Empowerment and Resilience 

Our Approach

Despite great strides in poverty alleviation, some groups, including women, youth, and the very poor, have not fully benefited from these gains. Our programs target the needs of disadvantaged groups and find holistic solutions that ensure the growth of inclusive market systems. We analyze the social dynamics between women and men to ensure equitable access to resources and information. We empower youth to drive innovative change in their communities. Food and nutrition security at the individual and household levels is also crucial to community resilience.  As gains in agricultural productivity alone do not necessarily improve nutrition, we integrate nutrition-sensitive activities into agriculture value chains.


“Since I started getting advice, training, and technical assistance from ACDI/VOCA, my life has improved tremendously. I never dreamed of producing 500 kgs of cucumber and 400 kgs of tomatoes in one year on a ¼ hectare farm.”
—Cacilda Salmente
Vegetable farmer, Mozambique

Woman harvesting in agriculture 


We believe that no one should be excluded from our work empowering communities and to improving lives. Achieving gender equality and female empowerment are core development objectives and key to effective and sustainable outcomes. Addressing gaps between men, women, boys and girls such as time use, poverty, and women and girls’ unequal access to food and other resources is essential; after all, communities cannot thrive when half of their members face undue burdens. These burdens also carry significant health and economic impacts. Empowering women and girls significantly improves household nutrition and a community’s economic and overall prosperity.

Ignitia weather forcasting app mobile 


We harness mobile technology to capture and analyze information vital to effective empowerment and resilience endeavors. GPS location software allows us to track project participants’ food needs and the distribution of emergency food aid. It also provides important monitoring and evaluation data essential to assessing program effectiveness. For project participants, mobile technology enables them to access weather and emergency data to make informed decisions about their safety.

Group of people gathered for a lecture 

Institutional Strengthening

Active community-based institutions, supported by a strong network of civil society actors and effective and transparent local government are the heart of empowered and resilient households and communities. In our work building inclusive economies, we partner with and strengthen informal and formal institutions at the local, regional, and national levels to ensure that all people and households, especially women, youth, ethnic minorities, and other marginalized populations not only benefit from, but actively contribute to local economic growth.

In our empowerment and resilience work, we strengthen traditional and non-traditional leadership within communities to energize, engender commitment, self-mobilize, and embrace democratic processes. We support the formation of new community-based organizations, and the expansion of existing ones—from informal groups such as care groups for pregnant and new mothers and women and youth business groups, to more formal structures such as community development councils and inter-community local leadership networks. These efforts create new platforms and opportunities for all people to become involved in local development.

We facilitate relationship development between communities and community institutions and relevant civil society, private sector, and government institutions, increasing equitable access to products, services, and support. We deliver organizational capacity and business management assistance, technical skill development support, and ongoing oversight and mentorship to public- and private-sector actors to improve the effectiveness of their support to communities and households.

Afghanistan market 


ACDI/VOCA believes in the ability of agriculture to create and support an enabling environment to improve the nutrition of women and children.  In our projects, we utilize the industry-accepted agriculture-to-nutrition impact pathways that focus on increased production for home consumption and market availability as well as increased incomes and women’s empowerment.  Through integrating nutrition-sensitive interventions along these pathways, we assist smallholder farmers and other value chain actors to move households along the pathways toward improved dietary diversity and improved health, thereby improving nutrition status for all.

nutrition pathways to agriculture

Ethiopia AMSAP Maize Demo 

Climate Change

Weather-related shocks and climate change hit vulnerable populations particularly hard. Our approach builds resilience among those vulnerable people to better withstand future shocks and to aid in their recovery.

Savings & Credit 

Savings & Credit

We identify community savings groups so that they can combine meager resources and make meaningful assets available to the population. Accumulating some useful amount of asset enables the participants to break the cycle of extreme poverty.

Related Projects


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Signature Tool Nutri-Map


Too often, rural households have limited means to grow or acquire diverse foods. This lack of vital nutrients results in severe illness, child malnutrition, and even death. NutriMap defines pathways for smallholder farmers to access adequate amounts of nutritious foods. NutriMap identifies accessible channels of nutrition through increased income, production, and women’s empowerment.

Signature Tool Focus


Marginalized identity groups, such as minority communities and indigenous people, often suffer the worst aspects of poverty. FOCUS is a five-stage approach that builds collaboration between identity groups and the public, private, civic, and media sectors of the mainstream society. FOCUS empowers marginalized groups to improve access to income, education, healthcare, and political rights.

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Sierra Leone SNAP female farmer empowered

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