Cover Image
close this bookCARE Food Manual (CARE , 1998, 355 p.)
close this folderChapter 11 - Food Distribution To Sites
close this folderV. Preventing Misappropriation and Diversion
View the documentA. Main Risks of Diversion
View the documentB. Transport and Delivery
View the documentC. Agreements/Sanctions
View the documentD. Ration Size and Quality
View the documentE. Communication

A. Main Risks of Diversion

The main risks of diversion at the distribution site other than registration abuses described above include:

· Distributors purposely giving less than a prescribed ration to a beneficiary

· Collusion involving site level staff and falsifying distribution records

· Lack of crowd control at the site level

· Favoritism by the distributor. Some distributors give better quality sections of fish or meat to family members and acquaintances.

· Receipt of underweight bags from either the main warehouse or the transporter which do not show up as underweight until the time of distribution. The result of this can be reduced ration sizes to beneficiaries.

B. Transport and Delivery

· CARE must encourage sites to report any irregularities in the quality or quantity of food received. All problems should be investigated as soon as possible. If informants are providing information, all measures must be taken to assure that their information is accurate. Steps must also be taken to protect and reward them.

· If collusion is suspected among the transporter and personnel at a distribution center, an outside monitor should spot-check by counting a sample of the food while in transit. If the problem appears widespread, the random spot-checks should be part of a country office’s regular monitoring plan.

C. Agreements/Sanctions

· CARE should have written agreements with sites which specify contractual obligations and penalties, including repayment of the value of losses for criminal activities, misconduct and/or mismanagement. (See Agreements and Contracts.

· When distribution site personnel are not carrying out their responsibilities or sites are performing inadequately, sanctions should be imposed, as soon as practicable, against the distribution site. Sanctions may act as a credible deterrent and show that CARE is serious about its responsibilities to beneficiaries.

D. Ration Size and Quality

· Provide standardized scoops (tin cans, buckets) to measure out rations and train people to use them properly. Flexible scoops should be avoided as the sides can be squeezed to reduce the ration. Horizontal slits are sometimes punched into the scoops at the fill line to prevent over-scooping.

· If local measurements are commonly used and understood, the metric ration should be converted. For example, the common units of food measurement in Haiti are the marmite and the kola bottle. The following table provides the conversion rates of these local measurements into kilograms:

Local Measures Conversion Table (Haiti)




Local Unit


Soy-fortified bulgar



20 marmites


Wheat-soy blend



13 marmites





18 marmites





10 kolas


· If the ration size changes frequently, scales may be more practical than scoops.

· If scales are too time consuming and cumbersome, rations can be pre-measured and pre-packaged at the warehouse for distribution to the sites.

· If meats are part of the ration, remove ice and make uniform cuts before distribution.

· Sacks and oil cartons should be examined to insure that they are completely empty at the end of the distribution.

E. Communication

· The project objectives and ration size must be communicated by speaker vans, posters, songs and radio announcements to the target population to insure that they are aware of the amounts they are entitled to receive and how the food is intended to benefit their lives.

· If the ration changes as a result of shortages in the food pipeline, recipients must be told the reason for the changes in the system. Misunderstandings can lead to serious security problems, particularly in emergency situations and in refugee camps. CARE staff must also clearly communicate what the population can expect in the future.