Lessons from The Direct Response to Emergency Cash Transfer Project

Lessons from The Direct Response to Emergency Cash Transfer Project

04 September 2017

The Direct Response to Emergency Cash Transfer project (DiRECT) reached 20,568 food insecure households with two emergency cash transfers valued at 13,899,790 Zambian Kwacha (ZMK) offering a viable alternative to in-kind food distribution as a humanitarian response.

Background 

The Direct Response to Emergency Cash Transfer project (DiRECT) modelled an emergency response to household food insecurity using short term cash disbursements to specific demographic groups in five districts in Western and Southern provinces of Zambia. The aim of the model was to propose and demonstrate a cash based emergency response modality to the Government of Zambia.

Cash can provide an effective emergency response mechanism in Zambia and was well received; only 9 percent of households would prefer food instead of cash and markets were able to respond

Key lessons

  • Cash transfers were flexible and increased resilience: households were able to meet immediate food needs, cover costs for education and health and make productive investments.
  • Cash can provide an effective emergency response mechanism in Zambia.
  • Local markets, though poorly developed, were able to meet demand without a siginificant rise in prices.
  • The project demonstrated the need for a pre-registration process in order to secure a rapid response with furtehr work need on metrics and thresholds to trigger a response and prepare contingency budgets.
  • Future responses need leadership, a simple and timely trigger, a rapid registration process and an efficient cash transfer mechanism.

Further reading

The synthesis paper below contains more information for those interested in finding out more about the DiRECT project.

Download a copy of this resource

Lessons from The Direct Response to Emergency Cash Transfer Project

This is a synthesis learning paper of the DiRECT project implemented in Zambia.
  • The Direct Response to Emergency Cash Transfer Project: Synthesis Paper