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EqualiTea – BangladeshWoman picking tea in Bangladesh

Duration: April 2015 – September 2018

Focus: Enabling 1,000 marginalised tea farmers in northern Bangladesh to join 'producer groups' and take advantage of a growing, high-value market opportunity – engaging directly with buyers and lobbying for more government support.

Bigger picture: Tea sales across Bangladesh are growing an average of 14% every year, while production is growing at just 3%. It’s one of the few crops that survives in Panchagargh’s sandy, acidic soil and in this region alone only 2,800 acres of the potential 40,000 are being used for tea cultivation.

Key impact: In the first year of the project, 50% of producer groups have negotiated benefits from public service providers, including agricultural training and provision of saplings.

Key learning: A streamlined process was introduced for validating project beneficiaries. This can be used if the project is repeated or scaled up.

Want to find out more? Click here to email any questions on the project to the ITL team.

Quilombola land rights – BrazilQuilombola woman in Brazil

Duration: July 2014 – August 2018

Focus: Uniting 37 Quilombola communities in the Brazilian Amazon to defend their land against increasing pressure from mining companies, and equipping them to grow and sell their own produce as an alternative, sustainable source of income.

Bigger picture: Eighteen percent of the Amazon has been destroyed in the past 40 years, which impacts both the environment and the indigenous and Quilombola communities, who have been displaced as a result. There are an estimated 3,000 Quilombola communities across Brazil and only 6% have land rights.

Key impact: As a result of lobbying by Quilombolas, the government confirmed entitlement to land rights for two of their remaining four territories.

Key learning: There was a lack of appetite among the Quilombolas to learn the business skills for starting a proposed Brazil nut business venture. Instead, a learning-by-doing approach has proved more successful.

Want to find out more? Click here to email any questions on the project to the ITL team.

Inclusive coffee markets – BurundiMother and child in Burundi

Duration: July 2014 – August 2019

Focus: Organising 6,000 small-scale farmers into cooperatives and enabling them to take advantage of the market potential of coffee, by improving quality and quantity of production and forging relationships with international buyers.

Bigger picture: Burundi has some of Africa’s best conditions for coffee growing with its high elevation, rainfall and abundance of Arabica Bourbon trees. Coffee represents 70% of the country’s total exports but sales are still low compared to other countries.

Key impact: In the national Cup of Excellence 2016, six of the 13 cooperatives that took part won awards. Two of these were able to sell their coffee to an international buyer at $8.40 per kg, compared to an average market price of $3 -$4.

Key learning: Once sensitised on positive masculinity and the role of women in the value chain, men can be a major asset in lifting barriers to women's integration.

Want to find out more? Click here to email any questions on the project to the ITL team.

Empowerment through maternal health – BurundiMother and child in Burundi

Duration: December 2015 – January 2018

Focus: Working primarily with Burundi’s highly influential faith leaders, in five regions, to challenge the attitudes of religious institutions towards sexual health.

Bigger picture: With 90% church attendance in sub-Saharan Africa, the aim is to influence cultural norms across the country and empower women through improved access to family planning services.

Key impact: The number of faith leaders who believe healthcare staff are best placed to advise on family planning rose by 21%.

Key learning: The proven ability of faith leaders to influence not only members of the community but also other faith leaders.

Want to find out more? Click here to email any questions on the project to the ITL team.

Humanitarian spaces – ColombiaWoman in Colombia

Duration: September 2015 – August 2018

Focus: Trialling ‘humanitarian spaces’ in Colombia’s most dangerous city, Buenaventura, creating a safe space, free from the influence and violence of gangs. Starting in one community of 1,000 people and then scaling up to grow peaceful areas across the city.

Bigger picture: Buenaventura is home to 400,000 people, 30% of whom live below the poverty line and face continual intimidation. There are numerous cities across the world with similar complex, sectarian violence that could benefit from the same approach.

Key impact: The humanitarian space has become a flagship project in tackling violence in Latin America. Over the year, there have been no acts of violence in the safe space.

Key learning: The need to give higher priority to tackling gender inequalities is being addressed through a newly formed women’s group.

Want to find out more? Click here to email any questions on the project to the ITL team.

Or watch the webinar and find out more about the recent extension of the humanitarian space and the implications of the recent peace deal on Buenaventura.

Improved cookstoves – Mali and EthiopiaWoman with a cookstove

Duration: Mali: April 2015 – December 2016, Ethiopia: October 2014 – March 2016

Focus: Creating a sustainable market model for the making, sale and use of cleaner cookstoves across Africa. Enabling local artisans to produce and sell the stoves, and empowering the women who use them. Focused on 5,000 families in Ethiopia and 500 in Mali.

Bigger picture: More than half of the world’s population cook on open fire stoves, accounting for 25% of global black carbon emissions. As well as being unsafe, they are time consuming for women – another factor keeping them marginalised in their own communities.

Key impact: In Mali, the income of the 220 female potters supported by the project to make cookstoves, increased by 10%.

Key learning: The locally produced stoves are more efficient but do not significantly improve health. More sophisticated stoves are harder to produce at a local level – something that ITL must consider when developing similar projects.

Want to find out more? Click here to email any questions on the project to the ITL team.

EcoVeg organic farming – IndiaWoman with equipment

Duration: April 2012 – March 2017

Focus: Connecting smallholder farmers in Tamil Nadu to grow vegetables organically and access India’s growing market for organic produce. Training ‘agripreneurs’ to help provide market access and act as conduits to the processing, distribution and marketing of the produce.

