|Title||The Effects of Non-Food Item Vouchers in a Humanitarian Context The Case of the Rapid Response to Movements of Population Program in Congo|
|C1 Background and Explanation of Rationale||
In 2015, across the globe, an estimated 65 million people were forcibly displaced, and a total of $28 billion was spent on international humanitarian assistance (GHA, 2016). Despite the vast sum of money spent each year, little evidence exists on the effectiveness of emergency aid. Research on humanitarian assistance is challenging as it must overcome security concerns, logistical hurdles, a relative paucity of high quality monitoring data, and the urgency of humanitarian action. At the same time, there is an increasing demand from donors, policy-makers and implementing agencies to know what works and why, as this is directly linked to the efficient use of limited resources to achieve development outcomes.
In May 2014, the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie), in partnership with the DRC Humanitarian Pooled Fund (HPF), requested qualifications from research teams interested in studying the effectiveness of humanitarian assistance in eastern Congo. HPF and 3ie matched qualified research teams with humanitarian organizations that had previously expressed interest in the methods promoted by 3ie. Our research team was matched with the Rapid Response to Movements of Population (RRMP) program, jointly managed by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and OCHA. The program that evolved into RRMP began in 2004. Currently, RRMP8 (May 2017 – April 2018) provides humanitarian assistance to groups of 500 or more households in North Kivu, South Kivu, Ituri, ex-Katanga and Tanganyika who have fled from armed conflict or natural disasters, or have recently returned to their home communities after such displacement. The program also responds to epidemics such as cholera. The RRMP8 budget is approximately 21 million USD.
What is the effect of humanitarian assistance (specifically the provision of vouchers for non-food items (NFI)) provided to recently displaced or returned persons, and vulnerable host families, on health and well-being?
|C2 What are the hypotheses to be tested?||
We focus on four families of primary outcomes: 1) physical health, 2) mental health, 3) social cohesion, and 4) resilience. For each family, we construct a summary index. We also test for spillovers and heterogeneous effects along several dimensions (details below).
We test for heterogeneous effects along the following dimensions (two-sided tests):
|C3 How will these hypotheses be tested? *||
We randomly assign households to receive a voucher for non-food items or control. We interview households 1-4 days before a fair where they can use their vouchers. We interview the same households again six weeks after the fair. If a household is living in a multi-household dwelling, we also randomly select an additional household in the dwelling to interview at both points in time.
|C4 Country||The Democratic Republic of Congo|
|C5 Scale (# of Units)||1400|
|C6 Was a power analysis conducted prior to data collection?||Yes|
|C7 Has this research received Insitutional Review Board (IRB) or ethics committee approval?||Yes|
|C8 IRB Number||Catholic University of Bukavu (UCB/CIE/NC/006/2017); New York University – Abu Dhabi (#064-2017)|
|C9 Date of IRB Approval||26 July 2017 (CUB); 23 August 2017 (NYUAD)|
|C10 Will the intervention be implemented by the researcher or a third party?||Unicef via implementing NGOs: MercyCorps, Danish Refugee Council, Norwegian Refugee Council, Solidarites|
|C11 Did any of the research team receive remuneration from the implementing agency for taking part in this research?||No|
|C12 If relevant, is there an advance agreement with the implementation group that all results can be published?||Yes|
|C13 JEL Classification(s)||I15, I38, D74, H84|