Impact Evaluation of Cash and Food Transfers for the Seasonal Emergency Safety Net in Hajjah and Ibb Governorates: Yemen Endline Report

Type Report
Title Impact Evaluation of Cash and Food Transfers for the Seasonal Emergency Safety Net in Hajjah and Ibb Governorates: Yemen Endline Report
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2013
This report is the final impact evaluation of the World Food Programme’s Cash and
Food transfer program in Yemen. The program operated in Hajjah and Ibb governorates within
the larger Emergency Safety Net (ESN), which provides assistance to qualifying households in
rural Yemen. The report details the relative effectiveness of each modality at alleviating food
security among the targeted population.
The impact evaluation relies primarily on the randomization of Food Distribution Points
(FDP) into receipt of cash or food. Supplementary analysis uses the responses of ineligible
households to control for FDP-level trends.
Transfer Experiences
Cash transfer points were more widely dispersed than food distribution points.
Consequently, cash beneficiaries travelled much longer and spent significantly more money to
acquire their benefits. The discrepancy was particularly acute in Hajjah, where cash
beneficiaries spent five times more than food beneficiaries and 10 percent of their transfer
amount on transportation and related expenses. The majority of food beneficiaries began the
program in favor of a transfer compromised fully of food, but by the endline an all-cash transfer
proved the most popular option. Cash beneficiaries overwhelmingly favored an all-cash
transfer (80 percent) by the end of the pilot.
Dietary Diversity
Cash beneficiaries experienced significantly greater dietary diversity, as measured by
three basic indicators: Household Dietary Diversity Score (HDDS), Dietary Diversity Index
(DDI), and Food Consumption Score (FCS). Amongst the three, the cash advantage was largest
for FCS, where the impact of cash transfers was 9 percent higher than on food transfers.
Children in cash beneficiary households also consumed a wider variety of foods and were 16
percent more likely to obtain a minimally diverse diet.
Food Consumption & Expenditure
Food beneficiaries consumed approximately 100 more calories per person per day than
food beneficiaries, though the total value of the consumed food was similar across both groups.
The higher caloric consumption for food households stemmed entirely from the consumption of
food basket items: wheat and oil. Cash households, however, consumed significantly higher
caloric levels of animal products (27 percent) and pulses and tubers (40 percent). Expenditure
patterns matched these consumption differences, as cash households not only spent
significantly larger sums on food basket items, but also on non-basket items such as rice (42
percent) and meat (73 percent).

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