CBP project design: urban and rural voucher projects

A short mission to Zimbabwe to work with the local team to design both a rural and an urban voucher programmes to address food security issues. The Zimbabwe dollar has collapsed, and been replaced by a range of foreign currencies, but especially in the rural areas there was a shortage of small denominations often resulting in transaction losses for poorer people.

The urban voucher was quite simple to organise, as the major supermarkets already had a gift voucher scheme which they were happy to allow us to piggy-back.

After looking at the market system, it was decided to target the rural voucher to offset milling costs. With many people unable to access currency, millers were asking for a significant proportion of the milled grain instead as payment. A decision was made to issue multiple milling vouchers, each of a value well below the typical cost of milling, which allowed the vouchers to take on a bit of a life of their own (covering for example transport costs, or small purchases), keeping the local market moving at a difficult time, before arriving at the miller to be sued for their formal purpose. This approach was feasible, because all rural families used the services of millers at some time.

For this reason, the vouchers did not include the name of the recipient, which would otherwise have been a standard security feature.

Categories: Deployment Innovation
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