Evaluating the impacts of cash and complementary agricultural support interventions in fragile settings: Evidence from Somalia (policy brief)

Multifaceted livelihoods programs that bundle cash transfers with other complementary interventions are increasingly used to support economic inclusion and poverty reduction in rural areas. These “cash-plus” interventions often seek to strengthen households’ resilience to shocks and to increase their long-term economic prospect by combining cash with the provision of agricultural assets, training on agricultural or business skills, and/or farm inputs, like seeds and fertilizers. In fragile and humanitarian contexts, cash-plus interventions can enable a shift away from reactive humanitarian interventions and towards more sustained economic development assistance. However, evidence gaps on the effectiveness of these interventions on welfare and productive economic outcomes is limited. This brief summarizes evidence on the impacts of the Cash plus agriculture programme in Somalia, which provides agricultural inputs, training and cash transfers for a single season to vulnerable agropastoralist households living in districts and villages that experienced severe weather shocks. In particular, the brief explores how receiving cash plus agricultural inputs effects households’ food security, asset endowments, input use and other agricultural practices, and income portfolios relative to households that did not receive the programme and households that received only agricultural inputs. It further disentangles these impacts among households with varying levels of physical access to markets and under differing rainfall conditions.