FIAVOTA Midline Report

Impact Evaluation of Fiavota Phase 1 Emergency and Recovery Cash Transfer in Madagascar

Some women in Tanandava perform during the wellness session to promote some messages about the familial essential practices (Cash transfer program)


This report provides results of an impact evaluation of the first phase of the Fiavota cash transfer programme for drought-affected households in southern Madagascar. In 2016, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in partnership with the World Bank and Ministry of Population, Social Protection, and Support for Women (MPPSPF) started giving cash transfers to households with young children. The first phase of the transfer covered 56,729 households and ended in March 2018. The American Institutes for Research (AIR) was contracted by UNICEF Madagascar to help design and implement an impact evaluation of the first phase of the programme (with a non-experimental design). The primary purpose of this impact report is to present the main results from the first phase of the cash transfer programme on immediate livelihood effects, immediate nutritional effects for children, food security for households, broader effects on households and programme performance during the Emergency Response phase of Fiavota, from December 2016 to September 2017.


The El Niño weather phenomenon reduced rainfall in southern Madagascar to the point that the Malagasy government declared a state of emergency in September 2016. The South of Madagascar is one of the least developed places in the country; as such, the nutritional, agricultural, and educational development levels were low even before the drought. Furthermore, the climate in the South is already arid; thus, any reduction in rainfall can be disastrous for farmers. Rainfall was very low during the 2015–16 rainy season, at only 50 to 80% of normal rainfall (Di Liberto, 2016). Crop yields in 2016 were 90% lower than usual. During 3 years of drought, 2014–16, the number of people the World Food Program USA defines as hungry increased by 900% (World Food Program USA, 2016). More than 1 million food-insecure people live throughout the South (European Commission’s Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations, 2016).


To address the severe food insecurity, UNICEF partnered with the World Bank to implement an emergency cash transfer to meet the basic needs of children and their families called Fiavota. The transfer was delivered in the five southern districts with the highest rates of malnutrition in Toliara Province. The programme targeted families with children younger than 5 years old during the first year of the transfer, beginning in December 2016. In Phase 1 the programme focused on meeting households’ immediate nutritional needs and supporting livelihoods. The Fiavota transfer combined an initial large transfer called the recovery fund, subsequent smaller monthly transfers, and nutrition training for children’s caregivers. Beneficiary households would first receive 90,000 Ariary that they were required to spend on a resilience-building item (for many, this was reportedly a goat). Subsequently, households received 30,000 Ariary per month, which was paid on a monthly basis. In the second and third years of the programme (2018–2020), the transfer will extend to approximately 12,000 households, the majority of which have at least one child between 6 years and 12 years old. During this phase (Phase 2), the programme will focus on building household resilience.

This report was written by the American Institutes for Research (AIR) under contract to UNICEF Madagascar.

FIAVOTA Evaluation cover
Mitchell Morey, David Seidenfeld
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