Economic Strengthening for Female Sex Workers and Other Key Populations
In 2014, ASPIRES implemented an innovative research study to build the evidence on how ES can contribute to reducing FSWs’ vulnerability to HIV. The research employed a combination of ethnography and financial diaries—where data collectors work with participants to record all of their financial transactions—to gain a detailed understanding of the financial lives and needs of FSWs in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, including their attitudes towards potential ES programs. This study was the first of its kind to look at this population.
Based on findings from this research, ASPIRES developed and piloted a novel ES program featuring life skills, entrepreneurship, and financial capabilities training for 100 FSWs in Abidjan. A qualitative evaluation of the program found that it was not only both feasible and acceptable, but received high praise from participants and demonstrated promising indicators of potential behavior change.