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Maximizing the Value of "Cash for Work": Lessons from a Niger land recuperation project

2012 — By Catholic Relief Services

The good practices in this publication were distilled from a Real Time Evaluation (RTE) of an emergency project in Niger, implemented by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and financed by OFDA that is using cash for work and seed fairs to addres food insecurity in the departments of Ouallam and Tillabery.

This is part of a larger effort to respond to the Sahel Crisis in which below-average rainfall and crop production shortages in 2011 have resulted in reduced food and livestock fodder availability and increasing environmental degradation. Lack of ground cover increases erosion and environmentally negative coping strategies are used to compensate for lack of production and livestock. Many vulnerable families are still recovering from the 2009/2010 food crisis. Cash for Work projects are especially important now before households’ own livelihoods/agriculture activities begin.

These good practices have been established by responding to evaluation questions posed to the RTE team by project managers. Responses were informed by the 2011 SPHERE standards, documents review, observation, interviews and focus groups with project participants, community leaders and key informants. This document aims at reinforcing familiar good practices as well as highlighting new ones.