22 July 2014
In 2011, the World Food Programme (WFP) implemented the “Food, Cash, and Voucher Program” in Ecuador to improve food security and also to determine which modality of food assistance was the most cost effective, for the local context, cash, vouchers, or food rations. To promote the role of women in household decision-making on food consumption and nutrition, the program prioritized women in the targeting of the transfers.
Studies in Latin America reveal that cash transfers directed at women can have an impact on intra-household dynamics, reducing physical and psychological violence, but may also increase instances of threats and verbal abuse. However, economic models and empirical studies have not come to a clear conclusion on the linkages between women’s income and intimate partner violence (IPV). Given the program’s focus on women’s empowerment and existing evidence on the impact of cash transfers on IPV, IFPRI and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine conducted a study on the impact of transfers on intra-household relationships during the WFP program, with a focus on IPV.
Among the conclusions, the study states the high prevalence of IPV in the sample. Participation in the program decreased different types of IPV, including controlling behavior, moderate physical violence, and severe physical or sexual violence by 38 to 43 percent, regardless of transfer modality (cash, vouchers, or food).
The transfers appeared to improve women's capacity to make decisions about food consumption and household nutrition, which in turn affected women's self-perception as heads of their households. Finally, framing the transfers as a program to improve nutrition might have reduced the possibility of violent reactions by men to increases in women's empowerment.
24 April 2014
WFP’s role in Ecuador includes strengthening capacities and becoming a learning office. As generating evidence and informing public policy is a stated priority of the Government of Ecuador, and a recognized role for the international cooperation, WFP works with local governments to understand the underlying causes of hunger and malnutrition and the capacities that exist to address the main determinants of malnutrition.
Recent efforts in knowledge generation include:
• On-the-job learning to allow for innovation and understanding of what works in different contexts;
• Exchanging of experiences with partners and beneficiaries to identify how WFP can improve activities on an ongoing basis; and
• Learning from rigorous studies and impact evaluations, conducted jointly with respected research institutions.
The 2013 Ecuador Annual Report highlights lessons and learning, but also results as WFP works with the Government of Ecuador to make malnutrition a visible issue at the top of public policy agendas.
28 March 2014
This evaluation of WFP’s 2008 cash and voucher policy was commissioned by the Office of Evaluation in order to assess the quality and results of the policy and its implementation.
The evaluation found that although the policy does not represent WFP’s current best practice for policies, it served its purpose in establishing the basis for authorizing use of cash transfers and vouchers within WFP’s mandate. However, the intended outcomes of the policy — such as empowerment of beneficiaries, improved livelihoods and better coping strategies — were not measured systematically, and the lack of disaggregation by modality at project level in the corporate monitoring system makes it impossible to attribute achievement of corporate outcomes or outputs to modality, be it cash, vouchers or in-kind food. Other expected outcomes from the policy were related to efficiency gains in the business process, which were found to have had mixed results, with some key bottlenecks causing significant delays.
Among key recommendations are updating revised manuals and guidance, rather than updating the policy. Furthermore it recommends that WFP invest in capacity development, identify and empower leadership on cash transfers and vouchers, and build evidence to clarify its value proposition to its external partners.
22 May 2013
Ecuador WFP Ecuador’s 2012 Annual Report documents a compilation of best practices in learning, innovation, and improved tools to reach the most vulnerable and improve their food and nutrition security. With the aim of being the partner of choice that builds the resilience of poor communities in the face of natural disasters, climate change, and food and nutrition insecurity, WFP in Ecuador has worked with the national and local governments to foster innovation, improve tools and take proven solutions to scale.
31 January 2013
In coordination with the Government of Ecuador and local governments, WFP promotes food and nutrition security, supporting trainings in nutrition, assistance to vulnerable groups with an emphasis on women, climate change adaptation, and emergency preparedness and response. In a joint effort with the International Food Policy Research Institute, WFP tested the relative costs and benefits of food rations, cash and vouchers as alternative assistance modalities in order to learn which ones are more effective in the Ecuadorian urban and peri-urban context.
24 August 2012
WFP aims to generate evidence-based food and nutrition security models which are cost-effective and environmentally sound. Through a participatory process with local governments, WFP will support local capabilities to implement innovative nutrition packages which improve the dietary diversity and micronutrient status of children, women and vulnerable groups. The project will catalyze small holder participation to leverage public and private markets, in particular local safety-net programmes. Targeted provinces: Carchi, Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, Pichincha, Santa Elena.
24 August 2012
WFP’s goal in Ecuador is to be an innovative partner, support government policies and priorities, contribute to food sovereignty, food and nutrition security of vulnerable people, and gender equality. The Strategy for 2012-2016 outlines an approach with national and local governments, communities and all the sectors involved in food and nutrition security. Representatives of 15 government agencies participated in developing the Strategy, in line with the priorities of the Government’s National Development Plan and the 2008 Constitution.
24 August 2012
To diffuse tensions between refugees and Ecuadorian communities and promote integration in both urban and rural areas, WFP supports the food and nutrition security of refugees and Ecuadorians, in alignment with government priorities, with a special focus on women. The operation is planned for three years. WFP aims to assist annually 45,015 beneficiaries at a yearly cost of US$ 3.5 million.
7 June 2012
This study is one of several impact evaluations being undertaken globally by WFP and IFPRI to test the relative costs and benefits of alternatives to food aid and to learn which modalities are most effective in different contexts. The aim of this particular study is to estimate the impact and cost-effectiveness of the Cash and Voucher project in Ecuador, with food and nutrition security, trust, discrimination and gender indicators.
31 May 2012
In close coordination with the government, the WFP Country Office in Ecuador undertook a series of projects in favour of vulnerable populations. Assistance to Colombian refugees and their host communities in the northern border; the Cash and Voucher project; an initiative on adaptation to Climate Change with funding from the Adaptation Fund, were central to WFP’s work during 2011. Click on the link below to read this annual report available in English and Spanish.
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