With a new, data-driven focus on women's access to and control of land, markets and other resources, WfWI's 2009 Commitment will expand these critical investments to another 103,000 women over the next three years in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Kosovo, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Sudan. WfWI will provide these women with a year-long program of direct aid, rights education, vocational skills training, and links to employment/self-employment opportunities through women's centers.
In addition, WfWI will develop innovative public-private partnerships to link women, traditionally kept in micro-enterprises, to job opportunities linked to local industries and national economic strategies. WfWI will replicate successes like those in Rwanda, where WfWI has leased land from the government for 45 years and negotiated contracts on behalf of cooperatives with pineapple and chili pepper exporters, hotels and other in-country produce wholesalers.
WfWI's monitoring and evaluation system will measure women's progress against the four key WfWI outcomes: women are healthy, have social networks and safety nets, act as decision-makers, and earn incomes. Intake and exit forms will be used to measure individual progress, and focus groups will help determine the overall effectiveness of the programs, allowing for changes as needed.
By giving women control of the land and guaranteeing buyers, WfWI will teach them to use their new awareness of their rights and skills to meet market demands--thereby shifting their income from petty cash to dependable, steady incomes. With their access to education, combined with control over resources, women are shifting their political role within the family and the country.
Women for Women International's Theory of Change is that access to knowledge and voice, plus access to and control of economic resources leads to lasting change for women. Over the last 16 years, WfWI has transformed the lives of more than 200,000 socially excluded women survivors of war, benefitting more than 1 million family and community members in the process.
Women for Women International's programs seek to deliver four outcomes to ensure that women achieve lasting change and participate in the development of their national economy: women are healthy, have social networks and safety nets, act as decision-makers, and earn incomes. WfWI's rights education program equips women with the knowledge and skills required to access the opportunities available to them, such as acquiring control over land and making informed decisions about planting, production, livestock and water that contribute to macro-economic strategies in their respective countries. WfWI's holistic program incorporates sessions on health, education, legal rights, basic finances, and literacy.
Through Women for Women International's vocational skills programs, women have access to market-based skills training, job placement services and business startup resources. In urban areas, women are linked with employers or participate in non-agricultural activities, such as tile-making and tailoring, that provide links to local and national markets. WfWI's rural flagship Commercial Integrated Farming Initiative (CIFI) equips women with training in organic farming techniques, links them to markets, and gives them access to and control of land. Women produce 60 to 80 percent of the food in most developing countries, but own less than 2 percent of titled land. CIFI not only gives women the training they need to participate in the economy, but also gives them control of the assets--land--that makes their participation successful.
Public-private partnerships with NGOs are critical to women's ability to move beyond micro-enterprise development to participate in their national economy. With the progress of Women for Women International's programs, governments have recognized the importance of women in meeting their national economic goals, and have been engaged in donations of land and technical assistance for women entrepreneurs. In Rwanda, Women for Women International has received nearly million in land and technical assitance from the government, and support from private foundations and key corporate partnerships have elevated women to participants in the national economy. In Sudan, 80 percent of CIFI participants are on track to earn double the individual GDP for their country after only 6 months, and can now negotiate control of land.