Food Security

EMERGENCY FOOD SECURITY PROGRAM: FINAL EVALUATION REPORT

This report provides the results of the final evaluation of the Emergency Food Security Program (EFSP) implemented in twelve districts within the four regions of Sool, Sanaag, Galgaduud and Mudug that was conducted during July and August 2019.

Over and above the program performance parameters, the beneficiaries overwhelmingly indicated that the program had had significant positive impacts. The program was considered timely as it was delivered when beneficiaries were getting into months of food insecurity. When asked whether the cash transfer had improved their livelihoods, 93% of the household survey respondents reported that their livelihoods had improved, mainly in terms of improved purchasing power (93%), ease of meeting their basic needs (78%), better social status (22%), better and more recognition (17%), taking children to school (14%), access to healthcare (9%) and in other (non-described) areas (7%). In the household survey, 94% of the respondents received three cycles of the correct amount, whilst 5% who were targeted under the Rapid Response Fund (RRF) received two cycles enabling households to purchase their preferred foods, at least 25Kg of rice, 25Kg of sugar, 25kg wheat flour, 3kg of cooking oil, 10kg of pasta and some vegetables.

The program had a positive impact on the 52,299 households enrolled. The programme resulted in a reduction of distress coping strategies, with an average rCSI of 12.8 reducing from 20.4 at the program baseline. This supports the effectiveness of the program in enabling the beneficiaries to reduce the number of negative coping strategies that they were previously employing in order to meet basic household needs. In addition, as planned, all the households used the cash transfer to meet their basic needs, with 97% of them using the cash transfer to purchase food for the household, indicating that the cash intervention has directly contributed to the enhancement of the household food security during the drought. Trend analysis shows that throughout the program there was a downward trend of the rCSI scores, while there was an increase of household dietary diversity index to 20.4 compared to the baseline of 12.8. Similarly, an analysis of household hunger shows that in general the beneficiaries were experiencing little to no hunger, with only 13% experiencing moderate hunger and 86% of households experiencing little to no hunger. This again indicates that the programme has achieved positive outcomes.

While the evidence suggests that the program generated a number of positive impacts, across many domains, demonstrating effective and efficient implementation, and that the beneficiaries used the cash as per the original objectives of the program, households continue to faces challenges in their capacity to fully recover from the impacts of conflict and drought. Increasing the scale of interventions and developing additional holistic livelihood strategies for the target areas, creating linkages with market-based interventions and improvement in access to water, education and healthcare, experimenting with graduation models combined with local savings (VSLAs) were among some of the areas identified for improving future programming. A more detailed description of these recommendations is provided towards the tail end of the report. Read More...

Somalia Resilience Program Third Party Monitoring: Midline Assessment

The Somalia Resilience Program (SomReP) is a consortium of seven international non-governmental organisations (INGOs). The aim of the consortium is to enhance the resilience of vulnerable households and communities in Southern Somalia against cyclical shocks and stressors. The program’s activities focus on securing livelihoods and increasing adaptive capacities of communities and households in Somalia.

Overall, positive developments from the baseline was noted for most of the indicators analyzed in this report. Most of these positive developments could be attributed to different programme interventions. The attribution was tested through statistical correlation analysis and by synthesizing programme documents and the data collected at various stages throughout the project. The food security status of the respondents had improved, both in terms of food consumption and coping strategies. For example, the proportion of the respondents categorized as having an acceptable level of the Food Consumption Score (FCS) had increased from 48.5% in the baseline to 80.4% in the midline. The income of the respondents had also improved with both a significantly higher average income as well as more diversified income being reported. Those respondents that were part of a savings scheme as well as those that had received cash distributions through Cash for Work (CfW) or Unconditional Cash Transfers (UCT) reported higher FCS than those who had not. Respondents that had received cash distributions were also positively associated with higher incomes. As such, it is recommended that both VSLA and cash programming interventions should be sustained and if possible scaled-up. It is worth noting that livelihoods were still largely climate sensitive, with day labour in agriculture being the most common and important livelihood strategy, especially for male respondents. This implies that most people are still highly vulnerable to climatic shocks, such as drought. Read More...

