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Evaluation of the World Food Programme's Food Voucher Programme

In 2016, the World Food Programme (WFP) decided to review its operational approach and study the various advantages and disadvantages of cash- and voucher-delivered assistance, in view of the socio-economic context of the region. The Boston Consulting Group implemented the study through local partners in Jordan and Lebanon. The objective of the study was to compare the impact of two food assistance modalities: food-restricted vouchers and unrestricted cash transfers, with respect to the effectiveness for beneficiaries to meet their food security and other needs, the cost-effectiveness for WFP, and the effect on the local economies.

Mindset was hired as Boston Consulting Group's local partner in Jordan. To meet the research objectives, a well-designed randomized controlled trial was conducted. A sample of beneficiaries was selected and then allocated randomly to one of three groups: a control group receiving food-restricted e-vouchers, a treatment group receiving unrestricted cash, and a treatment group able to choose either of the two options. The final sample comprised over 1,800 beneficiary cases. Three post-distribution monitoring rounds were realized spanning eight months and featuring an extensive quantitative survey of each participating case to document any changes in food, other basic needs, coping strategies, household expenditure, etc. In addition, qualitative data was collected through focus group discussions.

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