Since March 2002 Concern Worldwide has undertaken a number of programmes, initially a food aid intervention that was rapidly followed by food security activities and a nutritional intervention focusing on Community Therapeutic Care (CTC). In 2005 Malawi suffered another food security crisis that required international assistance. Concern Worldwide identified needs in their area of operation that the Government of Malawi Voucher Scheme (GoMVS) general food distribution was not meeting. To address the needs Concern developed a food and cash transfer programme covering seven Traditional Authorities (TA) in three districts of Malawi. This intervention marks an important innovation for the organisation, a move away from conditional cash transfers and a move away from food aid.
In view of this, Concern commissioned IDS to carry out an external evaluation of the programme, not only to assess the impact of the intervention on beneficiaries' ability to deal with the current food crisis but also to inform policy for the organisation as a whole as to the appropriateness of this type of transfer in relief settings and the prospects for scaling up as a longer term social protection programme.