Somalia Resilience Program Third Party Monitoring: Baseline Study

The Somalia Resilience Program (SomReP) is a consortium of seven Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO), the activities of which aim to enhance the resilience of vulnerable households and communities in Southern Somalia against cyclical shocks and stressors. This report serves as the baseline for the Third Party Monitoring (TPM) of SomReP in two districts in South and Central Somalia: Afgooye and Baidoa. The TPM study is undertaken by Forcier Consulting on behalf of SomReP, with the aim to rigorously monitor the progress and outcomes of the program.

The data indicates that resilience differed among livelihood groups (agro-pastoralist, pastoralists, and peri-urban), between women and men, and across seasons. This means that program approaches should take these differences into account when targeting groups for various interventions. For instance, people in peri-urban areas tended to have less diverse diets, while pastoralists tend to engage in more severe and frequent coping strategies. Out of the different livelihood types, pastoralists were also the most likely to report no access to risk transfer or sharing. Further, women tended to have less diverse incomes than men and incomes tend to be lowest in the dry season of Jilaal, the season in which most agriculture-related work was replaced with unskilled work. These findings indicate that women should be more frequently targeted for income diversity interventions, and pastoralists should be targeted with interventions that aim to increase social safety nets, such as risk sharing.

Capacities to deal with stressors in both the short and long-term were low across the targeted areas. Natural resource management (NRM) was poor in both districts and in and across communities. Sustainable access to natural resources is an important factor in ensuring long-term resilience and should therefore receive more attention across the communities. Response capacities were also absent across the communities. Only 9.7 of all respondents said their community had a community-based early warning system in place. Further, only 5.7% of the respondents said community initiatives existed that aimed to access support from sub-national and national institutions and authorities to respond to and cope with the recurrent shocks and stressors. Hence, moving forward, the program should ensure a focus of combined approaches to achieve improvements in system-wide resilience. Read More...

Inter-agency Response to Tropical Cyclone Gita Tonga

In response to the damage and the immediate needs of the affected population, taking in to account the expertise of the agencies, MORDI Trust Tonga (MORDI), Live & Learn Environmental Education (LLEE) and CARE Australia (CARE) formed a partnership to deliver humanitarian assistance on the islands of Tongatapu and ‘Eua.

The response program included assistance provided in the areas of shelter, WASH, food security and livelihoods, with an underlying focus on gender and social inclusion. Donor funding for the response program through CARE Australia included DFAT funding through the Australian Humanitarian Partnership, ECHO and the START Network. Additional grants directly to MORDI from Oxfam and Rotary/MFAT also formed part of the overall response program.
This report will aim to test the effectiveness and efficiency of the overall response program. Read More...

Tropical Cyclone Gita Response Program Evaluation

Tropical Cyclone (TC) Gita, a Category 4 cyclone, struck Tonga in February 2018. CARE, Live and Learn, and MORDI (‘the partnership’) responded to the immediate needs of communities on Tongatapu and ‘Eua islands, delivering emergency shelter and hygiene kits. In the recovery phase the partnership supported communities with shelter, repairs to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure, and food security and livelihood recovery efforts, including a specific project focused on the recovery priorities of seven women’s groups on ‘Eua island.

CARE commissioned this evaluation to assess the assistance provided through the response and recovery program in the first six months (February – August 2018). The evaluation focused on four main areas of enquiry: the partnership, the response, gender and inclusion, and localisation.

This report documents the findings from the evaluation and provides forward-looking recommendations for the partnership and for preparedness and future emergency response in Tonga. Read More...

Gender Equity and Women’s Empowerment: The Journey So far; The Experience of the ENSURE Program

The ENSURE Food Security Program is a USAID-funded, five-year intervention designed to profoundly and sustainably impact 215,000 vulnerable and food- insecure Zimbabweans in Manicaland and Masvingo Provinces. The program is a shared commitment by four partners and one service provider—World Vision, CARE, SNV, SAFIRE and ICRISAT—who work together to mainstream gender equity and natural resource management in the three key areas of maternal and child nutrition and health, agricultural production and marketing, and community resilience.

