Role of Markets in Strengthening Social Resilience Capacities in Northeast Nigeria
This brief documents how a combination of livelihood support and economic collectives like village savings and loan associations (VSLAs) can develop financial and social sources of resilience in crisis contexts. In protracted crises, where the state has limited capacity or lacks the political will to provide for and protect its citizens, people rely on markets and social connections for protection, information, and economic resources. Resilience capacities such as agency and confidence in the future are equally important. But how might aid interventions in protracted crises develop these important sources of resilience? Early evidence from two economic recovery interventions in Northeast (NE) Nigeria found that a combination of livelihood-support and economic collectives such as VSLAs helped develop financial and social sources of resilience through three pathways.
- Livelihood support and VSLAs in conflict settings contributed to women’s self-esteem, confidence, and agency, and shifted men’s perceptions about women’s roles.
- Interventions increased participants’ confidence in their capacity to deal with future shocks.
- Market-based livelihood interventions and VSLAs helped to strengthen and diversify social connections, catalyze economic activity, and promote psychosocial well-being.