Cash, Food or Vouchers in Urban and Rural Kenya? An Application of the Market Information and Food Insecurity Response Analysis Framework
22 Pages Posted: 18 May 2011
Date Written: April 1, 2011
This paper uses data on food market intermediation and on consumer behavior and preferences to clarify whether market-based cash and voucher programs are likely to prove effective for addressing food insecurity in rural and urban study sites in Kenya. The findings carry important implications for food security interventions by government and operational agencies. We find that context matters when undertaking a response analysis. Markets in surveyed urban settlements can respond better to a much larger injection of cash or vouchers than the surveyed rural areas can. Moreover, household vulnerabilities are associated with household preferences in different ways across the two sites. In rural areas, female headed households and households reporting a physical limit to market access strongly preferred food aid to cash or vouchers while in urban areas, households with these characteristics preferred the flexibility of cash or vouchers to food.
Keywords: food insecurity, Kenya, response analysis, urban food insecurity
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