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Case Study

Lessons Learned from the Post Election Violence Early Recovery Programme in Kenya 2008-2009

August 2009 — By Nigel Nicholson

The Kenya Post Election Violence (PEV) Early Recovery Programme was an ECHO-supported response by six international NGOs to the ethnic and political violence which severely affected livelihoods in the Rift Valley, Nyanza and Central Provinces after the disputed national elections in late December 2007. Over 1,200 people died and as many as 500,000 were displaced at the peak of the crisis. These areas are structurally food secure under normal conditions and constitute the ‘grain basket’ of Kenya. The rationale of the programme was to support the recovery of both rural and urban livelihoods of the worst affected households and host populations through cash transfer projects which would also revitalise local markets and the local economy.

The programme included: three interventions by World Vision (WV), Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and Save the Children UK (SC UK) in Rift Valley Province directly supporting a total of 13,180 households of small-scale farmers most of whom had been displaced and returned; two interventions undertaken in Nyanza Province by CARE and German Agro Action (GAA) directly supporting 7,592 households of predominantly small-scale farmers, but also small business enterprises as well, most of these households had relocated from other areas; and one intervention undertaken by Action Contre le Faim (ACF) that was entirely urban-based providing cash grants to 1,000 households in Nakuru.

Vouchers with either a cash value, or for a predetermined commodity or service, were predominantly used to transfer assets to small-scale farmers and small enterprises (except by ACF in Nakuru). Only SC UK supplemented this with cash for work (CFW) and direct grants to a small number of beneficiaries. Vouchers were either redeemed through agricultural fairs or directly through suppliers registered with the project.