDP BG 014 17.04.1995 30.06.2001 968,237

Gash Barka Livestock & Agricultural Development Project GBLADP BG 037 24.02.2003 30.09.2010 3,962,000

Ethiopia Rehabilitation Programme for Drought-Affected Areas - - - BG 002 04.04.1985 30.06.1994 7,843,750

Southern Region Cooperatives Development & Credit Project SOCODEP BG 029 27.04.1999 31.12.2005 2,725,000

Kenya Farmers’ Group and Community Support Project FGCSP BG 001 04.01.1985 14.01.1992 2,479,377

Farmers’ Group and Community Support Project FGCSP BG 007 18.10.1991 31.12.1999 4,822,229

Dry Area Smallholder and Community Services Development Project Nyeri BG 006 18.10.1991 30.06.2002 2,722,607

Kwale-Kilifi District Development Project KWFT I BG SUP 002 07.09.1993 30.06.1997 168,818

Support Programme for Kenya Women’s Finance Trust KWFT II BG SUP 006 26.05.1997 30.09.2002 578,501

Support Programme for Kenya Women’s Finance Trust KWFT III BG SUP 011 02.04.2004 31.12.2009 1,290,000

KWFT Development Programme 2010-2012 KWFTIV BG SUP 047 21.04.2011 20.01.2014 300,000

Central Kenya Dry Area Smallholder & Community Services CKDAP BG 033 01.07.2001 30.06.2011 4,586,030

Mali Zone Lacustre Development Project Phase II PDZL II BG 023 12.06.1997 30.06.2006 1,982,135

Northern Regions Investment and Rural Development Project PIDRN BG 040 10.04.2006 31.12.2013 4,930,000

Kidal Integrated Rural Development Programme PIDRK BG SUP 044 20.07.2007 31.03.2015 2,700,000

Mozambique Sofala Bank Artisanal Fisheries Project PPABAS BG 036 02.09.2002 30.09.2011 3,718,403

Coastal HIV/AIDS Prevention and Nutrition Improvement Project CHAPANI BG 048 01.05.2012 31.10.2015 500,000

Namibia Northern Regions Livestock Development Project NOLIDEP BG SUP 005 24.02.1995 30.09.2004 1,588,998

Niger Aguié Local Initiative Promotion Project PPILDA BG 038 05.05.2005 31.12.2013 3,775,000

2 ème Programme d’urgence pour l’atténuation de la crise

alimentaire dans la région de Maradi

PPILDA BG 038A 10.12.2010 30.09.2012 310,000

Initiative for Agrarian and Rural Rehabiliation and Development IRDAR BG 043 29.06.2007 13.12.2010 466,486


Country Grant name Acronym







Grant amount net

of cancellation

in Euro

Rwanda Central Services for Socio-Sanitation Programme PSS BG 019 05.08.1996 30.06.2002 753,596

Management Project for Rural Areas Buberkuka PSS BG 020 06.09.1996 30.06.2002 364,404

Rural Development of Byumba Phase II PSS BG 021 05.08.1996 31.12.2001 651,960

Rural Development Project of Gikongoro PSS BG 022 05.08.1996 30.06.2001 1,083,295

Relief goods via UNHCR - - - BG SUP 004 28.07.1994 31.03.1995 4,016,371

Somalia Mahadday Weyne Integrated Development Project Phase 1 - - - BG 003 16.05.1985 30.09.1990 2,478,935

Wanle Weyne Integrated Development Project - - - BG 004 28.12.1987 31.12.1992 4,586,030

Beyond Relief Programme grant to WHO BRP BG 016 20.12.1995 30.12.1998 111,400

Beyond Relief Programme BRP BG 008 15.12.1993 30.06.2001 3,569,667

North Western Integrated Community Development Programme NWICDP BG SUP 035 03.02.2003 30.06.2009 5,333,730

North Western Integrated Community Development Programme

(management services agreement)

