Wezesha Project Evaluation: Assessing the Impact of Microcredit on Poverty in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo

Date

2018-12-08

Authors

Boomer, Michael

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Abstract

The following document is an evaluation to assess the impact of Wezesha Project at alleviating poverty in the lives of its beneficiaries. Wezesha Project is a poverty focused microcredit program operating in the conflict/post-conflict setting of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Since 2011, in the provinces of North and South Kivu, DRC, Wezesha Project has been providing loans to groups of women, as business investments in order to generate more income and better support their families. The evaluation outline the context of eastern DRC, provides an overview of the Wezesha Project model, and conducts a literature review examining key material by practitioners and researchers in the field of microfinance. Using data collected from 1346 standardized surveys from a geographically stratified random sample of Wezesha Project beneficiaries between 2012 and 2015 to evaluate project impact. Standardized survey findings are combined with beneficiary focus group discussions to provide the foundation for the evaluation. The overall results make a convincing case that Wezesha Project is indeed alleviating poverty in key areas of income, savings, education, food spending and gender norms. Finally, topics from the literature review are combined with actual project results to provide recommendations on how Wezesha Project can improve on poverty alleviation in the lives of its beneficiaries.

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Keywords

microfinance, microcredit, Democratic Republic of Congo, poverty alleviation, North Kivu, South Kivu, Eastern Congo, Wezesha Project

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