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Case Study

An independent evaluation of Concern Worldwide’s emergency response in North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo: Responding to displacement with vouchers and fairs

September 2009 — By Sarah Bailey

In late 2008, escalated fighting among rebels and the Congolese Armed Forces (FARCD) provoked renewed and widespread displacement in North Kivu province, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In response to the unfolding crisis, Concern Worldwide implemented the project Emergency Assistance to Newly Displaced and Host Families in Masisi Territory using funding from the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) and Irish Aid.

Concern’s nine-month emergency project sought to contribute to the livelihood security of displaced and host families in Masisi territory by increasing household access to food, non-food items (NFIs) and water. Concern aimed to: 1) identify and assess the needs of 10,000 vulnerable and newly displaced households; 2) meet emergency NFI needs; 3) improve water access for households in Rubaya; and 4) provide livelihood support for four months for the poorest beneficiaries. A primary activity of the project was creating ‘fairs’ where beneficiaries could use vouchers to purchase non-food items (e.g. kitchen utensils, pagnes), seeds and tools from vendors, as well as to pay school fees. Concern opted to use fairs and vouchers rather than distributing NFI kits to provide beneficiaries flexibility and choice.

This report is the product of an independent evaluation conducted in August 2009. The purpose of the evaluation is to assess the extent to which the project achieved its objectives, with particular emphasis on the appropriateness of the voucher activities. While the primary intended audience is Concern Worldwide, DEC Member Agencies, the DEC Secretariat and Irish Aid, the evaluation’s in-depth look at the voucher and fair methodology is intended also to be useful for other humanitarian agencies engaging in or considering using fairs in their emergency responses.