Impact Evaluation of Fiavota Phase 1 Emergency and Recovery Cash Transfer in Madagascar
Due to the El Niño weather phenomenon, rainfall in southern Madagascar became so sparse that the Malagasy government declared a state of emergency in September 2016. At the time, the United Nations World Food Programme warned that the drought “could spur the world's first climate-change famine.” To address the severe drought-induced food insecurity, UNICEF partnered with the World Bank to implement the Fiavota emergency cash transfer to meet the basic needs of children and their families. The program targeted households in the five southern districts with children under five years old and provided an initial large transfer called the recovery fund; subsequent smaller monthly transfers; and nutrition training for children’s caregivers.
AIR conducted an ex-post, quasi-experimental evaluation of the Fiavota cash transfer which investigated how the program affected households and children. We found consistent impacts on food security; for example, the likelihood that a family had to skip a meal and have no food on hand both decreased. The evaluation also showed a roughly 33 percent increase in food consumption. By contrast, the evaluation found that the Fiavota cash transfer did not impact agricultural investments or children’s anthropometric measurements of stunting, wasting, or malnourishment.