An extended (but not full-time) jaunt with WFP, this research piece addressed one of those questions that looks oh-so-easy when you first see it: How can we know how many people use the assets we build in our cash for assets (and food for assets) projects?
The background is a shift in thinking, which now prioritises the durable community asset (which itself is designed to strengthen food security) over the temporary assistance provided during its construction. And this in turn shifts the thinking around the question “who is a beneficiary of this project?”
The field work for this mission took me to rural parts of Kenya, Bangladesh and Niger, where I studied a range of different asset projects and interviewed the local authorities, communities and project staff about how we might best estimate user and beneficiary numbers. And the answer was not as simple as we might have hoped – in particular when a number of assets have overlapping groups of users.
It was interesting, though.