Microeconomic Initiatives Handbook

The purpose of the handbook is to build on the lessons learned and best practices identified during the implementation of MEIs and to propose tools to manage their inherent challenges. The handbook draws on the ICRC’s experiences in over a dozen contexts and on the conclusions of internal and external evaluations of MEIs carried out in the Balkans, the Caucasus, Central Asia, Latin America, West Africa, the Caribbean and the Middle East.

The handbook is divided into four sections.

Section I provides a conceptual overview of the main issues involved in implementing MEIs, focusing on the profile of target beneficiaries and the advantages and limits of each type of programme. This section is also of interest to practitioners outside the field of economic security.

Section II deals with the practical implications of MEI implementation and goes through each step of the programme cycle. This section covers grants, vocational training and microcredit separately, highlighting the challenges that may arise during the needs and feasibility assessment, and considers programme design, programme implementation and follow-up. Grants are dealt with in detail, while the vocational training and microcredit components focus on specific challenges not covered under grants. 

Section III consists of guidance sheets for some of the key steps in MEI implementation.

Section IV provides examples of the different templates that have been developed to date and that could be of use in future programmes.

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