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Guidelines for Public Works Programmes: Cash‐, Voucher‐ and Food-for‐Work

April 2013 — By Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) manages public works programmes to provide transfers to vulnerable, food-insecure and/or crisis-affected households in return for the provision of labour (particularly through labour-intensive construction and rehabilitation projects).

The two main objectives of public works programmes are to:

  • provide income opportunities and increase consumption of goods
  • build or repair assets and infrastructure that are vital for sustaining the livelihoods of a community.

FAO manages three types of public works programmes: cash-for–work (CFW), voucher-for-work (VFW) and food-for-work (FFW). These programmes can address both short-term and chronic poverty and improve the asset base, thus helping to alleviate poverty in the medium and long terms.

The purpose of these Guidelines is to provide FAO staff with a framework for the design and implementation of public works programmes that respond to a wide range of needs.