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What are the graduation criteria from Food assistance projects regardless of the modality?

This question was posted the Food assistance forum area and has 3 replies.

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Tammam Ali Mohammed Ahmed

Nutrition Specialist/ Save the Children

Normal user

3 Mar 2020, 18:16

Dear all,

Food Assistance projects regardless of the followed modality (GFD, CASH, Vouchers) are being implemented in many prioritized districts at country level. Beginning from beneficiaries selection then distribution then project ends. 

Lets read this scenario here under in steps:

1. 7,000 beneficiaries have been selected from the field as per the agreed criteria

2. Donor requirement ONLY to target 1,000 beneficiaries

3. NGO has filtered the list and ONLY selected the first 1,000 beneficiaries 

4. Distribution cycles started and then ended. Project duration is 12 months.

From the scenario I notice the following:

1. All the 7,000 benificiaries are affected and in need of food assistance. Only 1,000 get the assistance

2. The same 1,000 get the assistance in every distribution cycle 

3. What will happen to the remaining 6,000 beneficiaries who are also in need? Should they wait to the next coming project or what? Do we have any graduation criteria to discharge old beneficiaries and replace them with ones in the waiting list? If one has such experience in the graduation strategy or has any idea how to ensure all the 7000 beneficiaries get the assistance in one project duration please share with me.

Reports stated that nearly 21 million people suffer from food insecurity in this country. Each selection criteria has its own weight in percentage. And any beneficiary who matches one criteria is eligible by definition. What is the point of having weights for each criteria other than pritorization and down sizing the beneficiaries list? Can we have scores calculation for the criteria weights so we can have categorization, i.e. from 70% and above should receive the assistance, below should not but should be listed in the waiting list.....waiting for how long? ....point 3 of the noticed points above. I think by doing this points summation we are creating something like competition between the 7,000 beneficiaries, however they are all matching one or more of the criteria so are in need of the assistance and this competition is unacceptable ethically.

Thank you

Mija Ververs


Normal user

4 Mar 2020, 14:04

Dear Tammam

I am not a specialist on this at all, and my reply only partially deals with an answer to your very pertinent question. I have come across this once before and how the NGO came to a workable solution is asking the community what was the fairest approach according to them; how did THEY think the process of targeting had to be conducted and what criteria were reasonable to them. Maybe this was done by the NGO in your context, that was not clear to me. If not, it might be helpful to share accountability on the process of who gets what when.


Tammam Ali Mohammed Ahmed

Nutrition Specialist/ Save the Children

Normal user

4 Mar 2020, 19:04

Thanks Mija for your feedback, yes please share with me the accountability on this process.

I don't think graduation strategy is discussed with the community. I was working with one INGO in Yemen and the practice was like this:

- 6,000 total beneficiaries are selected. They are not getting the assistance at once during the distribution cylce, but divided into groups (selected beneficiaries/donor target), for example, 2,000 beneficiaries get their assistance in January and February then the second 2,000 get their assistance in March and April, and the last 2,000 get their assistance in May and June. Then the cycle is repeated again. It is clear that all groups will not get the assistance for 4 consecutive months. For me this 4 month gap is not a better solution

Lolek Joseph

MEAL Officer/Karamoja Development Forum

Normal user

6 Mar 2020, 08:18

I worked with WV - Uganda and we implemented the TSFP, in North Karamoja region, I think this had no comparison with the above but some lessons to learn. Our graduation approach was automated, we targeted Pregnant/Lactating mothers and children under 2 years.

A pregnant woman was enrolled to the program at the first trimester when she conceives she graduates to lactating group and details of child updated. when the child reaches 12 months, S/he graduates to CU2. When the child reaches 24 months, S/he gets out of the program.


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