The success of ENSURE can be portrayed through the accounts of thousands of women and men whose lives have been changed through its various programme interventions. Tangible gender transformative changes can be noticed on several dimensions: joint household decision making; reduced violence against women; increased women’s leadership in community leadership; men assisting women with household chores and childcare; women’s ownership of high value productive assets; and increased access and control over income.
Read More...

ROM Review: Initiative REVANCHE: Résilience et Adaptation aux Variabilités Climatiques, pour une Sécurité Alimentaire et Nutritionnelle Durable au Tchad, Régions de Wadi Fira, Guera et Ouadaï.

PERTINENCE. La mise en oeuvre de l’action REVANCHE a confirmé la pertinence de la stratégie PRO-ACT Résilience qui a été à l’origine de sa conception et du choix du mode d’exécution du projet permettant la sortie de l’urgence et l’ancrage d’un développement durable au sein des communautés cible. Les réponses proposées sont appropriées pour satisfaire les besoins des bénéficiaires et soutiennent la Plan nationale de renforcement de la résilience des populations tchadiennes. La pertinence est maintenue tout au long de l’exécution car le projet répond aux besoins des plus vulnérables par des actions à effets immédiats par du cash qui permet l’accès
à l’alimentation et aux soins de santé.

EFFICIENCE. La mise en oeuvre s’est révélée efficiente et propice à une bonne progression vers la réalisation des résultats recherchés. Le projet a connu un retard dans son démarrage mais dont les causes relèvent, pour la plupart d’entre elles, de facteurs externes au projet lui-même.

EFFICACITÉ. Le projet a été efficace à livrer la majeure partie des produits planifiés, notamment ceux consistant en travaux et réalisations d’ouvrages physiques et en appuis méthodologiques et logistiques aux parties étatiques et ONG partenaires.

DURABILITÉ. La problématique de la durabilité se pose encore en termes de capacité des communautés à s’approprier les apports du projet. Quatre ONG nationales ont pris part à l’exécution du projet REVANCHE et ont bénéficié d’un paquet de formations et du coaching progressif de CARE et OXFAM. Mais les organisations communautaires de base (organisations paysannes, groupements féminins, artisans réparateurs de pompes, groupe pour le système d’alerte précoce, GIE d’ouvriers maçons, …) qui constituent le socle de la stratégie de durabilité de l’action sont encore à un stade embryonnaire et requièrent des appuis et une mise en réseau entre eux et avec les services publiques Read More...

Kore Lavi Safety Net Beneficiary Resilience Assessment

As part of its mandate, the Kore Lavi program has developed and established a food voucher-based social safety net model for the poorest households in conjunction with the Haitian Government – through the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MAST). This Resilience Assessment contributes to a stronger understanding of the current food security and resilience situations of the most vulnerable program beneficiaries.

Based upon the data collected, the social safety net members – which is considered as the study sampling universe – are mainly affected by Illness, death and drought, respectively. The experiences shared by the respondents also revealed that they often face several types of shocks and stressors simultaneously.

The food voucher had a very positive impact and helped a lot during each key moment: before the shock or stressor affected the respondent, immediately after, sometime after and now. In the different stories that were shared, a certain number of respondents mentioned that they have no other means to ensure their food security - other than the Kore Lavi food vouchers. With regard to the food vouchers indirect contribution, it is important to highlight that 59% of
respondents used the money they saved to pay school fees and 28% to pay medical fees. 36% save it in their Village Saving and Loans Association (VSLA). Yet, there is also an emerging group that used the money to invest in agricultural endeavors and start-up income generating activities.

When comparing the three main types of assets (personal, social and physical-financial resources), it could be observed that especially vulnerable respondents tended to rely on social resources. Generally, the respondents used more negative coping mechanisms that compromise their food security like eating less or less preferred meals per day (58%), reducing expenditures related to household needs (32%), producing charcoal (33%), reducing agriculture production area (20%) and livestock (19%) or selling assets.

The study identified that 22% of VSLA members followed resilient pathways versus 16% of non VSLA respondents. In almost all the signifier questions, there were found small differences between both groups, but not as much as it was initially expected by the Kore Lavi team. Read More...

Kore Lavi Title II Program Haiti – Midterm Evaluation

This reports presents the findings, conclusions and recommendations related to the Kore Lavi mid-term evaluation.

