Background: The SGP was implemented in Jamaica (JAM), St. Kitts & Nevis (SKN) and St. Vincent & the Grenadines (SVG), particularly in communities that were poor and vulnerable to food and nutrition insecurity. The latest available Country Poverty Assessments in JAM, SKN, and SVG indicated relatively high levels of headcount poverty: 28.5% (JAM), 23.7% (St. Kitts), 15.7% (Nevis) and 27% (SVG). The poverty levels in the rural areas were even higher than the national average. Focus group discussions indicated that persons in these communities are vulnerable to food and nutrition insecurity because they: (i) have limited assets; (ii) do not benefit from external risk management through policies, laws and regulations; and (iii) engage in livelihood activities that are affected negatively by shocks, trends and seasonality. Thus, they lack the resilience to sustain their livelihoods above a given food security threshold should and event such as a natural disaster or economic shock were to occur.
The SGP was designed to achieve three main objectives: (1) To not replace the main livelihood (farming); (2) To generate a significant and sustainable source of additional income (and own-employment); (3) As an extension of (2), to serve as a catalyst and foundation for lifting vulnerable groups of persons out of the basic level that characterises their daily existence; and (4) To directly enhance the food and nutrition security (FNS) of these vulnerable households, and indirectly make a positive contribution to the livelihoods in the surrounding communities. With respect to FNS, the small grants will contribute to food availability (encourage the farmers to continue their farming activity), food accessibility (income for the small grants can be used to purchase food and non-food items), and stability (a constant stream of income from the projects will enable households to purchase food generally, and better quality of food). With respect to the nutritional dimension of food security, it should be noted that these farmers grow crops that can contribute to good health and nutrition (including roots, tubers, beans, fresh vegetables, vine fruits, etc.).
The SGP involves much more than the idea of a one-time injection of funds to start-up an activity to generate income and employment. On the contrary, the program is envisioned, both in terms of design and in the implementation, as a catalyst and a foundation that will lift persons out of a situation where they are constantly vulnerable to food and nutrition insecurity. In particular, the program represents an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the possibility of laying a solid foundation for empowering people to break the cycle of poverty and develop and manage a sustainable path for wealth creation and enhanced welfare.
Summary of Activities
See dissemination posters for with details on activities of each of the groups in each of the three countries here.
Below lists a summary of how well the different types of activities were carried out over the course of the project. (click/tap the image to view pdf version)
Lessons learnt in specialized entrepreneurial training experiences to meet the challenges of low education, poverty and food insecurity: