The Overall Objective of the HAYAT project is to improve the local economic development of vulnerable households, youth, women and children in El-Minya Governorate (Edwa and Maghagha districts) through inclusive, pro-poor socio-economic development.
Specific Objective 1: To strengthen the economic security in target communities through creation of more and better employment opportunities and increased employability of the local labor force.
Output 1.1: A Local Economic Development Forum is established as a community mechanism to identify and prioritize community needs and opportunities, formulate a sustainable development strategy through a local economic development approach and monitor its implementation.
From a local economic development standpoint, the LD Forum is a key empowerment measure to enhance community engagement and participation in local development. Design and selection of projects will be based on a multi-dimensional local economic development analysis to identify and address the local economic development challenges faced by communities.
The project will adopt a capacity development approach whereby the forum will be trained on the local economic development principles, approach and strategies immediately after its constitution. The forum will be composed of local stakeholders, including community leaders, representatives from disadvantaged segments of the community, representatives of local NGOs, youth and women. Its establishment and mandate will be coordinated with local executives and elected representatives at the village, district and governorate levels.
The main aim of this output is to establish participatory processes to collectively identify the needs and vulnerabilities as well as the capacities available within target communities, map local economic development threats and their linkages. Through this participatory approach, public and private stakeholders as well as local NGOs will develop the strategic priorities and action plans to achieve local economic development in target communities as well as contributing to and monitoring the implementation of the action plans
Output 1.2: A Local Economic Development Fund (LDF) is established to enable target communities to implement development plans in different domains of local economic development.
In line with requests of the national authorities, the LDF has been designed to “give life” to plans conceived under the LD Forum. The budget for the LDF consists of the following budget items and has been consequently allocated to the respective budget lines:
- Contractual services (for technical assistance to the beneficiaries of the HS promoted initiatives);
- Acquisitions (for small equipment and small community infrastructure);
- Fellowship and grants (for training activities and study tours directed to beneficiaries).
The LDF will not be used as a credit facility. To ensure national ownership, UN agencies have planned the use the LDF in close cooperation with the Ministry of Local Development, so that it is aligned with the development plans of the district and governorate, and it operates according to national systems. Examples of initiatives that can be funded under the LDF include:
- Technical assistance to group of producers, for example on technology upgrading or manufacturing practices. This could take the form of study tours, tailored courses or business coaching.
- Skills building for disadvantaged community members, for example vocational training or training courses.
- Small infrastructure projects, such as construction of local market stands.
Selection of activities to be funded will be decided by the community through the LD Forum, based on a local economic development assessment. Allocation criteria will be developed together with the LD Forum. Most of the goods and services procured under the LDF will be either public goods or of non-transferrable nature (such as training courses). The assets and equipment procured under the fund will remain property of the UN agency executing the project component till they are transferred to the final beneficiaries according to the legal provisions of the respective agency.
Under this output, communities will also be linked to providers of financial services such as the Social Fund for Development (SFD) for realization of additional small projects whose timelines would exceed project duration. Additional sources of funding will be identified during project implementation to increase LDF outreach and sustainability in consultation with the Ministry of Local Development and the private sector.
Output 1.3: An Information, Counseling and Referral Services (ICRS) Center is established at the community level, to assess individual and community-level needs, and refer beneficiaries to both existing services and newly tailored interventions.
This component addresses economic insecurity, and represents a measure of protection since it contributes to building the capacity of both target communities and the local authorities in dealing with unemployment. Through establishment of the ICRS center, participating agencies will screen, register, and provide one-to-one counseling to determine the assistance option(s) best-suited to each individual’s qualifications, skills and interests. Beneficiaries will be accordingly referred to the appropriate entity, whether it is an NGO, a government office, or a program implemented by a development partner. Alternatively, these entities can also refer individuals to the ICRS center when their needs extend beyond their own programs, and require tailored interventions.
