Mercy Corps’ BRACED programme – known as PROGRESS – is working in north-eastern Kenya and northern Uganda to enhance the absorptive, adaptive and transformative capacities of vulnerable households and communities; with these strengthened capacities women, men, boys and girls will increase their resilience to deal with climate shocks and stresses.
The aim of PROGRESS is to build absorptive, adaptive and transformative capacities of household and communities to be more resilient in the face of increasing climate risks, referred to as shocks and stresses. In both north-eastern Kenya and northern Uganda, these shocks and stresses include drought, increased aridity, flooding and flash floods, soil erosion, slashing and burning and massive deforestation. All of these contribute to environmental degradation which reduces the local resource-base for viable livelihoods.
PROGRESS is a consortium led by Mercy Corps that includes TANGO International, Makerere University, University of Nairobi, Riamriam, the Dodoth Agro Pastoral Development Organization (DADO), Crescent Takaful SACCO (CTS) and Wajir South Development Association (WASDA). PROGRESS is being implemented in north-eastern Kenya (Wajir County) as well as northern Uganda (Karamoja).
PROGRESS has three integrated thematic focus areas (outcomes), as follows:
- Natural Resource Management and Governance:
In this outcome, Mercy Corps and our partners are working to enhance the linkages between communities and local governments. These strengthened linkages enable meaningful participatory processes to address issues of land ownership, quality rangeland, water management and ecological systems. Also, policy and budget planning will be more responsive to community needs in a context of increasing climate risks. In support of the third outcome, this outcome also encourages greater integration of women in governance activities and focusses on supporting the capacity for women’s champions in governance-related decision-making. Community-led action planning will address the need to protect young girls as the most vulnerable to shocks and stresses. Through this outcome, both local and national governments will be engaged on the issues of community vulnerability and resilience in Wajir and Karamoja.
- Market Systems Development:
This outcome unlocks the potential for communities to work closely with private sector actors. The programme’s work in market systems development enhances this relationship to enable better access to services, quality inputs, supplies and financial services. This outcome is primarily focused on livestock markets, climate-smart agriculture/agro-ecology and clean energy products. It will intentionally emphasise female-dominated markets, linking women with financial services and market actors in value chains including: small ruminants and poultry, dairy and food processing, and clean energy alternatives for domestic fuel needs. CTS joined our team in 2016 to provide Sharia-compliant financial services to women, men, boys and girls in Northern Kenya.
This outcome addresses women, men, girls and boys through programme activities that reduce inequality and build women and girls’ access to and control over social, economic and political assets. Whilst gender considerations are mainstreamed through the first two outcomes, this pillar of the project takes a complementary and intentional approach to addressing the dynamic vulnerabilities and capacities of women, men, girls and boys. Male only platforms will convene men who are transitioning out of pastoralism and entering new economic arenas. Women will be linked to community-level saving facilities (Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) and Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs)) as well as training on financial literacy and business skills development. Transformational change around shifting gendered patterns are addressed through after-school clubs aimed at adolescent boys and girls, including safe spaces as a platform for resilience building through life skills development.