Expansion of Employment Opportunities of Women (EEOW)
This Project was a joint project of The Government of Nepal (HMG/N) and The Government of Japan. International Labour Organization (ILO) was the executing agency and National Planning Commission (NPC) was the government counterpart of the project. DEPROSC-Nepal involved in implementation of this project in Nuwakot district under a contractual agreement with ILO. The first phase of project started in March 1999 and completed in July 2001 including a bridging period of three months. The second phase started in August 27, 2001 and completed in December 2002. Again, the project duration extended till July 2003 to complete the activities of capacity building of Savings and Credit Organizations and for follow–up activities for employment/income generation.
Phase I (March 1999 – July 2001) had been implemented successfully by DEPROSC-Nepal. Mid-term review of the Phase I was undertaken in August/September 2000, by an independent mission, who identified the accomplishment of the project in establishing relationship, building confidence, establishing trust with participating communities and initiation of women's savings/credit and income generation groups. As it was a short period of field level activities, Mid-Term Review Mission expressed that the project had just established a building block on which a community driven development process could be built upon. The mission concluded "the real projects starts now!". Following this recommendation the project continued implementing planned activities and increased coverage. Phase I completed in July 2001.
Phase II (August 2001 – June 2003) started following the successful completion of the first phase. During Phase II, the project initially covered 17 months covering the period from August 2001 to December 2002. After that, the project was further extended till June 2003 to complete the activities of capacity building of Savings and Credit Organizations and for follow–ups for employment/income generation. The final evaluation of the project was carried out during September 2002 to study and document successful implementation approaches, best practices of project in terms of economic and social empowerment of women. Other aim of evaluation was to assess the contribution of project in poverty alleviation and enhancement of socio-economic status of the women and the level of capacity building of participating organizations. The mission recommended to invest more on orientation and training so as to strengthen SCOs/SCCs formed by the project.
The project aimed at contributing to national efforts in poverty alleviation, through enhancement of the socio-economic status of women and promotion of gender equality as well as social justice. Toward fulfilling this long term goal, following interrelated purposes were identified for EEOW project:
- Implement gender oriented, poverty focused, community based employment promotion schemes for women
- Raise women's awareness on working women's right and gender issues through gender awareness raising, legal literacy, lobbying and advocacy training,
- Identify issues for appropriate policy reforms/ recommendations on the basis of the pilot experiences in order to facilitate and enhance women's employment and their economic empowerment, and
- Strengthen institutional capacity of relevant government and non-government organizations (NGO), grassroot organizations in designing, implementing and coordinating policies/programs in women's employment creation and enhancement. The project had identified following specific objectives in order to achieve the project goal.
Achievement of the Project
A total of 13 SCOs / SCCs (Four in Duipipal and one in Bageshwari, three in Gerkhu, four in Khanigaun VDC and one in Pipaltar, ward no. 7 of Bidur Municipality) have been promoted in the project area.
A total of 1358 women members from 1260 households have been brought under the ambit of these organizations. A total of 1019 members are shareholders and have share certificates. Average number of members per SCO/ SCC is 104.
Internal resource of Rs. 1,328,272/- (saving Rs. 900,520/-, Share Rs. 101,900/; un-distributed profit of Rs. 168,416/- and others Rs. 156,528/-) was generated at local level.
During project period, Rs. 5,908,403/- was disbursed as loan (cumulative disbursed amount) to 1115 credit-takers. Of the loan mobilized, around 95 % was distributed for Income Generating Activities (IGA).
These SCOs have been able to generate Rs. 324,944/- earnings with an average earning of Rs. 24,986/- per SCO.
Over 99% of capital mobilized as loan with 100% repayment rate. Loan is provided for very short period as reflected by the capital mobilization rate, which is over 444%.
7 community buildings constructed to be used by 7 SCOs/SCCs. These SCOs/SCCs have improved their physical facilities (building and basic set of furniture).
101 different community level training (such as Pre-group orientation, SCO promotion and management, SCO management, Cooperative management, Loan management, Basic account, Advance accounting, Leadership development, Record keeping, Business plan development, exposure visits) were conducted for the benefit of SCO members.
This program has been able to meet the immediate credit needs for women members at their doorsteps, which was otherwise inaccessible to them mainly because the formal financial institutions either do not exist or show their reluctance to disburse credit to women living in remote area who lack acceptable collateral. These SCOs promoted in the project area are supporting to manage the capital required for women for meeting their investment needs and empowering them by creating enabling employment environment.