Academic journal article Ahfad Journal

Targeting the Poor for Social Protection: A Study of Female Headed Households, in West Darfur, Genina Locality

Academic journal article Ahfad Journal

Targeting the Poor for Social Protection: A Study of Female Headed Households, in West Darfur, Genina Locality

Article excerpt

Introduction

Social protection has emerged as an important policy and program area that aims to protect people from poverty and to prevent them from falling deeper into poverty, while at the same time supporting them to promote their livelihoods and contribute to their social and economic transformation (Barrientos and Hulme 2005). A clear definition of the target groups, detailing their resources, livelihood activities, priorities, constraints and opportunities, lies at the heart of poverty-focused targeting (Edstrom 2007). The principal target groups usually comprise poor rural women and men who have the potential to take advantage of improved access to assets and opportunities for agricultural production and rural income-generating activities.

Frequently the rural poor are socially excluded, isolated and marginalized groups on whom those responsible for the development of modern institutions and services have all too often turned their backs. Their lives are characterized by vulnerability and insecurity, which make it difficult for them to take risks that could lead them out of poverty (A Social Policy Framework for Africa)

Understanding poverty processes and livelihood systems - and their gender dimensions - is the foundation for effective targeting. The analysis should capture the diversity of the livelihood systems of poor people, and the causal factors and processes through which people move in and out of poverty. The analysis is more significant when it listens to poor people themselves and incorporates their perceptions of poverty and vulnerability (Edstrom 2007; Ellis, et al. 2009). This study aims to identify most vulnerable households headed by women who were not adequately targeted by the development interventions.

The study is set to explore the most vulnerable households headed by females in villages of west Darfur, investigate the strategies adopted by the extremely poor households to survive, document the mechanisms of social capital utilized by the extremely poor that contributed to their resilience, document existing community based social protection schemes and analyze the causes of poverty and its effect on food security and child nutrition.

Methods and design

The study is gender sensitive and participatory utilized qualitative and quantitative techniques. The villages were purposively selected with the consultation of local leaders. In each village female headed household were traced by the used of wealth ranking method. Members of FGD and key informant interview were also selected by the help of the local leaders. The study targeted five villages in West Darfur State namely: (Bnagadid, Sis, Morni, Gandarni and Romala). The villages were purposively selected with the consultation of the program officers and local leaders. In each village members of FGD and key informant interview were also selected by the help of the local leaders.

Results and discussion

Situation analysis of Poor household headed by Females

The extremely poor households headed by Females identified by the wealth ranking were deeply examined through individual in-depth interviews with the head of the household. The following were the main

Findings of the in-depth interviews:

Socio demographic information

Among the interviewed household headed by female 40% of them were widows, 34% divorced and 26% were currently married although their husbands migrated. They had big family size, 48% had more than 8 persons 50% had 2-4 children less than 5 years old (See fig. 1).

Strategies adopted by extremely poor households headed by females to survive

The households adopted very limited strategies to survive due to lack of assets that limited their opportunities for work. 46% of households reported that they had no assets. Only 26% had a donkey and 4% owned small land. (See Figures 2 and 3). The major sources of livelihood of interviewed female headed households were selling wood and charcoal as well as agricultural labors. …

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