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close this bookCommodity Distribution, A Practical Guide for Field Staff (United Nations High Commission for Refugee, 1997, 77 p.)
View the document3.1 The framework - an overview
View the document3.2 Advantages and disadvantages of the three categories of distribution
View the document3.3 Choosing the system
View the document3.5 How to distribute through groups of heads of families (one method)
View the document3.6 How to distribute through individual heads of family (three methods)

3.1 The framework - an overview

Distribution systems can be classified according to whom the commodities are given. In each of these categories of distribution the recipient can either be a woman or a man. There are three broad categories of distribution system (see Fig. A).

Distribution to groups of beneficiaries through the group leadership.

Distribution to groups of heads of family.

Distribution to individual heads of family.




System Description

Commodities are given in bulk to a representative of a group of beneficiaries who further divide it among the group.

All of the commodities for the group of families are handed over to a representative of the group. The commodities are then immediately redistributed to the individual family heads by the representatives.

Commodities are handed over directly to each family head.

Type of situation in which these systems have been used

Early days of an emergency.
Mass influx of refugees.
No formal registration.
Large populations.

When people are settled.
When registration is done and ration cards are available.
Homogeneous groups.
Can be used in camps with small or large populations.

Settled population.
Registered population.
Beneficiaries living in camps, settlements or integrated within the local population.

Eastern Zaire, large influx, no registration or ration cards.

Somali refugees in Eastern Ethiopia.

Somalia, Malawi, Thai-Cambodian border, Cambodian repatriation.

Former Yugoslavia.

Rwandese refugees in Tanzania