Kenya—Hunger Safety Net Programme Phase 2 (HSNP2)

Client: Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

Duration: 2014-2019

Region: Sub-Saharan Africa

Country: Kenya

Solutions: Economic Growth

The first phase of the Hunger Safety Net Programme (HSNP) in Kenya—from 2009 to 2012—reached 69,000 households in four northern counties with a cash transfer payment every two months. Phase 2 expanded coverage within the same four counties: Marsabit, Mandera, Turkana, and Wajir.

Households receiving the regular bi-monthly cash transfers were selected from the poorest 10 percent in each county, using a combination of Community-Based Targeting and Proxy Means Testing. A scalable emergency cash transfer response to droughts was built for 470,000 households, which were provided with bank accounts and cards in advance to facilitate rapid transfers.

The goal of HSNP2 was to continue to reduce poverty, hunger, and vulnerability in the focus counties, resulting in better and more sustainable safety nets for poor and vulnerable households.

Through HSNP, more than 600,000 of Kenya’s most vulnerable people had access to cash transfers on a regular basis and up to 2.1 million people were reached with emergency cash transfers in times of drought or flood.

Sample Activities

  • Build capacity and sustainability of local partners.
  • Implement framework for emergency scale-up.
  • Agree with stakeholders to recertification process for cash transfers

Select Results

  • Activated the HSNP Dashboard, allowing real-time data about cash transfers and the process to be transferred online to and from field-level staff, improving service.
  • Reached 69,000 households in four northern counties with a cash transfer payment every two months in the first phase of HSNP in Kenya—from 2009 to 2012.
  • Transitioned HSNP2 to be a Government of Kenya flagship programme. It expanded to register 374,000 households (more than 2.1 million people) across the four most arid and vulnerable counties.
  • Close to 100,000 households are paid a regular transfer. HSNP has paid transfers to nearly 90,000 households from an early stage of the current extreme drought cycle, helping avoid damaging impact and losses occurring.
  • Held up as a case study in “shock-responsive social protection,” contributing to evidence of cost-effectiveness of investments in resilience and planned intervention at early stage of a disaster compared to costly reactive “emergency” responses.


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