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Evaluation of Concern Kenya’s Kerio Valley Cash Transfer Pilot (KVCTP)

2008 — By Mike Brewin

The Kerio Valley Cash Transfer Pilot (KVCTP) was Concern and its local partner the Catholic Diocese of Eldoret’s short-term and targeted response to the food security problems that affected communities in four Sub-locations in Baringo North and Pokot East Districts as a result of the post election violence which rocked Kenya in the early months of 2008. 571 households (about 3700 individuals) whose livelihoods had been badly compromised by the violence – loss of livestock or homesteads, for example – were selected to receive assistance through a community-based targeting process. It was decided to provide assistance in the form of cash rather than food because of the diversity of beneficiaries’ needs and the flexibility that cash offered in meeting them. Concern partnered with Safaricom in order to pilot the use of the M-pesa system which enables that transfer of cash between mobile phones via a text message. Virtual cash received on a phone can be redeemed at any one of a network of M-pesa agents throughout the country. The KVCTP is the first time that M-pesa, or any mobile-phone based system, has been used for transferring cash in an emergency or development context.