Rapid Ebola Social Safety Net and Economic Recovery (RESSNER) Program
This report (74 pages) presents findings from the end line and end-of-project performance evaluation of the Rapid Ebola Social Safety Net and Economic Recovery (RESSNER) Program. The RESSNER program was designed to ‘provide immediate access to cash for purchase of basic food items and support to local economic recovery through unconditional cash transfers in nine Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) affected chiefdoms across the districts of Bombali (5 chiefdoms) and Tonkolili (4 chiefdoms)’. Overall the program targeted and reached a total of 8,100 extremely poor households with unconditional cash transfers (implemented in both phases) and 900 poor households with a one-off seed voucher (implemented in the 2nd phase only). The end line evaluation therefore covered these two phases of the program to document the extent to which the program contributed to restoring food security, improving economic recovery and reducing the negative coping mechanisms of EVD affected households in Bombali and Tonkolili districts in northern Sierra Leone.
The evaluation findings revealed that the RESSNER cash transfer program achieved its aim of providing support for immediate access to cash for basic food needs; and also resulted in other unexpected outcomes including economic independence, high dietary diversity and low hunger situation for extremely poor and vulnerable households. These achievements were evidenced from outcomes such as reduced negative coping strategies, high dietary diversity scores, low household hunger scale, expanded expenditures and improved economic activities (as sustainability strategies) among extremely poor households across communities in the two intervention districts.