Feed the Future
This project is part of the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative.

Accelerating Strategies for Practical Innovation & Research in Economic Strengthening (ASPIRES) project

A project participant and children from the community in the swamp drainage project in Nyalungana, S. Kivu. Credit: Tanya Martineau, Prospect Arts, Food for the Hungry.

The Accelerating Strategies for Practical Innovation and Research in Economic Strengthening (ASPIRES) project supports evidence-based, gender-sensitive programming to improve the economic security and related health outcomes of highly vulnerable individuals, families, and children. ASPIRES aims to accelerate the adoption of evidence-based practice by evaluating Household Economic Strengthening (HES) interventions and supporting program configurations most consistent with success in the evidentiary record. Where this record is thin, ASPIRES seeks to strengthen it through rigorous research efforts so that future programming efforts have a stronger base to build upon. ASPIRES also focuses on efficiently providing technical assistance to scale up high-quality HES interventions.

ASPIRES is funded by PEPFAR and USAID’s Office of HIV/AIDS (OHA) and Displaced Children and Orphans Fund (DCOF), and implemented by FHI 360 and a consortium of 20 organizations.

This brief provides a framework for quantifying program costs based on the SAIL pilot model. SAIL was a youth-oriented cash transfer program working in combination with youth employment and development activities.
Economic factors are linked to HIV risk behaviors, as well as outcomes, at every stage of the HIV care and treatment cascade. The ASPIRES project conducted an extensive review of the literature on these linkages to produce an evidence brief series highlighting how different household economic...
This brief focuses on individual savings interventions, which include formal or informal individual savings accounts in which participants save their own money, as well as individual matched savings interventions.
This brief highlights key findings, lessons learned, and recommendations for policy regarding the impact of integrated cash and care programs on HIV-related outcomes and vulnerability factors for orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) in sub-Saharan Africa.
This brief examines the experience of the Isibindi project, sponsored by South Africa’s government, and community intervention work by eSwatini’s Salvation Army to demonstrate the need for a holistic set of interventions to effectively respond to the range of vulnerability factors affecting OVC populations.
This document complements a separate evidence brief on cash plus care, providing a summary of the major research gaps in terms of design issues, implementation challenges and impact questions.
This brief discusses methods for reducing risk associated with abuse or misuse of savings by adults, the potential for deterioration of savings, and the particular vulnerabilities faced by female savers.
This brief outlines an approach for estimating the financial costs of cash transfer programs. It discusses the ways in which various targeting approaches and design parameters can affect the financial costs of a program.
This post highlights the Facilitator's Guide, Side Deck and Participant Workbook from The Graduation Approach: Putting Together the Pieces training builds capacity for participants who work in vulnerable children programming, and who may have little prior experience in graduation approach...
This brief focuses on the potential benefits of institutional savings, or savings services available through formal financial institutions, such as banks, credit unions, and other entities legally registered as financial service providers.
This policy brief highlights key learning from a microsimulation exercise conducted by EPRI. It provides new evidence about the efficacy of targeting OVC populations through inclusive targeting approaches and criteria that are frequently used in sub-Saharan Africa.
The Economic Strengthening for Vulnerable Children Training Materials provides a set of workshop activities to enable practitioners to design economic strengthening programming that benefits orphans and vulnerable children.
The Economic Strengthening for Vulnerable Children Training Materials provides a set of workshop activities to enable practitioners to design economic strengthening programming that benefits orphans and vulnerable children.
An intervention including business training and health education was implemented in Mozambique, where girls are at elevated risk for acquiring HIV. As part of a mixed-methods evaluation, we describe perceived effects of the intervention on girls’ sexual behavior and school attendance.
This January 2019 webinar introduces an Accelerating Strategies for Practical Innovation and Research in Economic Strengthening (ASPIRES) publication.
This report compiles presentations and notes from the Accelerating Strategies for Practical Innovation & Research in Economic Strengthening (ASPIRES) Family Care Uganda Learning Event, Economic Strengthening and Keeping Children in Family Care, held May 29-30, 2018.
In this paper, we explore emic definitions of respect and girls’ good behaviour and perceptions of how the intervention caused improvements in behaviour from the perspective of intervention participants, their heads of household, influential men in their lives, and community members.
This is the Follow-On Coaching Guide developed for ParaSocial Workers (PSWs) working under the Economic Strengthening to Keep and Reintegrate Children into Families (ESFAM) project.
This post highlights a grant under the ASPIRES project to implement the Economic Strengthening to Keep and Reintegrate Children into Families (ESFAM) project in Uganda.
This post highlights the end of project report for the Family Resilience (FARE) project, implemented in Uganda from November 2019 to June 2018 by AVSI and partners, with funding and technical support provided by FHI 360 through the USAID-funded ASPIRES project.
The ASPIRES Zimbabwe DREAMS Job Demand Market Analysis lays out a strategy to support youth employment and microenterprise development programs that place adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in jobs or self-employment, building on a comprehensive job demand market analysis tailored to the situation of AGYW in Zimbabwe.
This document offers an annotated bibliography of key resources on applied quantitative and qualitative research methods and ethics to give guidance for development practitioners and researchers working in resource-poor settings and with orphans and vulnerable children (OVC).
This brief reviews the evidence from three recent publications to highlight emerging scholarship on entrepreneurship among youth in sub-Saharan Africa.
This brief reviews the evidence from five recent publications to identify common themes emerging from the study of microsavings among vulnerable populations in lowresource environments in sub-Saharan Africa.
This brief reviews the evidence from five recent publications to highlight emerging scholarship on cash transfers and their effects on vulnerable children in sub-Saharan Africa.
This brief provides a simple set of guidelines for adapting or developing adequate outcome measures for an impact evaluation of Household Economic Strengthening (HES) interventions.
This brief proposes standardized guidelines for reporting implementation procedures so that researchers can better evaluate household economic strengthening (HES) interventions and practitioners can better implement them.