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 curriculum is designed to equip female sex workers (FSWs) with the skills needed to set life goals, communicate effectively, understand gender, take action against gender-based violence, empower themselves, and manage their finances and business affairs.
This resource guide provides information on matching household economic strengthening activities to specific needs and capacities of individual families and to the different contexts in which they live.
This report discusses the findings of research into the role economic strengthening plays in preventing unnecessary family-child separation and supporting the reintegration of formerly separated children into family care.
This report reviews the methods and findings from quantitative research into the outcomes of the Family Resilience (FARE) project.
This report discusses the findings of research into how economic strengthening (ES) interventions can help prevent unnecessary separation of children from families as well as support the reintegration into family care of children who were already separated.
This report provides an analysis of the Family Reintegration (FARE) project's recorded costs by intervention category and attempts to determine incremental costs of the interventions themselves.
This case study of the Community Care Program in Mozambique aims to better understand how orphans and vulnerable children programs connect to social protection programs and what outcomes they produce.
This document is a literature review conducted to identify the research evidence on the integration of savings groups (SGs) and other development activities—called SG plus (SG+).
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.