Evaluation Top 10 Lessons
- Cash and Vouchers, September 2009
Although the overlap between the 12 completed orongoing WFP cash initiatives in eight countriesand OEDE evaluations is limited to just twocountries (Malawi and Sri Lanka), OEDEevaluations have examined the cash issue in othercountries or regional operations where the optionhas been considered (e.g. Aceh/Indonesia) or where other partners are involved (e.g. Ethiopia).Eighteen OEDE evaluations undertaken in theperiod 2001 to 2009 have some mention of the
“cash” debate, though the coverage is sometimes
cursory and empirical findings are limited. This ispossibly because WFP was not usually directly involved in such initiatives and the cash issue wasnot usually a major focus of the evaluation
mission’s Terms of Reference
A Technical Meeting on “Cash in emergencies andtransition” held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 2006
provides a useful insight into the debate, at thattime, on the issue. Seven WFP country casestudies were presented at the meeting, of whichfour (Georgia, Malawi, Pakistan and Sri Lanka)had direct WFP involvement and three(Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Zambia) had cashtransfers in which they were part of a broaderresponse in which WFP provided food.Following this meeting, a Cash and Food wasissued by WFP in 2007 and aPolicy paperthe
These 22 OEDE evaluations are listed at the end.
subsequent year. WFP is currently preparingoperational guidelines on cash transferprogramming
Current work on enhancing WFP’s capacity for
cash and voucher transfer programmes includessignificant resources to enhance the evidence baseto inform decision making processes regardingcash and vouchers. In addition, future OEDEevaluations will focus on cash interventions inoperations where these are a feature and a
strategic evaluation of WFP’s experience with
cash interventions may follow.Since its creation in the early 1960s, WFP has been involved with some cash operations in thefield, although these have been of a differentnature to the current approach. Past operationshave included direct or indirect monetization of imported foodstuffs to support nationaldevelopment objectives
or food entitlementprogrammes and programmes, where WFP hasprovided food aid to labourers, as a counterpartor supplement to their cash wage
ICRC-IFRC, Oxfam/GB and ACF have already producedcomprehensive guidelines on cash programming.
For example, the large “Operation Flood”
programme inIndia in the 1970s and 1980s which funded national dairydevelopment through sales of reconstituted liquid milkproduced with imported dried skimmed milk and butteroil.
Food and cash interventions can complement each other in anational assistance programme.
Experiences from the field:
. According to the report,
Although actual programming levels of cash in recentyears may have been lower than indicated by this figure of 70%. According to theWFP Cash and Food TransfersPrimer,as of late 2006 the cash-food split was around 50-
Cash and food aid resources can complement each other successfully and be mutuallyreinforcing. Criteria used to decide on whether cash or food is more appropriate and to find theoptimum balance must be responsive to geographic, livelihoods and seasonal factors as well asmarket conditions.