The independent Impact Evaluation of the HSNP2 released on 5th June 2017 by Oxford Policy Management(OPM), shows that HSNP cash transfers are positively impacting livelihoods as they are largely spent on food and basic needs such as clothes, school fees and paying off credit debt. The report was released in the presence of the Susan Mochache- Principal Secretary of Social Protection, Ministry of East African Community, Labour and Social Protection and Josepheta Mukobe- Principal Secretary, Special Programme, Ministry of Devolution and Planning. Also present were Senior officials from NDMA, DFID, donors, development partners and the media.
“The difference from HSNP is a lot. You can open an account. You pay your children’s school fees. You get hope.” (Female community leader, Wajir)
The qualitative Impact Evaluation uncovered the fact that recipients consider HSNP one of their main sources of income because the programme supports income-generating activities, such as livestock production, casual labour and petty trade. Some beneficiaries also report using HSNP money to start small businesses or boost existing ones. The evaluation demonstrates that HSNP has had a positive impact on local businesses, especially those near pay points. Traders and shopkeepers benefiting from the initiative say that they have increased sales and larger profits due to the increase in customer traffic around pay days.
The evaluation also identified that some households use the money to prepare for future needs, for example by saving or investing in livestock, or sharing with others who may help them in times of need. According to one beneficiary from Mandera:
“I am extremely grateful for this programme because it puts some hard cash in my pocket, making it possible for me to feed and care for my family,” he says. “The money is very valuable particularly now that we are facing one of the worst droughts our community has every experienced.”
Aside from improving livelihoods in general, the evaluation showed that the intervention by HSNP has improved beneficiaries’ psychological wellbeing. By reducing stress and easing some of the negative effects of poverty, the cash transfers have buoyed the target group’s spirits and improved their sense of dignity and self-worth. HSNP strengthens the social support networks that exist in communities and is felt to have created more peace and unity within the households.
“Everyone is happy about this programme because even if you are not a beneficiary your neighbour assists you.” (Female HSNP beneficiary, Mandera)
This Impact Evaluation was undertaken by OPM as part of an independent analysis of the Hunger Safety Net Programme and is based on the first round of the qualitative research collected between August and September 2015. The research provides information about the context in which the programme is operating as well as an assessment of the impact of both routine and emergency HSNP payments. It draws on the perceptions of beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries, as well as key informants in the four programme counties (Mandera, Marsabit, Turkana and Wajir) to describe how beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries perceive the impact of HSNP on different aspects of their lives.
Media Coverage of the event:
Standard Newspaper: http://bit.ly/2slCGD2
People Daily: http://bit.ly/2sKnkW0