Our local initiatives

Cash transfers

Cash transfers are direct payments of money to people in critical need after a disaster. This empowers those in need to choose how they spend the money and supports local markets. We transfer cash directly to women in emergencies so they can decide what their families and communities need the most - whether it's food, shelter or other essential items. 

Children's clubs

A fun, safe space for children to share their views and problems and get a say in how their communities develop. Children in impoverished communities can meet, play, learn, read and share knowledge or news with each other and d strengthen their solidarity.

Community Based Anti-Violence Teams

COMBAT squads are community groups trained by ActionAid to recognise, prevent and report all forms of violence against women and girls, including abduction, child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM).

Each team is made up of a cross section of the community and are actively engaged in those communities by presenting talks at schools, identifying issues and working with the police to bring perpetrators to justice.

Community seed banks

ActionAid provides seed banks for useful crops to those in need to ensure food security. For example, in many parts of the world where crops have failed due to rising temperatures and erratic rainfall, ActionAid works closely with the agricultural communities to provide them with climate-resilient crop seeds so families can eat and maintain a livelihood.

Girls' clubs

These take the shape of clubs and forums especially at schools or in the community where girls can learn about their rights, and debate the issues affecting their lives. The purpose of these clubs is to help local girls identify issues that affect them - from period poverty to violence, encourage them to lead on solutions and gain confidence in the process. 

Reflect circles

Reflect circles are spaces where women feel comfortable to meet and discuss issues relevant to them and their lives. These groups harness the participatory power of women to influence the decisions that affect their lives, thus helping build their agency. 

Participants follow a cycle of reflection and action, which involves:

  • Understanding the context of the problem

  • Identifying and prioritising an issue to address

  • Planning the actions to respond to the issue

  • Monitoring and evaluation of the process

At each stage, a variety of engagement tools are used to support analysis and planning. In some cases, these groups also teach literacy, numeracy and language skills so that every woman can participate fully. 

School management committees

A group including children, parents and teachers that get together to help improve local schools. The committee looks at the quality of education provided and tracks government money to make sure it is spent properly.

Women's cooperatives

A self-reliant group of women who are given a small loan to build a business, which they put money back into over a period of time. The businesses can range from potato growing to basket weaving with everyone sharing the profits between them. ActionAid provides support and training in business skills so the women can make the most of their business model. 

Women's safe spaces

After an emergency, ActionAid sets up safe spaces - be it a tent at a refugee camp or a room based in a local community - where women can congregate privately to access medical help, breastfeed their babies, receive hygiene kits and access emotional support. Learn more about our feminist approach to women's safe spaces here.

Top image: A women-led emergency response group in Bangladesh. Turjoy Chowdhury/ActionAid

Page updated 27 July 2021