Investing in Women in South Sudan (IIW-SS)

South Sudan’s female small-scale farmers are excluded from the opportunities of agriculture value chains that could increase incomes, reduce risk, and transform their livelihoods.

The Investing in Women in South Sudan (IIW-SS) is a gender equality and economic inclusion programme that responds to the continuing poverty, food insecurity, and climate vulnerability that these small-scale farmers in South Sudan face. It is funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC) and implemented in East Equatoria and Central Equatoria States.

The programme aims to economically empower women through the groundnut, sesame, sorghum, shea nut and honey value chains. The programme invests in women-focused businesses and women’s entrepreneur associations to create climate smart, gender sensitive value chain opportunities for rural women and youth from poor and food insecure households.

A five-year, CAN$ 12 million programme

This programme seeks to enhance women’s economic empowerment in selected value chains in South Sudan to increase incomes, reduce climate risks, and transform livelihoods.

  • Reduce gender-specific barriers to women’s participation in agricultural value chains.
  • Increase adoption of gender-sensitive climate-smart agricultural practices.
  • Improve employment or livelihoods for women in agriculture and food systems.
  • Geographical Focus

    The programme is being implemented in Central Equatoria and Eastern Equatoria states.

  • Programme Support Mechanisms

    Programme Support Mechanisms

    The programme will support businesses through finance and technical support as detailed below.

    Performance-based Grants

    Funding will be provided through two windows as follows:

    • Window I – Women-focused private sector companies – applying for investment grants of up to CAN $ 975,000 with a matching requirement of at least 25 per cent in cash and in-kind.
    • Window II – Women’s enterprise associations and groups – applying for investment grants of up to CAN $ 130,000 with at least 10 per cent in-kind contribution.

    Technical Assistance

    IIW-SS will deliver non-financial technical assistance on gender, human rights advocacy, early warning and response systems, climate-smart agriculture training, post-harvest handling and collective marketing. In addition, customized technical assistance will be provided through the AECF Advisory Studio.

  • Target Beneficiaries

    The primary beneficiaries are women in the agricultural value chains of focus. The programme aims to directly benefit 6,000 smallholder farmer households (36,000 persons), 80% being women.

    The beneficiaries are categorized into two levels:

    Category I – Private sector businesses and women enterprise associations /groups/cooperatives will receive investment grants and technical assistance to implement innovative business models addressing development challenges while ensuring commercial viability.

    Category II – Women benefiting from the private sector businesses and women enterprise associations/groups/cooperatives supported in category one above, as employees, product distributors or smallholder suppliers of agricultural raw materials.

  • Partnership and Collaboration

    The programme will foster partnership and close coordination with multiple stakeholders. These include Community-Based Organisations (CBOs), Women’s Rights Organisations (WROs), Financial Institutions (FIs) and Government Ministries.

  • Expected Programme Impact
    • Fund 8 private sector businesses and 8 women enterprises associations/groups or cooperatives.
    • Create at least 600 new jobs (80% women, 20% men, 10% youth)
    • Train 6,000 smallholder farmer households (80% women)
    • Reach and improve the lives of over 36,000 persons (80% women)

Programme Brief