Cash transfers, food and fragility – a new Broker project with a special partnership

Cash Transfers for Food Security,News16 Jul 2020Yannicke Goris, Mariëlle Karssenberg

Last week, The Broker, in partnership with no fewer than three knowledge platforms (financed by INCLUDE and Food & Business Knowledge Platform, with participation of the Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law), has kicked off a new project with the working title ‘Cash Transfers in relation to food and nutrition security and fragility’. Cash transfers, as a form of social protection intervention, have been introduced as possible solutions in situations of food and nutrition insecurity and fragility. As cash transfers are used to provide relief for the poor and vulnerable, they are also looked at as possible tools to mitigate the devastating economic effects of COVID-19. For both governments and civil society organizations it is therefore more urgent than ever to learn how and to what extent cash transfers can improve people’s situations. 

As the share of people living in fragile states is increasing and hunger is rising, cash transfers are increasingly regarded as an instrument to provide relief and for development. However, the efficiency and impact of cash transfers on the coinciding challenges of stability and food security on the long term and resilience to shocks, is poorly understood. If research into the effects of cash transfers was needed before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, now its urgency could not be clearer. People in fragile settings are facing a crisis upon crisis; policy measures that serve to contain the coronavirus are negatively affecting global food supply chains;  and the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on work and income is expected to hit hardest in poor and fragile countries.

Recognizing both the potential and the lack of understanding about cash transfers in food insecure and fragile contexts, The Broker has launched a new project, supported by and in collaboration with three of our longstanding partners: the INCLUDE Knowledge Platform on Inclusive Development Policies, the Food and Business Knowledge Platform, and the Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law. With this project, The Broker aims to increase understanding about the impact of cash transfer programmes on food security and under what conditions these programmes can best be implemented to have a positive effect on food security and fragility. Eventually, the project will result in a synthesis of available knowledge and interesting case studies so as to provide valuable input for policies and interventions that are currently being set up. Throughout the process our team of knowledge brokers will be advised by the representatives of the three knowledge platforms and by a reference group consisting of relevant policy makers, experts and practitioners from the field.