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Assessment of community based targeting from a gender perspective

Summary of Report1

During 2000 community based targeting of emergency food aid was introduced into Kenya. WFP were instrumental in promoting and implementing the community-based system (CBTD). (see article "Development of Kenya Food Security Coordination System (KFSCS) by Robin Wheeler for a full description of CBTD systems). Previous systems of emergency food aid targeting in Kenya were acknowledged by most to be grossly inefficient as more or less everyone received a food aid ration. As a result ration receipts were extremely small (as little as 1 kg per person per month of maize) and therefore of limited use to genuinely food insecure families.

During September 2000 WFP undertook an assessment of the CBTD at three sites in Marsabit district. There were 70 distribution centres in the district with 80% of the population targeted for food aid. A large component of the WFP assessment was geared towards determining the extent to which WFP policy commitments regarding women were being fulfilled as part of this programme2. The findings of the assessment provide useful insights into gender related aspects of this increasingly employed mode of targeting emergency food aid.

The project document3 for the WFP emergency programme in the region - EMOP 6203.01 commits itself to addressing gender related inequalities by:

The WFP assessment was carried out using PRA techniques including key informant interviews and focus group discussions.

The following questions were asked in the assessment:

Key findings of the gender related aspects of the assessment were as follows:

  1. At the beginning of the EMOP men were resistant to women taking a leadership role on the Relief Committee although they accepted the participation of women because it was policy.
  2. As the EMOP has proceeded they have gradually seen that women's participation has brought a sense of transparency and accountability to the distribution process.
  3. The women stated that they were nervous at the beginning but they are now more confident and appreciate the support that they have got from the men on the Relief Committee.
  4. Women identified illiteracy and patriarchal culture as challenges to their level of participation.
  5. They stated that most of the chairpersons and secretaries are male.
  6. The men complained about the time the women members of the RC spend on distribution when they also have domestic work to undertake. The women did not see this as a problem and said that they usually arrange for other members of the household to support them.
  7. The men complained about the lack of remuneration for relief committees. The women said that they were used to voluntary work.
  8. Overall, relief committees members interviewed stated that their status in the village had improved and they were confident that the targeting process is fair and the most vulnerable are being reached.

Recommendations given by the community included:

  1. More leadership and gender training for the Relief Committees.
  2. The lead NGO should keep monitoring the number of women on the Relief Committees.
  3. More advocacy for the community and other development agencies on the role of Relief Committees especially concerning the participation of women.

Show footnotes

1Gender Assessment of Selected Relief Committees in Marsabit District-A field mission report by Hendrica Okondo and Kate Newton. WFP Kenya - September 2000.

2Amongst these policies are commitments to: i) Target relief food distributions to households, ensuring that women control the family entitlement in 80 percent of WFP handled and sub-contracted operations, ii) Take measures to ensure women's equal access to and full participation in power structures and decision making.

3Kenya EMOP 6203.01: Assistance to Drought-Affected People in Rift Valley, North Eastern and Coast Provinces of Kenya

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Reference this page

Assessment of community based targeting from a gender perspective. Field Exchange 12, April 2001. p4. www.ennonline.net/fex/12/assessment