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Synthesis of Lessons from the El Nino Response : Cash Transfers Lessons Learnt in Southern Africa

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The El Nino induced drought in the 2015/2016 cropping season caused serious agricultural production failure which resulted in food insecurity, and poor access to other basic services including water and sanitation, education and health. The national governments and the humanitarian community mounted a response guided by the RIASCO (Regional Inter-Agency Standing Committee) Action Plan using various transfer modalities including in-kind and cash transfers.

Cash transfers were informed by market analysis of a varied quality with the market structure (e.g.
Mozambique) and liquidity crisis (e.g. Zimbabwe) presenting peculiar challenges for the response.

This paper seeks to outline a synthesis of lessons learnt by different agencies during the El Nino response through formal and informal reflections, post distribution monitoring, and evaluations. It is envisaged that the lessons will contribute to the region’s preparedness and capacity development, enhancing response to any future shocks.