Economic Strengthening for Orphans and Vulnerable Children: A Learning Symposium
On May 6, 2015, industry leaders met for a stock-taking discussion on Economic Strengthening for Orphans and Vulnerable Children. The event was jointly organized by The SEEP Network and the International Rescue Committee as part of the Accelerated Strategies for Practical Innovation & Research in Economic Strengthening (ASPIRES) project, led by FHI 360 in a consortium of 20 members, working to promote evidence-based state-of-the-art approaches to promote high quality economic strengthening programs for orphans and vulnerable children.
Economic strengthening has become a core component of programs supporting orphans and vulnerable children. While Savings Groups (SGs) have become quite common, practitioners are increasingly exploring new approaches — from integrating microinsurance and institutional microfinance to directly engaging orphans and vulnerable children in savings-led programming.
The event explored the state of the literature and provided practical guidance on integrating community-based microfinance, institutional microfinance, and microinsurance into OVC programming. Through presentations and a panel discussion, the workshop provided insights regarding how to target orphans and vulnerable children directly, which complementary activities or bundled services make economic strengthening more effective, and what knowledge gaps we still need to address.