A Case study: What is the impact of the Lyra program on women, girls and youth in Tanzania?

Projekti: Tutkimusprojekti

Projektin yksityiskohdat

Kuvaus (abstrakti)

The 2030 Agenda pledge to ensure “no one will be left behind” by 2030 by guaranteeing human well-being, economic prosperity, and environmental protection for all. Issues contributing to socioeconomic development affect men and women differently. Inclusive good quality relevant education is a gender equality driver and is critical to the fulfilment of all the set goals. In rural Tanzania, girls lag behind boys in the transition from primary to secondary school and in education results. A majority of the youths work in the informal sector in an unconducive environment with inadequate resources. Women earn significantly less than men earn and are less likely to own assets or property.

Lyra brings in a multi-pronged approach, including girls hostels: the community formally requests Lyra for collaboration, the former commits to pay 20% of the cost of the hostel, and then the two parties jointly construct hostels for secondary school girls. Moreover, Lyra steps in by closing digital divide for rural secondary school students; financial literacy and entrepreneurship youth training; and empowers women by the creation of self-sustaining village savings and loans associations. The evaluation investigates to ascertain and provide evidence regarding the relevance, effectiveness, impact and sustainability of the programs, to facilitate Lyra’s decision- making and the way forward. Primary data was generated using interviews of semi-structured questionnaires and Focus Group Discussions with relevant stakeholders. Data analysis was done using descriptive statistics and probit propensity matching regressions.

The hostel program is relevant; it saves girls walking long distances to school. The intervention is effective for it has contributed to the improvement in school performance. It is impactful by closing gender gap in math and science scores, leading to science careers at university level with potential economic opportunities. In sum, the 15 hostels that accommodate over 1600 girls yearly have contributed to zero reported pregnancies and minimal dropouts among the boarders during the 11 years of Lyra’s operation. Subsequently, hostel girls have a promising future given that for every year a girl stays in school, results on average to higher income levels, smaller and healthier families thereby creating a virtuous circle.The program is sustainable given that it is community driven and has positive outcomes. The beneficiaries request Lyra to provide full support of basic needs to the underprivileged girls; to have more quantity and diversified diet and more light to enable them to study at night.

Lyra’s digital literacy (DL) program is highly relevant given it is novel in the rural communities; neither households nor schools possessed computers. DL program is generally effective for it has contributed to the improvement of students’ overall school performance. However, nearly all the students indicated that their DL skills were still underdeveloped. The program is impactful it has added to gender equality considering that female and male students are benefiting equally. There is potential for the sustainability of the program for Lyra has collaborated with the government of Tanzania to take over at the end of the program. Students are requesting Lyra for repair of computers without lapse of time; more computers; enlargement of the computer rooms; increase the frequency and the duration of computer lessons; installation of solar energy; DL teachers should be stationed at respective schools. Teachers of other subjects to ease their workload ask Lyra for teachers specific for DL; request for laptops for they are more practical.

The relevance of financial literacy and entrepreneurship youth training program is due to the fact that nearly all the youth trainees are self-employed, but lack critical entrepreneurial resources. The training is effective given that majority of the trainees have acquired skills in financial literacy; microcredit knowledge; business management; teamwork; leadership; problem solving; and work ethics. The training is impactful for it has contributed to the closing of gender gap in accessing credit and in the job market. The program is sustainable for it collaborates with local business mentors to build businesses; has built an enabling environment for gender equality; youth trainee graduates starting income generating activities will create local jobs. The youth request Lyra to increase the training time, be available on regular basis, seed capital after training; diversified training opportunities (including digital literacy) based on consultation with them.

The relevance of Lyra’s VSLA objective of empowering women to have equal economic opportunities in their communities is manifested by gender disparities in access to productive resources including monthly income and asset ownership. The program is effective since the beneficiaries have developed saving habits, increased income levels, improvement in knowledge and skills, boosted household expenditure. The differences in results obtained between female and male members, are mostly insignificant, with the exception of acquiring knowledge and skills, and access to loans for other purposes besides living costs where men are on the higher side. Also, fixed monthly contributions to VSLA with women on the higher side. Wives earn less than their husbands’ do. The VSLA intervention is impactful as evidenced by the program’s effectiveness, furthermore a percentage of beneficiaries have increased ownership of assets and access to loans. Sustainability of VSLA is foreseeable due to Lyra’s creation of self-sustaining VSLA program; the relevance, effectiveness and impact of the VSLA; capacity building of the stakeholders; and access to informal banking services with ease. Potential risks to the sustainability of VSLA include illiterate members of the community feel left out; some husbands are not in favor of their wives starting income generating activities. VSLA members request Lyra for the creation of more VSLA centers in their vicinity; more education programs and frequency, particularly the entrepreneurship training; receive frequent visits from the Lyra team and more seminars; agents appointed by Lyra in villages to get financial support; and assistance from Lyra after the formation of groups.
Lyhennetty nimiLyran in Africa
Todellinen alku/loppupvm01/02/202331/05/2023


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