Bigger picture: India’s organic food market is predicted to treble over the next four years, as disposable income and consumer health consciousness rise. Nowhere is this truer than in Tamil Nadu, home to India’s second largest economy; however, opportunities are limited for the 12% of the population living in poverty.

Key impact: Income of 3,000 farmers has risen significantly.

Key learning: There are challenges involved in overcoming the barriers that face excluded communities, but these can be met if additional time and resources are factored in.

Want to find out more? Click here to email any questions on the project to the ITL team.

Uniting migrant workers – The Middle EastGroup of domestic workers

Duration: March 2013 – March 2016

Focus: A project across the Middle East, trialling the use of social media to unite isolated Migrant Domestic Workers (MDWs) – with the goal of securing recognition of their rights, in line with the International Labour Organisation’s Convention 189.

Bigger picture: There are more than 2.1 million migrant domestic workers across the Middle East. They often face very low wages, excessively long hours, and abuse.

Key impacts: £4.1m recovered for abused caregivers and housecleaners and continuation of the Israeli government’s anti-trafficking unit was secured.

Key learning: The overall level of involvement by MDWs in the social media campaign was disappointing. A bottom-up approach, engaging existing communities, could be preferable in future.

Want to find out more? Click here to email any questions on the project to the ITL team.

Conflict resolution – MyanmarTwo children in Myanmar

Duration: January 2016 – December 2017

Focus: Trialling a new approach to building peace across diverse ethnic groups in northern Myanmar, through the facilitation of ‘listening exercises’, with the ultimate goal of supporting the national peace process across the country.

Bigger picture: The national peace process focuses on reconciling the dominant Barmars with other ethnic groups, but neglects conflict between those ethnic groups. Despite the risks, this approach could prove critical in the success of the national process.

Key impact: Sessions were conducted positively and peacefully, and insights were gained from each group about specific fears and concerns.

Key learning: It quickly became clear that the listening exercises needed to be tailored to age and gender – this was quickly addressed.

Want to find out more? Click here to email any questions on the project to the ITL team.

Power to women – Sierra LeoneGroup of women in Sierra Leone

Duration: July 2015 – July 2017

Focus: Networking women across Kono and Kailahun districts to raise awareness of gender based violence and women’s rights locally and nationally, complemented by legal support to victims and their families. Working towards raising the representation of women and their rights in the 2018 national elections.

Bigger picture: More than 60% of people in Sierra Leone live in poverty, but women are particularly marginalised. Gender based violence (GBV) is prevalent and women hold just 13.2% of parliamentary seats.

Key impact: For the first time, women have attained the position of section chiefs across four chiefdoms.

Key learning: Persistence pays off in building relationships. Our partner has become a trusted advisor and influencer of local government and the justice system, on matters relating to GBV. 

Want to find out more? Click here to email any questions on the project to the ITL team.

Inclusive markets – Central America

Men unloading goods from a lorryDuration: October 2013 – March 2018

Focus: Working with 11 cooperatives across El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua, enabling each of them to directly access markets where they can trade their goods (including hibiscus, cocoa, cashew nuts and shrimp).

Bigger picture: ITL projects across Central America choose products that offer strong commercial potential for a large number of people. In Nicaragua, where 90% of people work on small farms, the opportunity with hibiscus lay in taking a share of the 35% of the market that had previously been imported.

Key impact: The 293 producer families connected with the hibiscus cooperative in Nicaragua saw their annual income rise by an average of $1,000 per year.

Key learning: Cocoa production has proven more effective than coffee production in Nicaragua because of the changing climate in the region. Climate risk in the region more broadly was underestimated – Climate Risk Assessments, including contingency plans for El Ninos have been recommended for future projects in the region.

Want to find out more? Click here to email any questions on the project to the ITL team.

SALI – Kenya

Kenyan farmer checking his mobile phone in his fieldsDuration: April 2014 – March 2016

Focus: Equipping 2,000 smallholder farmers with critical weather forecasts, agricultural training and access to buyers – enabling them to more effectively and confidently grow, process and sell drought-resistant crops.

Bigger picture: More than three-quarters of Kenya’s population live in rural areas, and rely on agriculture for most of their income. As rainfall becomes increasingly unreliable, farmers struggle to adapt to the ever-harsher conditions. But with access to accurate information, they can plan for success.

Key impact: Buoyed by the confidence of orders promised by buyers, farmers used 66% more of their land.

Key learning: Attempts to make the farmers more entrepreneurial proved unrealistic. So training continues to focus on improving production.

Want to find out more? Read more about the project. If you have any questions on the project, email the ITL team.

Honey hubs – KenyaMan with a beehive

Duration: April 2014 – March 2018

Focus: Trialling the use of ‘hubs’ across four districts in Kenya, providing farmers with a central space where they can access processing facilities, training and funding, and sell their honey.

Bigger picture: Despite an underserved market for honey in Kenya, small-scale farmers struggle to produce enough good quality honey to sell. Beekeeping is an important source of income for thousands of people living in poverty-stricken arid areas, but 95% of the honey in Kenya’s supermarkets is imported.

Key impact: The volume and value of honey traded by the hub in Narok has doubled over the course of the year.

Key learning: One of the four counties, Narok, is especially vast and inaccessible, making transport for farmers to the hub especially difficult. In response to this, a mobile collection system was established, encouraging greater participation from farmers.

Want to find out more? Click here to email any questions on the project to the ITL team.