Food Security and Nutrition Network

Question 1: Targeting FFP Non-Emergency Resources

Patrick Coonan
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Question 1: Targeting FFP Non-Emergency Resources

Posted by Patrick Coonan on 20 Aug 2014

During a plenary session at the TOPS/FSN Network Knowledge Sharing Meeting in July 2014, Susan Bradley of Food for Peace (FFP) asked the food security implementers in the room for their thoughts on key questions regarding the updating of the FFP Strategic Plan. This is the first question in that series. 

We welcome your thoughts and will be sharing your ideas directly with FFP. You can view the small group report out from the plenary session for this question by skipping to minute 34:35 for this recording.

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FFP non-emergency programs traditionally target communities experiencing deep, chronic poverty and persistent food insecurity; however, as partners increasingly turn to market-oriented approaches to reducing vulnerability, they are finding that forging links across/between vulnerable and viable households, livelihoods and even geographic regions may hold the key to sustainability.

Does this have implications for how we target programs in the future?

Don't forget the marginalized

Posted by Lydia Mbevi-Nderitu on 21 Aug 2014

Having worked in both humanitarian work as well as market-oriented projects, I find that sustainable business models have no 'space' for the vulnerable unless to view them as consumers of their products. For example a small business man providing animal health services in an arid area can invest in the appropriate animal drugs, but how can he compete with free drugs distributed to his consumers either by the government or donor projects as they respond to shocks either from an outbreak or epidemic? Unless those interventions are done in collaboration with the relevant stakeholders, including that businessman, they are not creating an enabling market for the small business owner.

Similarly in our FFP projects where we provide food rations to pregnant mothers and breast feeding children, we should work with the private sector who provide these products to other mothers who can afford them. That way we are not undermining them in the market, but actually strengthening their position. They can even work at developing cheaper products from locally available resources. Through this approach we would also be ensuring that when the project ends, families who have seen the benefits and can afford it, can access these products.

Target Future Programs

Posted by Gabrielle.Ben on 5 Sep 2014

Yes. In order to provide a level of sustainability, there needs to be a link to markets and geographic regions that are easier to reach. Beneficiaries targeted may change in the future significantly, if programs focus on a market-orient approach as households that have better access to markets may be considered more viable, and vulnerable populations tend to be in hard to reach areas, with limited linkages to viable households.

Question 1

Posted by lwilkinson on 5 Sep 2014

Market connection is one way to reduce some vulnerability sometimes. I think we sometimes forget how complex livelihoods are and we should not just place all of our cards in just trying to build value chains through agriculture production.  More production does not necessarily help the vulnerable as we have learned in the Sahel. Learning and behavioral change processes are just as important and don't just fall in the laps of the vulnerable.  

Title II beneficiary targeting needs some adjustment

Posted by Emmet Murphy on 8 Dec 2014

Based on my experience in the field managing Title II programs and more recently developing Food Security Country Frameworks (FSCF) for FANTA on behalf of USAID FFP, the new strategy should consider a two-tiered targeting system of beneficiaries. More well-off households will have more acreage or the means to benefit from value chain improvement activities, thereby contributing to macro level improvements of food availability. Currently, these are the households that Feed the Future tends to target. There should be different approaches for the poorest households to provide support (eg literacy, appropriate livelihoods, MCHN) which helps them to be more resilient in the face of shocks. 

Furthermore, there could be some new targeting considerations related to the 1,000 days approach which involves blanket feeding under the MCHN target of all children under 2, pregnant and lactating women in a target zone. Such a blanket food aid approach can undermine local commodity markets. I would like to see only vulnerable households who meet the MCHN criteria receive food if they meet certain criteria. A similar case can be made for safety net programs which target the most vulnerable during the lean season. These programs have proven to be effective, though can be challenging to sustain via community or government support following project termination.

I would also like to see the use of more sophisticated mobile and web tools to assess HH income through surveys as well as beneficiary registration databases. Very few Title II implementers are doing a thorough job on this in a consistent fashion at the moment.

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