NWICDP BG SUP 035A 01.04.2001 30.06.2009 320,024

North Western Integrated Community Development Programme

(management services agreement) Phase II

NWICDP II BG SUP 046 17.03.2014 31.12.2015 4,000,000

Top-Up for North Western Integrated Community Development

Programme (management services agreement) Phase II



BG SUP 046A 22.12.2014 31.12.2015 750,000

United Republic

BG 010 13.09.1994 31.12.1995 1,189,703

of Tanzania

Rehabilitation of Refugee Affected Areas in Kagera Region - - -

BG 018 01.03.1996 31.03.1997 892,417

Water Supply and Health Project in Marginal Areas Dodoma BG 011 15.03.1995 31.12.2002 7,201,148

Mara Region Farmers Initiative Project Mara BG 017 25.06.1996 30.06.2003 1,510,944

Kagera Agricultural and Environmental Management Project KAEMP BG 026 10.09.1997 31.12.2004 1,938,887

Kagera Agricultural and Environmental Management Project Prof. Tollens BG 028 13.07.1998 31.07.1999 139,886

ASDP-Livestock Support ASDP-L BG 042 30.01.2007 30.09.2015 3,970,000

Uganda Hoima District Integrated Community Development Project Hoima BG 005 11.10.1991 31.12.1998 8,180,486

UWESO Development Project Phase I UWESO I BG 009 06.02.1995 30.06.1999 1,239,468

UWESO Development Project UWESO BG SUP 003 23.06.1994 31.12.1994 19,869

UWESO Development Project UWESO BG SUP 010 12.11.1999 31.12.2000 73,376

UWESO Development Project Phase II UWESO II BG 032 31.08.2000 30.09.2006 3,048,750

UWESO Development Project UWESO BG SUP 012 17.11.2005 30.09.2006 400,000

Masindi District Integrated Community Development Project Masindi BG 015 28.03.1996 30.06.2000 3,718,403

District Development Support Programme (Hoima and Kibaale) Hoima II BG 030 19.07.2000 31.12.2006 3,450,541

District Development Support Programme DDSP BG 034 19.06.2001 31.12.2006 1,644,616

Niger & Uganda Collaborative Action on Land Issues in Uganda and in Niger (CALI) - - - BG SUP 013 27.01.2006 26.07.2009 425,000

Niger follow up Collaborative Action on Land Issues Niger follow-up (CALI) - - - BG SUP 014 06.04.2009 04.10.2011 70,000

United Republic

of Tanzania

Collaborative Action on Land Issues in Tanzania (CALI) BG SUP 015 26.01.2010 30.09.2013 505,000



A quick guide to development


Every discipline has its own language where the meaning of certain words

is nuanced slightly from how those words are defined in a dictionary.

These are shortcuts that facilitate immediate understanding by the

practitioners. Although such words are avoided in this book, a glossary of

the main terms may be useful for readers who want to learn more.

Empowerment: means helping people develop their own skills to do

things themselves, both individually and collectively, from start to finish.

Individual empowerment (“I am boss!”) can be both economic (income,

quality of life) and social (ability to influence decision-making).

Collective empowerment (“We are boss!”) refers to the ability of a

community (group or association; village, district, region or country) to

run its own affairs in a manner that benefits the majority of its members,

including those who are vulnerable: attainment of collective empowerment

is often referred to as good governance.

Ownership: means that the people who have access to an asset (a well, a

school, a health centre, a grain-storage shed, an irrigation scheme, etc.) feel

that it belongs to them. Ownership may not be strong for things brought

in by outsiders (a project, a charity or a benefactor). A credible indicator

of ownership is whether or not the people who use it are willing and able

to run, maintain and repair it themselves. A strong sense of ownership

increases the odds that a project-supported asset will still be functional

many years after the end of a project.

