Graduation with Resilience to Achieve Sustainable Development (GRAD) / Livelihoods for Resilience (L4R) - CARE
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GRAD / L4R

Graduation with Resilience to Achieve Sustainable Development (GRAD) was a five-year, USAID-funded project designed to help the Government of Ethiopia find sustainable solutions to chronic food insecurity.

Livelihoods for Resilience (L4R) builds on GRAD to further refine and scale up the successful elements, while also introducing new approaches such as youth employment, off-farm income generation, and addressing social barriers that have traditionally constrained women from income-generating activities.

Background

Graduation with Resilience to Achieve Sustainable Development (GRAD) helped households enrolled in the government’s Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) to access microfinance, improve on- and off-farm productivity, and improve links to markets. GRAD also promoted women’s empowerment and improved nutritional practices, and helped develop climate change adaptation strategies. CARE led a consortium that included REST, ORDA, CRS/MCS, Agri Service Ethiopia, and SNV. The project was implemented in 16 districts in Tigray, Amhara, Oromia, and SNNPR from December 2011 to December 2016. In 2015, USAID’s Feed the Future office released a report saying that GRAD is the most cost-effective investment they have in Ethiopia.

Livelihoods for Resilience (L4R) builds on the best practices and successes of GRAD, reaching 97,900 households in Ethiopia who are part of the Productive Safety Net Program with the generous support of USAID’s Feed the Future. L4R is strengthening the capacities of women, men, and youth to build resilient livelihoods by empowering them with improved agricultural and financial skills, access to loans and startup capital, market information, and high-quality inputs (such as fertilizer, veterinarian products, and tools). The project will also help households make forward-looking and informed decisions about their livelihoods, adapt to changes and opportunities, and effectively manage risk. Targeted communities are also strengthened through the establishment of Village Economic and Social Associations (VESAs), and trainings in financial literacy, gender equity, nutrition, and climate-change resilience strategies.

increase in family income

increase in family income

reduction in weather-related crop loss

reduction in weather-related crop loss

Program achievements

  • Incomes went up: Family incomes went up by an average of $353 per year – an 84% increase.
  • Families were more resilient: Families were better able to respond to crisis, even during the extreme El Nino event in 2015-2016. There was a 3.8-fold increase in families using savings to cope with shocks, and a 19% decrease in the number of families who reduced the number of meals they ate in a day as a response to crisis. The number of households that suffered weather-related crop loss dropped by 40%.
  • People ate more, better food: There was a 15% increase in the number of months out of the year where families had enough food, and a 35% increase in dietary diversity.
  • Loans supported businesses: Families who took loans changed the way they used them. Before, the most common reason to take out a loan was to buy food. Now, they use loans to invest in productive assets and grow their businesses.
  • Women became more involved in decision-making: There was a seven-fold increase in women’s involvement in household decision-making, and a 10-fold increase in their ability to make livelihood and production decisions.