Towards socio-economic wellbeing and women empowerment in Upper Egypt (Hayat Kareema)
The proposed Action responds to the objective to empower civil society to deliver sustainable, inclusive and effective socioeconomic interventions in Assiut and Beni Suef Governorates of Upper Egypt, two of the most deprived regions of the country. Egypt ranks 108th out of 188 countries in the UN Human Development Index (HDI) for 2014, which puts it slightly above the average for Arab states at 0.686. However, these figures do not reflect inequality in the distribution of human development across the population. Taking this into account, Egypt’s inequality-adjusted HDI falls to 0.524. While HDI figures disaggregated on the sub-national level for Egypt are not available after 2010, it is safe to assume that inequality in human development disproportionately affects rural areas such as Upper Egypt. The rural population overall is less prosperous in material terms and has less access to public services, including health and education but also water and sanitation. Economic production in rural areas of Egypt is largely concentrated on the agricultural sector and struggling with low levels of productivity and returns on investment. This pattern holds true also for the two Governorates targeted by the Action. Indeed, in 2010, UNDP estimated that the incidence of poverty was 61% in Assiut, and 41.5% in Beni Suef (as compared to a national average of 21.6% and an average for Upper Egypt of 36.9%, UNDP Report 2010).
The Action’s main purpose is to establish a grant scheme to finance the implementation of micro-projects through effective partnerships between grassroots CSOs, local authorities and the private sector. Specifically, the grant mechanism will focus on support to CSOs (as registered under law 84/2002) and agricultural cooperatives (as registered under law 122/1980). Both types of organizations have significant potential, especially when leveraging partnerships with public institutions and businesses, to deliver services, enhance productivity, enable market access and improve the socioeconomic situation of their constituents. However, presently their capacities are weak and in need of an intervention that provides them with additional funding, builds up administrative and technical skills, and improves the coherence of their activities with the needs of the target populations. These three priority areas are covered by the three components of the proposed Action.
Expected Results and Activities
ER 1. Implement a grant scheme that will select a number of micro-projects implemented by grassroots civil society organizations (CSOs) to achieve socioeconomic improvements in rural and marginalized communities through community development initiatives in Beni Suef and Assiut Governorates.
– Supporting 60 smallholder farmers and agricultural cooperatives to develop more environmentally sustainable, cost-effective and higher value-added agricultural practices and achieve higher output and employment levels; and
– Supporting 60 CSOs that promote women’s access to economic participation and income-generating activities.
ER 2. Increase the capacities of grant recipients to become organizationally sustainable and to more effectively and efficiently use financial resources for the benefit of their members (particularly in the case of agricultural cooperatives), their target groups and beneficiaries, as well as their local communities in general.
ER 3. Ten grants will be provided for micro-projects to provide community-based monitoring of initiatives funded through the grant scheme and to thus allow the introduction of a social accountability mechanism at the local level.
27.04.2016 – 31.12.2019
Austrian Development Agency (with funding from the Austrian Development Cooperation)
The Action’s overall objective is to improve the socioeconomic well-being in the target communities in Beni Suef and Assiut.
1) Civil society organizations (CSOs) are empowered to implement 130 community-based socioeconomic micro-projects with specific focus on women's empowerment.
2) CSOs have better generic and technical capabilities to implement socioeconomic projects and to advocate for socioeconomic improvements.
3) Social accountability mechanisms are functional and ensure effective participation of youth groups and CSOs in local development processes.
This project contributes to the following sustainable development goals (SDGs):