Targeting refers to the goal of reaching particular categories within a given

universe. The target group of the projects financed by the Joint Programme

and IFAD is represented by the most vulnerable categories within the

local community. A special emphasis is placed on women and youth.

(For details, see the IFAD policy paper on targeting on www.IFAD.org).

Gender: In “development-speak”, the word gender refers to culturallydetermined

differences between men and women in terms of access to

productive resources and to participation in decision-making. Gender is

a social construct that is not as strongly connected with biological

differences. Often the roles of women and men vary widely within the

same geographical area.

Youth: Development practitioners tend to use the term to refer to young

people of both sexes aged up to 25 years. This understanding may not

coincide with the local definitions: In traditional societies, maturity is not

necessarily a matter of age. Young men in particular may be considered

“youths” so long as they are subordinate to their father or an elder

brother. In some societies, men with several grandchildren, even greatgrandchildren,

may be referred to as “youths” in the local society.

Household: This word is often used interchangeably with “family”.

Confusion arises whenever the society referred to is a polygamous one

and/or based on the extended family (comprising several sons, their

wives and their children operating under the authority of the oldest male).

In some societies, extended families are easy to identify because they

live in a walled-in space with a single entry. In others, the determining

factor may be the local production system (people who work together to

produce food or income); in yet others, the determining factor may be

the consumption system (e.g. the “cooking pot” in Africa) which may or

may not involve all the co-wives.

Food security means having enough to eat either by growing it oneself

or by having money to buy it. This term focuses on quantity. Nutrition

security focuses on the quality of the food that is eaten and on how to

protect that quality. The benefits of food and nutrition security are often

compromised by polluted water and unsafe practices for handling both

water and food. A single bout of cholera can kill a well-nourished child

within hours if left untreated. Intestinal parasites can compromise the

nutrition status of the best-fed child.


A Kenyan lady gathering leaves

before going home.

©IFAD/R. Chalasani

Sustainable development: means lasting development which in turn

means the capability and willingness to go ahead without further

assistance. A credible indicator of sustainability is whether or not an asset

(pump, storage facility, irrigation scheme) is still functional ten years after

it was installed or built.

Participatory rural appraisal is a powerful set of communications tools

that allow people – including illiterates – to structure their analyses and

present their conclusions to outsiders.

The Comprehensive Participatory Planning and Evaluation (CPPE)

procedure envisages three modules: a) The “hippopoc” table to facilitate

logical analysis of completed, ongoing or planned development actions in

terms of resources (inputs), activities (processes), first-level results (outputs)

and long-term impact (outcomes); b) the “causal model” to identify and

analyze the causes of poverty and deprivation; and c) the “dynamic model”

to identify remedial actions and opportunities for synergy-building. The

booklet is available on the attached DVD.

The sustainable livelihoods approach is a useful tool for analyzing the

situation before, during and after a project. It operates on the understanding

that people need a good combination of five sorts of “capital” or “assets” in

order to be able to attain and sustain an acceptable standard of living.

Institutional analysis takes account of three types of “agency” with clearly

defined roles and responsibilities that should be kept separate. Any evidence

of overlapping roles and responsibilities should be investigated with a view

to determining the risk of abuse or conflict of interest.


User agency: This category comprises the people who use the goods and

services provided by delivery agencies and whose lives and opportunities

are supported and regulated by enabling agencies.


Delivery agency: This category refers to the providers of goods and

services to users.


Enabling agency: This category refers to the entities in charge of

policymaking, the enacting of rules and regulations and their enforcement.



