Livelihoods and Basic Services in Lainya County, South Sudan

Helen Mountfort
NGO associated?
This brief is part of a series of research briefs of the DCR consortium. The purpose is to communicate lessons and corresponding recommendations for programme quality improvement. For information on the research methodology please refer to the full report, available upon request.

The study looked at how ZOA’s livelihoods interventions (of both on- farm and off-farm activities) improve access to basic services in Lainya County, South Sudan. Field research was conducted from October to December 2012 in four Payams: Wuji, Kupera, Kenyi and Mukaya.

The research findings indicate that overall, ZOA is playing a key role in addressing issues of livelihood recovery in Lainya County, South Sudan. The livelihood programme, which encompasses Farmer Field Schools, Village Saving and Loan Associations (VSLA) and Vocational Skills Trainings1, has supported the recovery process of beneficiaries in Lainya County.

However, due to the relatively new establishment of the livelihoods programme (2011) and without a solid baseline data set of programme beneficiaries directly involved in the livelihood interventions, it was difficult to draw firm conclusions on how ZOA’s livelihood programmes have contributed to the increase of access to basic services (and vice versa).

In semi-structured group interviews with livelihood groups, 6 out of 18 groups reported a general increase in income at the household level. Respondents noted that they could now put their children in school and the farmers noted that they have experienced an increase in crop yields. As illustrated in the data from the VSLA questionnaire, 56 respondents out of 61 interviewed had noticed an increase in income. They clearly stated that income generated from the group savings and from the income generating activities allowed them to put their children in school. Respondents also noted that their ability to pay for medical bills had increased as their productivity of their farms increased. The majority of respondents (87%, n=61) felt that the health of the members of the household had improved since joining the VSLA group.