DESCRIPTION OF KORE LAVI. Kore Lavi’s Theory of Change holds that positive and lasting transformation must happen within interrelated domains: (1) where the effective social safety net programming and complementary services reach the most vulnerable populations and protect their access to food while building self-reliance; (2) that achieve breadth and depth in behavior and social change needed to tackle under-nutrition among vulnerable women and children; and (3) that institutionalize accountability, transparency and quality of delivery for mutually reinforcing social protection programs under the leadership of MAST.

EVALUATION METHODOLOGY. The evaluation employed three data collection methodologies: document review, key informant interviews, and focus group discussions.

PRIMARY FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS.
At the time of the MTE, Kore Lavi had completed data collection in 16 communes demonstrating the ability to adapt and innovate to address the initial data quality problems that existed at the beginning of the program.

In terms of its implementation on the ground, the food voucher scheme is operating well in identifying voucher recipients and enrolling them in the program, distributing food to beneficiaries via paper or electronic vouchers, recruiting and managing the network of collaborating vendors, enforcing policies governing the scheme and overseeing operations. Food received by beneficiary households from both paper and electronic vouchers is inevitably shared with non-household members, including neighbors and even strangers. The VSLA scheme has effectively provided a mechanism by which large numbers of vulnerable women and men living in program communities can save and access small loans at reasonable interest rates to invest in their businesses or children’s education or for other purposes.

SO3 social behavioral change communications interventions are, on the whole, well designed and well implemented. Care Groups, moreover, appear to be an effective methodology for mobilizing women and communicating critical SBCC messages. Community health agents and Lead Mothers play a critical role in SO3 activities. While they are, for the most part, doing a good job and are satisfied with their roles, they also have a number of legitimate concerns related to the lack of monetary compensation and reimbursement for expenses incurred. The program has done a good job identifying and reaching the targeted women and infants.

Kore Lavi has taken a holistic approach to gender integration from design to implementation and has made a conscious and good faith effort to integrate gender considerations in each of the four program SOs.

Kore Lavi has prioritized information management and has demonstrated a clear institutional interest in improving knowledge and learning.

Read More...

Baseline Study of the Title II Development Food Assistance Program in Haiti

In fiscal year 2013, the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Office of Food for Peace (FFP) awarded funding to CARE International and its partners, Action Contre La Faim International (ACF) and the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP), to implement a Title II development food assistance program in Haiti.1 The four-year Kore Lavi Program directly supports the Government of Haiti’s (GOH) social protection efforts. The overall objective of the program is to reduce food insecurity and vulnerability by supporting the GOH in establishing a replicable safety net system and expanding capacities for preventing child undernutrition.

KEY FINDINGS.
The Title II program area residents face challenges in all four pillars of food security: (1) availability of food, (2) access to food, (3) utilization of food and (4) stability.

Survey results indicate that 57.5 percent of households suffer from moderate hunger and 13.5 percent of households suffer from severe hunger.

An HDDS of 6.2 indicates that households in the Kore Lavi Program area typically can access and consume 6 of 12 basic food groups. Qualitative data indicate that food consumption is pragmatic at the household level. Individual families eat what is available, what they can grow or what they can afford to purchase. Despite these challenges, many respondents spoke ardently to beliefs about the cultural significance of certain foods, while also holding strong opinions on imported food in comparison to locally produced food.

The household survey data show that 69 percent of all households have an adequate level of food consumption, 22 percent score at the borderline level, and 9 percent score at the poor level.

Across the Kore Lavi Program area, 43.6 percent of households currently live in extreme poverty (less than the international poverty line of USD$1.25 at 2005 prices), with average daily per capita expenditures of constant USD$ 2.10.

The household survey data show that 40 percent of households use an improved drinking water source and 16 percent of households use a non-shared improved sanitation facility.

As measured by body mass index (BMI), the nutritional status of women 15-49 years of age who are not pregnant or two months post-partum is generally satisfactory despite a lack of dietary diversity.

The survey data reveal that 8 percent of children under five years of age in the Kore Lavi Program area show signs of being moderately or severely underweight, and 19 percent of children under five years of age are stunted.

Across the qualitative data, views about gender equality tended to be polarized, rooted historically and in tradition. Read More...

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