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The ECLT Foundation is committed to collaborative solutions for children and their families that combat the root causes of child labour in tobacco-growing communities. Between 2019 and 2020, the ECLT Foundation conducted SROI analyses of six of its programmes across Uganda, Tanzania, and Malawi. The SROIs covered a range of different types of programme and child labour reduction strategies, including skills training programmes, poverty reduction programmes (Village Loans and Savings Associations, or VSLAs) and direct child labour remediation programmes. This case study focuses on the two SROIs in Uganda.
The key findings from the six SROI studies are as follows:
The SROIs found that there are differences in the values of the outcomes for skills training graduates engaged in different trades. Professions usually chosen by males (e.g. motorcar and motorcycle maintenance, plumbing, construction) generally made considerably more money than professions usually chosen by female participants (e.g. catering, tailoring and hairdressing). A key lesson learnt, therefore, was that gender norms play a fundamental role in the value created through the project outcomes.
As such, future project efforts should aim to increase female participation in high income trades such as motorcar maintenance, plumbing and welding. The literature shows that when females have higher incomes, they invest more in children and household improvements than male participants.1 Therefore, a shift female participation towards high-paying trades is likely to improve outcomes for children as well.
1: See, for example:
Communities that ECLT Foundation and its implementing part work with usually have low levels of literacy and operate in a low cash economy. As such, it is a challenge to get participants to think of the value of project outcomes they experience in monetary terms. As a result, the evaluation team had to spend extra time and effort to enable the participants to come to a common understanding of the monetary value they placed on changes experienced as a result of the project.
There were also some data limitations. For example, the data showing the impact of education on future earnings was limited, and varied from country to country. The SROIs drew on the best data available in each country, but this was not always consistent and meant that different calculation approaches were needed.
See how ECLT used SROI to understand the value of their work in Uganda, and how the learnings were shared with local stakeholders.
The ECLT Foundation contributed to spreading best practice and local capacity building by hosting a a course on Measuring Impact using Social Return on Investment in Kampala, Uganda. The course was free for participants, and was facilitated by Envoy Partnership. It involved participants from the government, development partners, private sector, community sector organisations, and researchers. The course used ECLT’s two SROIs in Uganda as case studies.
ECLT also began the SROI process with an SROI training course for the ECLT team.
ECLT shared the results with stakeholders in each of the countries, and made the full SROI reports available. (The reports are on the ECLT website and at the end of this case study).
The results of the findings and conclusions of the SROIs have led ECLT to review its programmatic approach. The SROI process is also complementing ECLT’s ongoing monitoring and evaluation methods going forward.
ECLT is now exploring ways to apply some of the SROI thinking and findings to develop common industry indicators, which will then feed into national reporting systems on progress against child labour.
The study followed the evaluative SROI methodology. The main features of the methodology are outlined below.
A total of 123 people were interviewed in the qualitative research in total.
For the SROIs in Uganda:
The research team consisted of members of the ECLT head office and local delivery partners.
The qualitative research was used to develop a Theory of Change, identifying the outcomes that were material for stakeholders and that were then measured in the quantitative research.
“We are what we eat. Poor nutrition leads to many illnesses, especially among children. With the VSLA money and income from my projects, I have a balanced diet and no one in my family gets sick frequently.” [Woman in VSLA group]
“I am recognized by the Uganda Education Board as a skilled welder. For someone who did not complete secondary school, I am proud to have this certificate. I am making money. I have built two houses already. I am renting out one of them. I am now able to look after my mother and siblings. I feel like a man.” [Welding graduate]
Individual face-to-face interviews were conducted in all sub-counties in January 2019. In total, 236 VSLA members and 66 skills training graduates complete surveys, and an additional focus group of 20-30 people was also held.
The research team consisted of members of the ECLT head office, local delivery partners, a representative from Envoy Partnership, and translators. The surveys were self-completion, but a member of the research team explained the survey to participants in a group, to ensure that the survey was understood and to address any questions.
Image © ECLT Foundation