Poverty, social isolation and HIV infection are vulnerability factors that can have drastic consequences for entire communities. While traditional economic strengthening programs, such as microfinance and workforce training, effectively target the economically active general population, they do not adequately consider the distinct needs of highly at-risk populations at the household level. With the support of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Office of HIV/AIDS, and the Displaced Children and Orphans Fund, FHI 360 has assembled a consortium of leading organizations and experts to address the needs of vulnerable populations, especially children, under the Accelerating Strategies for Practical Innovation and Research in Economic Strengthening (ASPIRES) project.
The primary goal of the project is to support gender-sensitive programming, research and learning to improve the economic security of highly vulnerable individuals, families and children. Critical target populations served by ASPIRES include those infected or affected by HIV and AIDS, key populations at high risk of acquiring HIV and households in which children have been or are at risk of becoming separated from the families who care for them.
ASPIRES focuses on efficiently providing technical assistance to scale up high-quality interventions in consumption support, money management and income promotion. The project also focuses on the design and implementation of rigorous research to evaluate programs and inform a new understanding of best practices in economic strengthening.
Features of the ASPIRES approach include:
- Using current evidence and state-of-the-art approaches to promote scalable, high-quality programming
- Conducting research to expand the evidence base and promote innovation
- Building the capacity of national stakeholders to implement evidence-based programming and to monitor and evaluate programs
- Coordinating with funders, local and national governments, and global partners
- Integrating a gender perspective into research, tools, policy and standards recommendations, and technical assistance
See our full list of ASPIRES project resources.