ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Creating alternatives: women and work

IMPRINT: New Delhi: Society for Participatory Research in Asia, 1987. 24 p.
MATERIAL TYPE: Book
LANGUAGE: English
SUBJECTS: Agriculture, Community Development, Group Building, Savings & Credit.

SUMMARY:
This booklet is based on information collected at a workshop that evaluated Oxfam-supported projects in India and Bangladesh. The workshop was held in Bangladesh in 1986.

Included are brief descriptions of women's participation in income generating activities. These include rural credit schemes, land tenure, as well as assistance to rural artisans and small livestock keepers.

A key factor for developing programs, according to the authors, is to construct organizational models to empower women. This includes assessing the appropriate time to organize, who to involve and the process of organization itself. Different forms are described ranging from small, village-level informal groups to legally registered co-operatives and unions.

COMMENTS:
The issues are not explored in detail, but the booklet provides a clear introduction to these concepts with supporting case studies as illustration.

Reviewed By: Catherine Irving, Coady


Draft training manual on cost-effective targeting (the identification and motivation of poor women in credit and savings programs)

AUTHOR(S): Tomlinson, Wayne and Gibbons, David S., editors.
IMPRINT: Dhaka: Grameen Trust, 1995. 36 p. + appendices
MATERIAL TYPE: Training Material, Manual
LANGUAGE: English
SUBJECTS: Community Development, Education, Group Building, Savings & Credit

SUMMARY:
A key to the success of Grameen Bank and similar rural credit programmes is the identification and motivation of potential participants to ensure effective support to those most in need. This manual, one in a series produced by the Grameen Bank, is designed to teach management skills to help credit programs avoid wasting time and money due to improper participant selection.

Women are considered to be vitally important in the success of these credit schemes. Experience has shown that they have a high success rate in repayment of loans, effective loan utilization and redistribution of surplus income to the family and community. Further, those most in need are usually more reliable than others in terms of ensuring that collective goals are met.

Exclusive targeting of participants like this is often criticized for being expensive due to the labour-intensive fieldwork required. However, the authors argue that this need not be the case. Clear procedures and examples are provided for conducting needs assessments and evaluating assets and liabilities, that can be accomplished quickly in a cost-effective way.

Motivation is crucial to get people involved and committed to stay in the programmes. Suggestions are provided for helping participants identify their own needs and potential benefits that can develop into an empowering process for them.

COMMENTS:
Includes exercises to illustrate concepts and strategies described.
Reviewed By: Catherine Irving, Coady


Estrategia de mercadeo: enterenamiento para empresarias

AUTHOR(S): OEF en America Central
IMPRINT: New York: UNIFEM, 1991.
MATERIAL TYPE: Manual
LANGUAGE: Spanish
SUBJECTS: Microentrprise

SUMMARY:
A very practical guide to simulation exercises and games which can be used for female microentrepreneurs. Ten lessons include how to approach business problems, scoping the market and improving skills. Pictures and diagrams are ready to photocopy.

COMMENTS:
I have found this very useful in my fieldwork.
Reviewed by: Nanci Lee, International Rural Development Planning, University of Guelph


FAIDIKA! : Business training for women's groups the Tototo way

AUTHOR(S): Kane, Kevin, et al.
IMPRINT: Mombasa, Kenya: Tototo Home Industries; Boston: World Education, 1990. 66 p.
MATERIAL TYPE: Book.
LANGUAGE: English
SUBJECTS: Agriculture, Community Development, Education, Microentrprise, Monitoring & Evaluation, Savings & Credit

SUMMARY:
This training manual is designed to develop business skills among extension workers and village entrepreneurs. "Faidika", meaning "profit", aims to enhance both monetary and community conditions. Specific training needs for women are presented. These were developed through work with women's groups in Swaziland, Tanzania, Somalia and Kenya.

Lessons include: business start-up, profit and loss, cash control, monitoring and evaluation, marketing, feasibility, bookkeeping, reducing costs, wages and dividends. Examples of various rural enterprises are presented along with role play suggestions. The emphasis is on participatory, consensus-based decision making and problem solving.

COMMENTS:
Provides concise, step-by step lesson plans to aid in the development of community- level business training programs for women. Includes overviews of key concepts.

Reviewed By: Catherine Irving, Coady


Gender profile of Zambia

AUTHOR(S): Byrne, Bridget
IMPRINT: Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, 1994. 47 p. BRIDGE Report 29.
MATERIAL TYPE: Report-Policy Briefing
LANGUAGE: English
SUBJECTS: Agriculture, Economics

SUMMARY:
This report provides an overview of the situation of women in Zambia, noting their responsibility for agricultural production and household well-being.

Reviewed By: Rachel Masika, BRIDGE Information Officer, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex.


Give us credit

AUTHOR(S): Counts, Alex
IMPRINT: New Delhi: Research Press, 1996. 361 p.
MATERIAL TYPE: Book
LANGUAGE: English
SUBJECTS: Community Development, Co-operatives, Economics, Group Building, Microentrprise, Savings & Credit

SUMMARY:
This is a new book on the Grameen Bank. It is an unprecedented insider's look into the founding and operations of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh and its adoption in a poor neighbourhood in Chicago, the third largest metropolis in the USA.

