May 02, 2013
Girls in northern Uganda IDP campIPA is pleased to talk about some new findings on the best way to help women in the aftermath of war. Our affiliate Chris Blattman has been working in northern Uganda, which is recovering from 20 years of war with Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army. According to the State Department:
The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has been active since 1986, making it one of Africa’s oldest, most violent, and persistent armed groups. The LRA was formed in northern Uganda to fight against the Government of Uganda, and operated there from 1986 to 2006. At the height of the conflict, nearly two million people in northern Uganda were displaced.
Although many have been displaced or forced into the conflict, in its’ aftermath the economic and social challenges faced by women there now are in many ways similar to those in other parts of the developing world. Research has been mixed on the best way to boost entrepreneurship in such difficult situations – is it best to give loans? Unrestricted cash? An asset like a cow? Business training? So Chris and his coauthors, along with the Italian NGO, AVSI Uganda  decided to work with IPA to test a program that combined multiple types of assistance – startup money, business training, and ongoing support and monitoring.
What they found was remarkable – read more on Chris’ blog here, and check out our full summary with links to a first person account here.