The core Editorial Team:

Norman Messer and Sylvie Trochon

Archival research and field work in Mali

and Rwanda by Bernadette Trottier

Contributors: Cristina Fumo, Thomas Gilles,

Steven Jonckheere, Sarah Morgan,

Sara Lisa Orstavik, Alessandra Pani,

Alessia Squarcella, Harriet Russell,

Rose Thompson-Coon and Joseph Tamburello

Editor/proofreader: Jill Baskins

Graphic design by Andrea Wöhr

A special thanks goes to the people who made

the field trips successful:

Chad: Annabelle Lhommeau, Country

Programme Manager for Chad, who made

the field trip possible; Naoura Deli, Project

Coordinator of the Projet de Sécurité

Alimentaire du Nord Guéra, and his staff, as

well as Toyoum Ngénaye, consultant, who

accompanied the mission. Last but not least,

thanks are due to the men and women of the

villages of Kofilo, Mormo, Kolvo Bet, Dokachi,

Djoukoukily and Gamé.

Mali: Leopold Sarr, Country Programme

Manager for Mali; Mamadou Nadio, Liaison

Officer for IFAD projects within the Ministry for

Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of Mali as

well as the staff of PIDRN, many of whom had

also worked under PDZL, and the Governor of

Timbuktu Region for logistic support during the

field trip.

Rwanda: Claus Reiner, Country Programme

Manager for Rwanda, who made the field trip

possible; Janvier Gasasira, Coordinator

of the Support Project to the Strategic Plan

for Agricultural Transformation, for seconding

Eliane Kayetesi to the mission. Her fine

investigative skills made it possible to find and

interview over 30 persons who had worked with

a project that had ended ten years previously,

including Dassan Hategekimana, Director of the

Nutrition Department of the Ministry of Health,

the staff and volunteers of health facilities

at Nemba, Karambo, Byumba and Ngarama

in Rwanda, as well as the management, staff

and volunteers of Duterimbere, the nongovernmental

organization that had managed

the credit line put in place at Nemba under the

Projet de Gestion de la Region de Buberuka.

Contents of the DVD

A path shared for 27 years – electronic version


Protecting the natural resource base: the JP

reinforces its environmental engagement


Capitalisation Genre au Niger: Projet

pilote de sécurisation foncière à l’échelle

d’un village

Fiche sur l’autonomisation des femmes:

le programme conjoint FIDA/FBSA renforce

son impact en matière d’égalité entre les sexes

Fact Sheet on empowering women:

the JP reinforces its gender impact

Improving gender impact: a BFFS/JP

assessment in Kenya, Mozambique and Niger


Burundi: Transitional programme of postconflict

reconstruction in Burundi (PTRPC);

Better land access for women

Niger: Strengthening women’s access to land

in Niger, Fact Sheet

United Republic of Tanzania: Strengthening

women’s access to land in Tanzania;

Strengthening women’s access to land: the

Tanzania experience of the sustainable

rangeland management project

Copies of historical documents

The Survival Fund. A proposal for action, 1983

1999 Law creating the Belgian Survival Fund

2010 Law creating the Belgian Fund

for Food Security

2011 Law modifiying the 2010 Law

King Baudouin’s speech before IFAD’s

Governing Council in 1983

Statistical tables (numerical order)

Belgian Survival Fund Joint Programme

Portfolio – Types of activities

Belgian Survival Fund Joint Programme

Portfolio – Amounts allocated per category

of expenditures

Manuals and Brochures

IFAD/BSF.JP: More than 25 years of experience

CPPE booklet

Added value and synergies between

socio-economic and productive sectors

Manual for bottom-up approach

in food security interventions – analysis

of target groups

Harvesting IFAD-BSF synergies

Intersector Strategy

Learning by doing


Niafunke (PDZL in Mali)

Eritrea Gash Barka project

Mozambique PPABAS project

Inside “ABC Africa”, (film made by Abbas

Kiarostami around the Uganda UWESO

project) – interviews with IFAD staff

behind the scenes

Belgian Fund for Food Security

Via Paolo di Dono, 44

00142 Rome, Italy


International Fund for

Agricultural Development

Via Paolo di Dono, 44

Enabling 00142 Rome, poor Italy rural people to overcome poverty

Tel: 0654591

E-mail: ifad@ifad.org


May 2013

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