COMMENTS:
The role of microenterprise as an effective engine of economic development is now well recognized. Historically, microenterprises played a dominant role in bringing about economic change including social awareness and human development. This book is essential for development workers.

Reviewed By: Md. Tazemul Haque, Assistant General Manager, Technology and Development, Grameen Bank, Dhaka, Bangladesh.


In the shadows of the sun: Caribbean development alternatives and US policy

AUTHOR(S): Deer, Carmen Diana, et al.
IMPRINT: USA: Westview Press; Policy Alternatives for the Caribbean and Central America (PACCA), 1990. 246 p.
MATERIAL TYPE: Book
LANGUAGE: English
SUBJECTS: Economics

SUMMARY:
Some of the region's leading critics of US supported economic policies in the Caribbean and Central America propose an alternative to the existing development model. The book provides selected statistics on subject areas such as GDP, gross domestic investment, sex aggregated monthly income of household heads and migration. Nine "features" incorporated into the text highlight the book's thesis: that shaped by Europe's past colonial interests and maintained by current US policy, the region functions as an adjunct of external economic interests while alternative being formulated at the level of civil society provide a wealth of possibilities.

A collaborative effort between North American and Caribbean authors, the analysis is generated by feminists, academics, policy makers, activists in the non governmental sector and through the efforts of governments seeking to prioritise the development goals of their people over the interests of US capital.

COMMENTS:
Specific chapters applying gender as an analytical tool are particularly useful for linking global economic policies to their consequences at the level of poor households.

Reviewed By: Nan Peacocke, WAND


Invisible hands: women in home-based production

AUTHOR(S): Singh, Andrea Menefee and Kelles-Viitanen, Anita, editors
IMPRINT: New Delhi: Sage, 1987. 273 p.
MATERIAL TYPE: Book, Case Study.
LANGUAGE: English
SUBJECTS: Agriculture, Community Development, Co-operatives, Law & Legislation, Microenterprise.

SUMMARY:
The purpose of this collection is to raise awareness of the vast number of women in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka whose lives depend upon home-based employment. Most of these women are in rural areas. Activites described here include dairy, handicrafts, livestock raising, coir rope and beedi production. Home-based workers are either self-employed or work piece rate for companies.

While attempts are now being made to understand women's unpaid domestic work, there continues to be a dearth of information and understanding regarding women's home-based paid work. Such work often does not appear in national labour statistics. This income is critical for the survival of many poor families, and enables women to remain in rural communities. Due to this invisibility, it is a prime site for exploitation by businesses. Because of the low capital costs, no legislation, a dispersed workforce that inhibits unionization, no minimum wage or security benefits, this sector is a cheap source of labour.

Some labour unions have called for a ban of home-based work, however the authors here see this as an unrealistic solution as it would simply drive the work underground. They call for increased labour protection through legislation, unionization, and promotion of self-employment instead of piece-work. They encourage the development of agricultural development programs and co-operatives that integrate a gender analysis and include direct consultation with the women, and an increase in the number of women extension officers.

COMMENTS:
Provides an extensive introduction to this hidden labour sector, and suggests areas for further research to promote employment opportunities for rural women and women confined to the home.

Reviewed By: Catherine Irving, Coady


Mujer y empleo en el sector rural

AUTHOR(S): Ayala, V.
IMPRINT: Bogota: UNICEF, Inter-American Development Bank, 1990.
MATERIAL TYPE: Conference Proceedings
LANGUAGE: Spanish
SUBJECTS: Economics

SUMMARY:
Summary of a workshop on the participation of female labour in the rural sector.

COMMENTS:
Provides a broad-brushed understanding of women's role in the rural informal sector.

Reviewed By: Nanci Lee, International Rural Development Planning, University of Guelph.


La mujer y la familia en la economia Colombiana

AUTHOR(S): Marulanda, N.
IMPRINT: Bogota: UNICEF, Inter-American Development Bank, 1982.
MATERIAL TYPE: Book
LANGUAGE: Spanish
SUBJECTS: Agriculture, Economics, Microenterprise

SUMMARY:
Takes the household economy model approach to understanding the Colombian economy. Also discusses women's unrecognized role in agriculture, local food security and income generation.

Reviewed By: Nanci Lee, International Rural Development Planning, University of Guelph.


The role of women in credit unions in Africa

IMPRINT: Nairobi: African Confederation of Co-op, Savings & Credit Associations (ACCOSCA), 1990. 85 p.
MATERIAL TYPE: Book
LANGUAGE: English
SUBJECTS: Co-operatives, Savings & Credit

SUMMARY:
Women's participation in co-operatives and credit unions are evaluated in eight countries: Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Cameroon, Zmbabwe, Lesotho, Rwanda, and Togo. Many of the co-operatives surveyed are involved in agriculture or food processing. ACCOSCA's Women Development Service carried out this survey in 1989 to determine the causes of low participation rates by women. Recurring problems that are identified include cultural biases that discriminate against women, which denies them access to property, education and business training, adequate waged employment, and the right to participate in the public sphere. Reasons for success or failure of women's projects are listed, followed by recommendations to address these issues.

