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ACFODE Conducts Socio-Economic Needs Assessment for Women Groups in Kasese District

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Action for Development (ACFODE), a national women's rights organization, has recently completed a comprehensive socio-economic needs assessment for four women groups under the Mt. Rwenzori Coffee Farmers’ Cooperative Union (MRCFCU) in Kasese district. Commissioned in August 2023, this assessment aimed to understand the social and economic needs, knowledge gaps, and skill deficiencies among women co-operators to boost their economic empowerment.

In partnership with Women Strong International, ACFODE launched the one-year project titled “Increasing Economic Security and Opportunity for Women in Cooperatives in Kasese District.” The overarching goal is to enhance the capacity of 90 women to engage in innovative, profitable social enterprises by 2024 while promoting positive attitudes towards women's empowerment.

The needs assessment process, spanning two days and employing participatory methodologies facilitated by ACFODE's team, involved four women's groups in their respective communities. A customized socio-economic needs assessment tool was developed, incorporating focused group discussions (FGDs) and individual assessments to gauge priority needs and aspirations.

The assessment tool encompassed six sub-themes, serving as a structural assessment tool linking the desk review with participatory discussions. It facilitated consistent analysis and reporting of findings, capturing the socio-economic needs of women in the selected groups.

Thirty women per group, totalling 120 women, primarily coffee farmers, were targeted for participation. However, 102 women actively engaged in the assessment process. Additionally, men were involved to understand their perspective on women's socio-economic empowerment and their role in enabling women to achieve their goals.

The data analysis conducted qualitatively and quantitatively, provided insights into the socio-economic context, identifying gaps and strengths within the women's groups. Actionable recommendations were generated to address these needs, informing future trainings and interventions.

By prioritizing the economic empowerment of women in Kasese district, ACFODE aims to foster sustainable development, gender equality, and social progress in the region. Through collaborative efforts and targeted initiatives, she strives to create a more just and equitable society where women are economically secure.