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How self-help groups strengthen resilience: tackling food insecurity in protracted crises in Ethiopia

Research reports

Written by Lena Nur, Florence Pichon, Catherine Simonet

In 2015 and 2016, Ethiopia experienced two consecutive years of drought, induced by an El Niño event. This affected a large proportion of the population, as many rural communities depend partly or entirely on rain-fed agriculture and livestock rearing. 

Access to financial resources and other support mechanisms is important to allow people to better prepare for and cope with such situations. But rural communities often find it difficult to access finance, and there are few formal options for sharing livelihood risks. 

This report looks at how self-help groups (SHGs) – a form of community-based approach to microfinance – contribute to the resilience of rural communities to shocks and stresses. It focuses on Tearfund's SHG work, and uses innovative 'serious game' methodology to test assumptions about the role of SHGs in building resilience in Wolayita, Ethiopia.

Lena Weingartner and Florence Pichon, with Catherine Simonet