COMMENTS:
While this survey does not provide a thorough critical analysis of the root causes of the discrimination identified by the survey, a range of practical strategies for encouraging increased participation by women are promoted. Extensive statistical information is provided for each country on levels and types of women's participation in co-op structures.

Reviewed By: Catherine Irving, Coady


Social security for women in the informal sector in Thailand

AUTHOR(S): Sirisambhand, N.
IMPRINT: Bangkok: Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, 1996. 78 p.
MATERIAL TYPE: Book, Case Study
LANGUAGE: English
SUBJECTS: Savings & Credit

SUMMARY:
This volume summarizes social security issues of women working in the informal sector. The author presents and analyses 11 case studies of Thai NGOs/GOs whose savings and credit projects enable self-employed women and families to deal with problems such as sickness, maternity, accidents, unemployment, death and family benefits. The book concludes with recommendations for NGOs/GOs. A short bibliography is provided.

COMMENTS:
The author provides useful cultural insights about how successful social security schemes draw upon traditional forms of mutual self-help. The comparison and contrast of the four models--credit union, NGO, people's organisation, GO--reveals strengths and weaknesses that will be of interest to planners and organizers of savings and credit groups. The book focuses largely on the needs and problems of women and their families; however, it would have been interesting to have had more analysis of the hidden gender context of the informal sector. Why do women appear to be the primary users of these kinds of savings and credit programs? What is the role of men in providing social security for the family?

Reviewed By: Nancy Peters, Northeast Thailand Foundation, Surin


Vidiyal (Dawn): a rural women's bank: an alternative saving and credit system

AUTHOR(S): Consortium of Women Sanghas
IMPRINT: Tiruchirapalli, India: Activists for Social Alternatives (ASA), 1994. 62 p.
MATERIAL TYPE: Book.
LANGUAGE: English
SUBJECTS: Community Development, Education, Microenterprise, PRA/RRA, Savings & Credit

SUMMARY:
This book provides background information on the creation, development and organization of this women's bank and ASA's involvement. Included are the methodology, rules and regulations, as well as the future goals of the bank. Similar projects developed by NGOs like MYRADA, PRADAN & ASSEFA are presented and compared with Vidiyal.

Emphasis is placed on empowerment of the poor towards creation and development of their own credit programs that promote sutainable development. Related programs to encourage self-reliance are also described, such as health, income-generation, and PRA training programmes.

COMMENTS:
Contains detailed information to help in the development of a small credit programme for women. Includes descriptions of various activities and statistical information.

Reviewed By: Catherine Irving, Coady


Vidiyal (Dawn): a rural women's bank: an alternative saving and credit system

AUTHOR(S): Consortium of Women Sanghas
IMPRINT: Tiruchirapalli, India: Activists for Social Alternatives (ASA), 1996. 67 p.
LANGUAGE: English
SUBJECTS: Community Development, Education, Microenterprise, PRA/RRA, Savings & Credit

SUMMARY:
This is a second edition of the 1994 book of the same title. Like the earlier edition, it provides background information on the development of the participatory rural credit system developed by ASA. It summarizes the progress made in the first two years of operation, including statistical data, and lists the rules and regulations.

ASA has recently been drawing from the experiences of the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh. Grameen strategies that have been adopted by Vidiyal are described, including the changes to the rules and regulations of Vidiyal that have arisen from the adoption of these strategies. Case studies of women in a number of credit schemes are also provided.

COMMENTS:
Updated statistics and different case studies from the earlier edition. (See separate entry in this Resource Directory).

Reviewed By: Catherine Irving, Coady


Vukani Mukai "Awakening"

PRODUCER/CREATOR: Doe Mayer, Ranche House College, Harare, Zimbabwe
DISTRIBUTOR: Columbia, Maryland, USA: DSR, Inc., n.d.
MATERIAL TYPE: Video, VHS, NTSC
LENGTH: 27 min.
LANGUAGE: English
SUBJECTS: Agriculture, Community Development, Co-operatives, Education, Microenterprise

SUMMARY:
This film presents an overview of the work of Ranche House College to develop co-operative management skills among women in Zimbabwe. In recognizing the need to organize so that more profits stay in the community, rural farming women are co-operating with market sellers to cut out the "middleman". Other projects such as a village bakery and basketry co-op are described.

At the training centre in Harare, women come from various rural regions to discuss the problems they face and develop strategies to overcome them. The use of role play is emphasized. Courses in bookkeeping, appropriate technology and project planning are highlighted.

COMMENTS:
Produced entirely in Zimbabwe, but key concepts are relevant to other regions.

Reviewed By: Catherine Irving, Coady