Farhina Ali collect goats at her homestead near the Dowli village in Puntland, Somalia. Photo Credit: Karel Prinsloo, ©Adeso

We believe that assisting crisis-affected communities should be done in an efficient, compassionate and dignified manner. That’s why we pioneered cash transfer as a form of aid that meets the most immediate needs of vulnerable people.

Cash transfer enables communities suffering from hunger and conflict to meet their most basic needs: Needs they are best placed to identify. Whether it’s medicine for their sick child, water for their cattle, food to sustain their families, or money to set up a small business, giving people cash enables them to choose how best to survive and then thrive.

In more technical terms, we help people meet their food security and water needs, support good sanitation and hygiene practices, and promote community led disaster risk reduction.

Cash for Life

For over 15 years we have been promoting unconditional cash transfers as the best way to help vulnerable households meet their basic needs, retain financial independence, and maintain their dignity.

The most vulnerable households are often the first victims of natural or manmade catastrophe. Often forced to sell their meager assets, including livestock, these families have little resilience against future shocks. Even a relatively small event, such as the death of an animal, can plunge them into crisis, forcing them to rely on humanitarian aid for survival.

Predictable cash transfers help families to deal with immediate crises, manage their limited resources, and start to invest in the future. By having cash in their pockets, recipients are able to improve their access to both food and non-food items. With their basic food needs met, household spending patterns change, with greater spending on livelihood related items, such as livestock, small businesses, education, and savings.

Instead of surviving from day-to-day, these communities are beginning the slow and difficult process of building a foundation for long-term self-sufficiency.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

In the arid and semi-arid lands where we work, communities are water-stressed for many months of the year. Even where water supply is adequate, its quality is often poor. In Northern Kenya and Somalia, most of the population relies on pastoralism to earn a living. Water is sufficient during the rainy season only, and yields decrease as dry spells progress. Droughts have increased dramatically over the past several decades, resulting in the deaths of many animals, reducing the availability of pasture, and increasing the distance between water sources.

To address this we design innovative water management and treatment interventions tailored to local needs, and trained community members on how to better manage water resources.

Households in the targeted areas now practice safe potable water management and have improved their hand washing, water treatment and waste disposal.

Social Protection

A powerful tool to reduce poverty, social safety nets support the long term recovery and resilience of households in perpetual crisis. They help people and families find jobs, improve productivity, cope with shocks, invest in the health and education of their children, and protect special interest groups. Adeso’s social protection programs focus on social assistance (such as cash transfers and subsidies) and job creation schemes to create direct, positive impact.

Adeso recognizes that social safety nets programs can become fragmented and lack harmonization, hampering their effectiveness. Therefore, Adeso seeks to make these systems more inclusive of the vulnerable and more attuned to building people’s capacities and improving the productivity of their work. As such, Adeso’s strategy looks at ways to deepen government involvement, capacity, knowledge and impact of social safety nets on their people.

Most recently, Adeso completed a EU-funded Social Safety Nets Program in Lower Juba, introducing predictable cash transfers to build household and community level resilience to drought and hazards. The project was implemented between 2015 and 2019 by the Somalia Resilience Action (STREAM) Consortium composed of ADESO, ACTED and SADO and targeted 5000 households in Kismayo, Afmadhow and Dhobley. STREAM strategically developed and implemented a multisector layered programming approach informed by the need to tackle vulnerability from multipronged pathways.