A photo from the Airbel Impact Lab archive

GBV and Livelihood Assistance to Central African Refugees and Chadian Returnees in Southern Chad

There are currently over 110,000 displaced people from the Central African Republic in Southern Chad as a result of the ongoing conflict, and more than half (52 percent) of those displaced are women. To reduce the  vulnerability of women and girls to GBV, the IRC implemented a cash transfer project, with the dual objective of restoring livelihoods and reducing vulnerability to GBV by reducing the need for women to resort to negative coping strategies. To date, very little cash transfer programming has been designed and implemented with the explicit intention of achieving reduction in vulnerability to and prevention of GBV. Through the proposed intervention, the IRC aimed to contribute to establishing a response to GBV in the intervention sites, to safely restore livelihoods, and to prevent and reduce the risk of GBV and negative coping mechanisms. Based on the identified objectives, the following key research questions were explored:  1) What impact do cash transfers have on women’s perception of safety, the risks of GBV they face, and their survival strategies? 2) What impact do in-kind transfers designed to support income-generating activities have on women’s perception of safety, the risks of GBV they face and their survival strategies?

This evaluation used mixed methods (surveys of 456 refugee and displaced women, qualitative interviews, and focus group discussions). The evaluation  found that livelihoods staff reported feeling comfortable in providing referrals to GBV survivors and participants identified a wide range  of immediate positive outcomes resulting from the project, including better psychological well-being, more control over and independence in their lives, better health, improved standard of living, improved business  skills, and ability to pay for school fees. 

Respondents  also reported  a decrease in  sexual exploitation  and early marriage, or said that they expected such a decrease as a result of the program, and described a decrease in activities that put them at risk of harm, including sexual and physical violence.