Case Study: Which Factors Lead to Successful and Sustainable Income-generating Activities?

Fioekou, C. Translation Fowler, J.
Publication language
Date published
01 Apr 2020
Case study
Capacity development, Local capacity, Development & humanitarian aid, Evaluation-related, Livelihoods, Training
Use in Humanitarian Programme Cycle

In February 2019, the HCR estimated that over 174,000 Central African refugees had fled to the East Region of Cameroon since 2013. In the Lom & Djerem Department, some of the refugees are living within communities along the Garoua Boulai – Bertoua road, while the majority have joined the Gado refugee camp. According to the HCR, 74% of them favour local integration over repatriation to the Central African Republic. Solidarités International has been working in the Lom & Djerem Department since 2014, where it has supported 236 Income Generating Activities (IGA), including 55 group IGAs.

This study was intended to review the IGA approach adopted by Solidarités International, and to provide lessons learned and recommendations to improve the sustainability of IGAs, i.e. to reduce the proportion of beneficiaries that abandon or only make a minimal contribution to the activity.

Several questions were dealt with: 

  • Sustainability: What percentage of IGAs are still active?
  • Targeting: What are the profiles/criteria of beneficiary households whose IGAs are considered to have a high level of activity and those with very limited activities or that are eventually abandoned?
  • Selection procedure: Do pre-selection profitability calculations and the amount of capital invested have an impact on the IGA’s sustainability (in terms of activity)?
  • Group vs. individual approach: Which is the most recommended approach to ensure that the activity is as sustainable as possible? 
  • Training: What is the impact of training - and which specific training - on the sustainability of supported IGAs?
Fioekou, C.