Assessment of the 2016/17 food insecurity response programme in Malawi

Following poor harvests in the 2015/16 cropping season in Malawi, vulnerability assessments found that nearly 6.7 million people, primarily in the Southern and Central regions, were likely to suffer from food insecurity before the next harvest. The government of Malawi and its development partners designed the 2016/17 Food Insecurity Response Programme (FIRP) in Malawi to meet the food needs of many of the households affected, mobilizing approximately USD 265 million in resources to do so. In the wake of this intervention, a team led by the International Food Policy Research Institute was contracted to assess the quality of this humanitarian response along four primary dimension: Assess the quality of the national food security assessments which began the response; Investigate the accuracy of the geographical and beneficiary targeting within selected areas; conduct an operational assessment of the humanitarian response design and implementation; and Assess overall programme and draw technical, market, and methodological implications for the design of future humanitarian responses and their contribution to resilience building. This Discussion Paper provides considerable detail on which facets of the implementation of FIRP were successful and where implementation fell short in addressing the needs of the affected population, in ensuring that Malawi was better prepared for future food crises, and in laying a foundation for improved resilience in the face of such shocks for both the affected households and Malawi as a whole.