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LAC Analysis for Program Development

The CARE - Latin America and Caribbean region’s Gender Equity Program puts an explicit focus on linking to movements. With this goal in mind, the region's analysis process followed an approach that targeted understanding the characteristics and dynamics of social movements at the heart of its broader situational analysis, to inform what role CARE could most strategically play in supporting broader women's rights movements across the region.
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 Analysis Process

For this study, CARE undertook a region-wide analysis within the Latin America/Caribbean region to explore:
  • The determinants of poverty in the region based on exploring the Millennium Development Goals within each country. 
  • CARE’s program strategies based on the results of poverty analyses and how to increase capacity to design programs with high potential of addressing UCPs. 
  • What current programs were well positioned to address UCPs, and reviewing CARE’s role.
This process was designed to enhance joint learning with partners about the determinants of poverty and strategies with a high potential for impact.

The study engaged literature review and conducted 65 interviews in 7 countries (Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru and four countries in Central America). Teams interviewed representatives of women’s movements, universities, policy makers and partners to explore for each MDG:

What are the obstacles for reaching Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in country X? What are the factors that will prevent the country from reaching these goals?

In Central America, this process was deepened through Systems Logic Mapping. Further, the region commissioned a paper by a leading figure in social movements within the region, in order to further inform the region's understanding of gender inequity, successful strategies for change as well as CARE's role.

Based on these studies, across the 7 countries, the key causes of poverty identified were:

  • Discrimination based on gender, ethnic origin and race (social position).
  • Poor and poor implementation of public policies (enabling environment). 
  • Poor participation of citizens in decision making processes; apathy of many sectors of the population for engaging in processes (social position).
  • An economic model that excludes and not sustainable (enabling environment) 
  • Dependency on foreign financial and economic interests (enabling environment).
  • A private sector that does not take adequately assume social and environmental responsibility and which is not controlled and regulated (enabling environment).
  • Poor policies and gender discrimination were highlighted in the analysis.

 Applying Analysis

Based on these dialogues, each CARE Country Office engaged in this analysis developed strategies specifically to address the underlying causes of poverty that may apply across all sectors. Looking across the country-level strategies, the region identified key strategic roles for CARE in Latin America/Caribbean: advocacy, supporting movements and building constituencies.

From these analyses, CARE developed a program design with clear focuses on addressing gender equity within initiatives and within the organization, strengthening learning and building alliances with broader social movements. In order to realize these aims, its program proposal outlines a number of approaches in working more effectively with rights movements:

  • Collect and analyze existing information in the region that are relevant to unequal gender relations,
  • Identify CARE’s role and added value in the main barriers against women’s empowerment and gender equitable relations;
  • Ensure program meetings discuss the political dimension of gender equality to develop a more strategic approach to women’s empowerment;
  • Revise analysis and monitoring tools to ensure they better capture and reflect on key issues around power, define indicators for evaluating progress in terms of gender equity;
  • Establish alliances with key actors to understand and analyze their agendas and priorities, assess who is working in areas important for CARE’s work, contribute CARE’s voice to others at regional and national levels and work with selected civil society organizations on gender equity issues.
  • Ensure that women’s movement activists participate in program design to ensure proposals from all sectors include actions to address unequal power relations between men and women
  • Establish alliances with women’s movements and institutions to act in a coordinated way around key rights issues.

As the country launches its Gender Equity Program, it will continue to learn and adapt its strategies and approaches to work more effectively with broader rights movements.

 Lessons Learnt

Based on these exercises, the region identified a number of key lessons:
  • Understanding the underlying dynamics of poverty in the region has been essential to clarify CARE's strategic roles in the region in order to have an impact on poverty, as well as to reflect on internal obstacles to play these roles.
  • The importance of building skills in promoting dialogue across stakeholders, gain from others' experiences and ideas as well as our own, and building from it to innovate and learn (even if it means taking risks and making mistakes).
  • More flexible institutional policies and more efficient decision-making processes are needed to move beyond discussions, take a stand and act upon clearly defined objectives and strategic roles for CARE.
  • The process also identified a number of key challenges:
    • The analysis may point at some causes CARE has traditionally not worked on, and may be uncomfortable addressing.  What should we do when this conflict arises?
    • The analysis may point at the need for CARE playing different roles in the contexts we work in.  How fast should CARE change? How could governments, partners, communities and donors view CARE’s change process?
    • For playing strategic roles we have to overcome internal obstacles. What are the key obstacles to change? What do we need to do to overcome them? 

 Case Studies

Gender Sex and PowerUse SHIFT+ENTER to open the menu (new window).
An impact study on women's empowerment, HIV vulnerability, and programming in Bangladesh, Burundi, Cambodia, India, Lesotho and Peru.
UCP StudiesUse SHIFT+ENTER to open the menu (new window).
A participatory learning and action exercise to understand poverty dynamics, identify impact groups and design programs. This work was developed in Bangladesh and Nepal, and replicated in Somaliland, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.
Men and BoysUse SHIFT+ENTER to open the menu (new window).
This study worked with young men in the Balkans to deconstruct the definition of masculinity in terms of gender norms, socialization and attitudes toward women.
LAC Analysis for Program DevelopmentUse SHIFT+ENTER to open the menu (new window).
This inquiry explored how CARE can best influence broader change for women's rights by engaging activists on program design and strategies.


 Gender and Analysis Contacts

Director of Health ProgramsUse SHIFT+ENTER to open the menu (new window).
CARE International - PeruLatin America
Deputy Regional Director of Program Quality: Latin America/Caribbean Use SHIFT+ENTER to open the menu (new window).
CARE International - Latin America/Caribbean RegionLatin America