Assessment of the Impact of Productive Safety Net Programme on the Lives of the Beneficiaries in Ethiopia: the Case of Dera Malo Woreda, Gamo Gofa Zone, SNNPR

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Addis Ababa University


Chronic food insecurity is one of the main problems which affected millions of Ethiopians for centuries. To solve this problem, the government of Ethiopia has been undertaking different programmes. Though large amount of expenditure was outplayed before 2005, it was unable to solve the problem of food insecurity because it was not provided timely and unpredictable. Moreover it has a dependency syndrome. Thus, due to the limitations of the previous measures, currently different programmes were being undertaken under the umbrella of FSP. PSNP was one of these programmes. It has two components i.e. public works and direct support. It was aimed at smoothening consumption and preventing assets from depletion at household level and creating assets at community level. Hence, the general objective of this study was to assess and explore different impacts (both positive and negative) of PSNP on the lives of the beneficiary households in Dera Malo Woreda. Both qualitative and quantitative approaches were employed. The data were gathered from 116 household heads through household survey questionnaires, and from other respondents through key informant interviews and focus group discussion. By employing these instruments it founded that the programme has both positive and negative impacts. The positive impacts were it smoothened and improved food consumption for those who properly used the transfers; it improved household assets and prevented it from depletion at household level; community assets were improved and rehabilitated with little quality and ownership problems; and though the number was small, it reduced the number of chronically poor people. On the other hand, the programme resulted in different unintended results. These were though seasonal, commodities and goods especially food items became expensive and it was difficult to find food items after the payment of the transfer; some work beyond their capacity especially during maintenance of roads and they face shortage of time for their household activities; it sent some wrong messages to have more children initially; discourage hard work to some extent; confusion over who should undertake developmental activities; encourage dependency to some extent, and leads to more debt. Finally, this work forwards some points which will help to maximize the positive impacts and minimize the negative ones of the programme. These are all household members should be included; the transfer should be able to cover the living costs and fair; the beneficiaries should stay in the programme for the stated period; and the payment was better if based on the preference of the households. To minimize the negative impacts, the principles of the programme should be properly applied; awareness giving should be undertaken, changing the cash payment in to different materials if necessary and autonomy for DAs



Malo woreda, Gamo gofa zone