This programme completion report for the Community Resilience Programme (CRP) provides a comprehensive analysis of all programme results and outcomes achieved during Phase I from January 2017 to June 2020. The programme was designed to align with MRCS’s Strategic Goal 1: Build healthier and safer communities, reduce vulnerabilities, and strengthen resilience. CRP has been implemented in the central areas of Rakhine State, which is one of the poorest states in Myanmar with a poverty rate of 78%, and communities facing large scale displacement and insecurity, resulting from the violence in August 2017.
Communities also face recurring natural disasters. Muslims communities continue to have restrictions of movement, limiting their access to basic and essential services. Further, there are ongoing conflicts in central and northern parts of Rakhine. All these issues, contribute to conditions of protracted crisis, further undermining communities’ possibilities to meet basic needs and continue with their livelihoods. The programme covered 30 villages in Sittwe and Minbya Townships, benefiting over 6,000 households (29,000 people) with multi-sectoral interventions across Livelihoods, DRR, WASH and Health. The beneficiaries reached included people of Rakhine (50%), Muslim (46%) and Chin (4%) ethnicity, representing communities both directly and indirectly affected by crisis in Rakhine. The interventions focused on both categories, addressing humanitarian needs through localized strategies, building on and consolidating existing capacities, while prioritizing the most vulnerable groups. Emphasis remained on strengthening community institutions in the form of village resilience committees, women groups and community volunteer networks.
The coordinated programming approach has increased synergies between Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement partners, enhanced collaborations with government agencies and promoted coordination among stakeholders. These combined investments have promoted community-based action towards building community resilience. CRP Phase I has been successful in supporting 2,539 most vulnerable households with cash grants to restore and strengthen their livelihoods, assisted 2,267 households with cash grants to construct their latrines and facilitated the formation of 83 women groups revolving funds to improve women’s access to credit and economic empowerment. Community capacity building initiatives through the CBDRM approach, has produced 67 DRR mitigation projects, 53 water points rehabilitation and 12 school latrines. The combined investments in community institutions and basic resource and equipment needs have been the mainstay of resilience programming. MRCS also provided health services in the areas of Sittwe Township through mobile clinics under this programme. The programme interventions were guided by Community Action Plans facilitated through participatory approaches.
MRCS through multi-lateral funding from British Red Cross, Norwegian Red Cross and American Red Cross implemented multi-sectoral resilience programme that provided substantive learning for the next phase of interventions. CashBased Interventions (CBIs) were used in a diverse way to achieve the programme goal. CBIs included; livelihoods cash grants, cash for latrines, cash for work, community cash grants, women group revolving funds, village emergency funds and community volunteer group funds. The cash learning study commissioned in 2019 and undertaken by a British Red Cross technical advisory team has provided valuable insights on best practices and areas that needs improvement on cash approaches.
Overall, the programme has been impactful to increase household monthly income of livelihoods supported beneficiaries by 23%. There is a significant level of change in the percentage of households accessing sanitation facilities from 21% at baseline to 57% at end of phase I. The rate of open defecation dropped from 90% to 48%. Further, the WASH behavior specific to hand washing practices shows increased percentage of people washing hand at critical times. The initiative of women group revolv8 ing funds has created increased access to credit 1. Contextual Background among members. By the end of phase I, USD 40,925 had been issued as micro-loans among group members. There is also enhanced capacity among communities to respond to crisis through instruments of village emergency funds. The investments towards strengthening capacities of Red Cross Branches have led to increased human resource capacities of RCVs to implement humanitarian and development programmes in a protracted crisis context.