How investing in learning serves 3 meals per day

CARE partnered with Action Against Hunger on the Addressing Food Crisis in Yemen project.

The Addressing Food Crisis in Yemen project ran from 2017-2019 with $2.5 million in funding from the European Union. The project reached 12,871 people directly and 35,000 indirectly. CARE partnered with Action Against Hunger.

"Before the project, some people had been starving and some others had used to take only one or two meals a day, mostly bread and water, when the project came, they became able to take up to three good meals a day."
A local authority figure in Yemen

What did we accomplish?

  • People have more food: At the end of the project, people were 5.6 times more likely to have enough food. 3 months after the cash transfers ended, families were still 3 times more likely to have enough food than they had been before.
  • Families are planning for the future. 14% of families were able to save some money or invest in opportunities for the future. Families where women were in charge were more likely maintain food security even after the project closed.
  • Families are satisfied with the results: 98% of people say the were satisfied with how helpful the project team was, and 96% say that the project benefitted them.
  • Women make more decisions: 70% of women say that they can make more decisions than they could before the project. Communities are also noticing that women are more mobile and more likely to go out in public.
  • Businesses got stronger: 50% of business owners say they have higher sales than they did before the project. They are also creating more jobs. One vendor said: “I noticed increase in sales, which let me recruit an assistant ……. New shops were also opened”.
  • Women have fewer burdens: Because the project built better roads, water trucks could come to communities, so women did not have to spend hours every day looking for water.

How did we get there?

  • Use cash: The project provided cash transfers to 2010 families. It also invested in cash for work, where communities re-built roads, wells, and other critical infrastructure.
  • Listen to people: When we surveyed families at the beginning of the project, 91% preferred cash transfers, so that’s what we provided. The project also built in a feedback and complaints mechanism from the beginning—including a suggestion box and a hotline.
  • Work with local banks: The project partnered with local banks to distribute money in communities, instead of making recipients travel to the big city to receive money. This saved $7 per transfer, and made communities feel safer.
  • Spend more on staff: CARE invested extra in human resources, time for learning, and sharing information between different partners. That may look less efficient, but investing in people and learning really paid off in terms of getting a stronger project and having higher impact. In fact, the evaluator said, “ is obvious that this increase in the expenditure ensured that the project was able to be flexible and adapt.”
  • Use existing systems: The project opted to use an existing monitoring system instead of creating a new one, which saved money they invested into reaching more people.

Want to learn more?

Read the final evaluation.