Ethiopia CGAP-Ford Foundation Graduation Pilot
Implementers: Relief Society of Tigray (REST)
Location: Wukro, Tigray
Number of Participants: 500 households
Start Date: 2010
End Date: 2012
REST launched the CGAP-Ford Foundation Graduation Program in 2010 to reach the poorest recipients of the Government of Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Program (PNSP) in 10 sub-districts in Wukro, Tigray. REST selected program villages on the basis on the high number of PNSP beneficiaries, agro-ecological diversity, and accessibility to the main field office in Wukro.
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Implementing Organization Overview
The Relief Society of Tigray (REST) was established in Tigray in 1978 to provide emergency relief to refugees returning from Sudan. In the 1980’s, REST’s work shifted from emergency response to long-term improvement of food production through agricultural rehabilitation and disaster prevention. Since the 1990s, REST’s programs also include household-level and integrated watershed development programs.
Targeting: REST engages with the Community Food Security Task Force (under the government’s safety net program) in order for the communities to identify ultra-poor households. In order to join the pilot project, the household must be a beneficiary of the Ethiopian Government’s PSNP (i.e. being chronically food insecure), have no assets such large livestock (e.g. oxen), no access to land (owning less than less than regional averages, or owning poor quality land), and high dependency-to-income ratios. The pilot excludes households receiving direct support from the PSNP (those identified as unable to work), currently accessing a formal microfinance loan, or receiving remittances.
Consumption support: REST uses the PSNP’s “food-for-work” transfer as consumption support. The transfer is comprised of a mix of cash and in-kind support extending for a period of 6 months annually and equivalent to 15kg of wheat per month per person and/or 60 ETB (US$3.4) a month in cash.
Livelihoods: REST provides participants with a choice of four livelihoods to engage in: goat and sheep farming, cattle farming, honey production, and small trade. The asset value per participant is US$350. These livelihood options were developed based on value chain analysis conducted by the Emerging Market Group Ltd., funded by USAID.
Financial service: Participants access individual deposit accounts at Dedebit and Credit Savings Institute (DECSI). Saving is mandatory and all participants must save the equivalent seventy- five percent of asset value within two years. Voluntary loans and savings associations (VSLAs) have also been setup by REST to complement the mandatory savings component.
Additional services: Participants access REST’s water-security, health, and education programs.
Research: Qualitative research is conducted by the BRAC Development Institute, funded by MasterCard Foundation. A randomized control trial impact assessment (at the household level) is conducted by research firm Innovations for Poverty Action, funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
Graduation criteria: At the completion of twenty-four months (the duration of the program), the pilot plans to evaluate each participant along the PSNP graduation criteria and some additional criteria. PSNP deems that a household can graduate when it is able to cover its annual food needs plus secure an additional three months of stock (food or cash) in case of shocks. The pilot will also measure changes in household income level (whether a household has developed an additional income generating capacity sufficient enough to fill the household’s food gaps in the absence of safety net transfers), amount of saving mobilized by participants over the two year, and credit uptake at DECSI.
Graduation rate: Graduation is expected in December 2012.
Scale up: Plans for scale up are yet to be determined. REST is sharing the pilot lessons with the government of Ethiopia and the donor community supporting PSNP.