Food Distribution, Skill Development, and Financial Services: An Impact Evaluation

Abstract [Click Here to read the full paper]

Livelihood development is critical in a post-conflict situation as in Southern Sudan. Returning from camps, a good portion of these internally displaced people are facing lack of employment opportunities along with acute shortage of basic services. In an effort to design an effective approach the extreme poor population of southern Sudan, BRAC Southern Sudan has collaborated with World Food Program (WFP) to experiment its development program known as Food for Training and Income Generation (FFTIG), which aims to offer an integrated package of food distribution, skill development and savings & credit opportunities to support resettlement of displaced poor of south Sudan.

A baseline survey was conducted to record benchmark information regarding key livelihood pattern of the beneficiary and non-beneficiary and help program to craft an intervention which can successfully create sustainable livelihood for the vulnerable women in southern Sudan.

BRAC field staffs determine a list of 1058 potential beneficiaries in and around juba. A four item household poverty scoring criteria (female headship, housing structure, ownership of a house, and dependency) were utilized to select eligible beneficiaries. Randomization was done at individual level, where 500 households were randomly selected to be treatment and the rest 558 to be control households.

The result reveals the sampled households suffer very low living and health conditions compared to the general population in Juba. This reveals effective targeting by the program. On the other hand, there is no major difference between the treatment and control groups. Randomization apparently meets the balancing requirement. Ninety nine percent of the samples were female headed household while average household size and dependency ratio were 5.3 and 60% respectively. About 67% of the households had at least one primary graduate while 35% of the household head never enrolled in school. Sixty percent of households lived in the house made from straw roof and wall made of mud and 90% of households used tadooba or gas lantern for source of lighting. Almost all are lacking decent access to clean drinking water. Hygiene and sanitation among the sampled households are ‘uniformly poor’. As a result high level of vulnerability and low health conditions observed. Sixty two percent of sampled households had members suffering from prolonged illness while 80% households had at least one deceased male member in the past 5 years and 40% households have at least one deceased member in the last one year. The majority of the households based their earning on self employing small trading. Regarding access to financial asset and services only 3% of the households surveyed saved with any kind of formal institutions and only 4% have accessed financial services. One-third of the households possessed some kind of productive assets.

Overall there is poor living standard among study households. Thus, BRAC Southern Sudan FFTIG’s early commitment in providing financial services, skill development, and promoting income generating activities should be encouraged. However, BRAC Southern Sudan should also focus its activities in promoting usage of safe water and good hygiene practice.

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