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Inappropriate Interventions in the Great Lakes

Summary of published research1

The aid community has reacted to many crises in the Great Lakes region with a multitude of interventions aimed explicitly at improving the food security of people affected by the crisis. A recent study under the direction and support of Save the Children UK set out to answer the following questions about these interventions.

Seven case studies were conducted. These were:

The case studies were chosen on the basis of representing the full range of crises and the range of interventions used in the region as well as there being good information available on people's livelihoods and food security constraints.

Conclusions

Although it stresses that the situation is not homogenous or entirely negative and that individuals take significant risks to deliver assistance to the crisis affected, the study identified a number of weaknesses in the aid effort:

Recommendations

The study report makes a number of recommendations many of which relate to the programme cycle.

Assessment and analysis:

Monitoring, evaluation and inter-agency coordination:

Programming ideas:

In addition to current responses other intervention options need to be considered/investigated. These range from facilitating access to land, to market interventions, increasing access to labour, asset creation and retention, and support to the productive environment. New implementation modalities could be considered in view of the operational constraints in the region. Some agencies are experimenting with 'remote access' programming or with 'war-proof' projects that support livelihoods without having visible targets for attack. This work needs prioritising.

Impact and cost-effectiveness:

Agencies need wide-ranging reviews of emergency nutrition interventions (supplementary feeding, nutrition education, demonstration gardens, cooking lessons) and the distribution of seeds and tools. Given that resources are always limited, comparison of cost benefit calculations for alternative interventions should be carried out. Currently, the data from which to make cost-effectiveness comparisons is limited, and simple methods for measuring costeffectiveness, which can be applied by multiple agencies, should be developed and adopted.

Show footnotes

1Levine.S and Chastre.C et al (2004): Missing the point. An analysis of food security interventions in the Great Lakes. Humanitarian Practice Network Paper, Number 47, July 2004

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Reference this page

Inappropriate Interventions in the Great Lakes. Field Exchange 23, November 2004. p8. www.ennonline.net/fex/23/inappropriate