The evaluation was commissioned to assess the effects of scaling up the substitution of the cereal ration in in-kind assistance with CBT (first time in Kenya) while developing a model that determines the effective and efficient mix between food assistance and CBT. The evaluation was intended for both accountability and learning purposes and will inform the formulation of the Country Strategic Programme. It focused on assessing the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact of the CBT modality as well as evaluating the coherence, coverage, effectiveness, and connectedness of the intervention. Overarching evaluation questions focussed on evaluating the value and relevance of the CBT modality to the needs of beneficiaries, the effects of the CBT modality on households’ nutrition and livelihoods, the inclusion of a gender-sensitive design and implementation, and the CBT impact on markets, gender relations, and host communities.
The evaluation covered the following activities: Cash Based Transfers (CBT) as a substitution to the cereal part of the in-kind food assistance to refugees and asylum seekers in Kakuma and Kalobeyei’s settlements.
Key evaluation findings included:
- The CBT is more cost efficient than food transfers. In 2017, the total cost of delivering USD1 to beneficiaries was USD1.18 for the CBT compared to USD1.94 for the in-kind food transfers.
- The CBT modality is relevant to the beneficiaries needs and to the context but needs to be more responsive to price inflation, ration cuts, and disbursement delays.
- The CBT have improved the business performance of contracted traders, but real prices of local food have increased since August 2015.
- There are substantial positive impacts on food security and livelihoods within host communities unlike in distant communities.
- Female-headed households are worse off than male-headed households, especially in household expenditure and livelihood opportunities.
Key recommendations from the evaluation included:
- Review the transfer value and scale up the substitution of cereals to ensure adequacy and effectiveness.
- Collaborate with partners to address the demand for firewood and gender-based violence associated with firewood collection outside refugee camps.
- Improve the timeliness of disbursements to increase efficiency and effectiveness.
- Improve accountability and feedback systems by addressing language barriers.
- Strengthen the rigor and utility of M&E processes.