With its physical presence in the field, the ICRS will represent the focal point for the community to interact with the project, hence it will be best positioned to identify gaps in services/assistance available to target communities, and their findings will be critical to inform the other components of the project. This approach has been tested in various countries and has proven to be successful and cost effective. To promote sustainability, the ICRS center will be instituted within a local Government entity and will be based on a private-public partnership arrangement. To this end, discussions are ongoing with the Ministry of Manpower and Emigration
Output 1.4: Training packages and innovative support schemes are introduced to capitalize job and income generating opportunities, especially in agriculture and related activities
This component addresses aspects in the domains of both economic security (through creation of employment opportunities) and environmental security (through better natural resource management). This component targets poor women and men that are preferably (but not necessarily) aged 18-30 and interested in being trained to achieve the described skills for better employability. Efforts will be made to train as many unemployed individuals as possible within these groups. Activities under this output will increase the capacity of target beneficiaries to identify and exploit income and job opportunities in productive agriculture and agribusiness sectors. As a measure of empowerment, target beneficiaries will be provided with the information, training, and financial assistance enabling them to take advantage of new job opportunities and income generation deriving from enhanced agricultural practices, and related maintenance and construction services. Options to provide local outlets to farmers will be explored in order to improve their linkages with the local consumers especially in conjunction to awareness raising activities on nutritional issues addressed to women and mothers.
In addition, a Skills Enhancement Program (SEP) will be established to promote and culture of enterprise within the community and especially the youth in a variety of productive sectors. In order to ensure sustainability, efforts will be made to build the capacity on SEP within local vocational training providers. To further capitalize on local resources, the following local institutions will be involved: BDS units in Minya created by CIDA, SFD, the Industrial Modernization Center, and the SME incubator of the General Authority for Investment.
Opportunities for both job creation and livelihood improvement are offered within the sector of local areas physical upgrading. Despite major efforts by national authorities to provide urban development guidance, informal areas have emerged to cater for the population pressure. Rapid urban growth poses a major threat to the agricultural land in Minya. In addition, the worsening economic situation did not allow for maintenance of residential buildings, contributing to the decline of existing housing stock. As a protection measure, the project will build local institutional capacity to upgrade existing settlements, building on community-based needs assessments, the preparation of urban upgrading plans and the identification of priority projects. At the same time the project will empower beneficiaries with technical skills and coaching to be able to run entrepreneurial activities in the construction/public works sectors.
Capacity building and training activities will be provided across groups so as to ensure peaceful existence and prevent negative externalities with regards to personal or community security that may arise a result of group competition. Particular attention will be devoted to ensure coordination with any development partner active in Minya in the provision of training for better employability of local vulnerable groups.
Output 1.5: Productive assets, technical assistance and complementary training are deployed to poorest women and most vulnerable households.
This component focuses on empowerment of poor women, adolescent girls and other particularly vulnerable segments among the target population to achieve minimum living standards being self-sufficient. The economic security of vulnerable female-headed households is enhanced through transfer of productive assets (small equipment, agricultural implements, etc.) in conjunction with training and skills development. The program will replicate the Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) model in the communities targeted by the project. Around 3000 women will be clustered in self-managed groups and will receive tailored training and capacity building by HAYAT on how to manage their finances with the aim of improving their income generation. Links will be established with the formal financial sector (banks, NGOs) in an effort to expand the exposure of these groups to social and financial opportunities.
In addition to the application of the VSLA model, HAYAT will also offer advanced training and awareness programs on health and nutrition issues to local families.
Specific Objective 2: To enhance community security and personal security through activities to develop communities’ social capital, enhance cohesion and inclusiveness.
Output 2.1: A Youth Volunteer Service is instituted to implement and scale up quick impact activities to address threats in several domains of local economic development
Output 2.2: Awareness raising and capacity development programs are implemented to provide vulnerable groups (women, youth, children) with the knowledge and tools to reduce their vulnerability to personal security threats and to participate in the development agenda of their communities.
In order to further address threats to both personal and community security and such as violent behavior as well as disappointment and mistrust towards state institutions, awareness campaigns will be implemented to increase the social capital of the community, mitigate conflict, develop civic sense and engagement, favor partnerships and mutual understanding and give opportunities to community members to express themselves. Sport events, art competitions and other social activities will be organized to raise positive community sense and spirit of solidarity