|Emergency Supplementary Feeding Programmes - Good Practice Review 2 (ODI, 1995, 122 p.)|
What valid justifications might there be for an agency to implement an emergency SFP in the absence of adequate general rations?
The following are a set of criteria which, when taken together, may justify programme implementation:
· The agency is working in an area affected by a food emergency, so that staff feel that they must take some initiative
· The agency lacks the capacity to implement an adequate general ration programme
· The programme is perceived as a curative programme which acts as a holding operation preventing mortality and until another agency can secure better general rations or
The programme is perceived as a short-term preventive programme targeted to groups believed to be at heightened nutritional risk until an adequate general ration can be secured
· The SFP provides the opportunity to have a field presence and to use this to monitor the adequacy of general rations and to provide data which can be used as a lobbying tool for better general ration provision, e.g. numbers of cases of malnutrition.
Are there other criteria which may be situation- or agency-specific?
The following are a list of other possible criteria that might contribute to a decision to implement a programme in the absence of adequate general rations:
· The programme is perceived as having a high profile which might be exploited to generate funds for the implementing agency
· Donors may be more willing to fund such a programme, because, given agency resources, it will be easier to account for food distributions than in a general feeding programme
· The infrastructure for large-scale therapeutic feeding already exists because of the level of severe malnutrition so that there is little extra expenditure in admitting mildly and moderately malnourished individuals who have not passed through therapeutic feeding to the existing SFP component of the programme
· The agency is implementing a medical/health-care programme which cannot be properly effective without accompanying emergency feeding
Having taken the decision to implement an emergency SFP in the absence of an adequate general rations, what rules of thumb and design considerations should be adhered to in order to achieve the best programme results?
· Before implementation, talk with beneficiary households to explain why this form of targeting is being encouraged and listen carefully to comments about the likely compliance with the aims of the programme
· Ensure that the programme is carefully monitored in order to determine whether the target groups are receiving adequate amounts of the supplement
· Increase the size of supplementary ration above normal levels but not to the extent that it creates pressures to starve children deliberately or that it approaches the level of a family or general ration programme
· Streamline programme design, e.g. dry take-home rations and minimal data collection, so that, in the event of large numbers of beneficiaries participating, agency resources are not overwhelmed
· Pay particular attention to SFP ration commodities, i.e. use of pre-mixes to encourage target group consumption and commodities which will make up any shortfall in the micro-nutrient content of the general ration.