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Enhancing resilience and restoring agricultural productive capacity and food security through social protection in Indonesia

Emergency assistance for post-earthquake and tsunami recovery through cash assistance in Central Sulawesi

In 2018, a series of earthquakes struck Indonesia’s Central Sulawesi Province, which is a major agricultural production centre in the country. The earthquakes triggered a tsunami and caused landslides with considerable damage and loss of life. In the context of the severe impacts of this event, FAO delivered cash assistance, seeds and fertilizer to nearly 12 000 farming and fishing households through the national Family Hope social protection programmeMore specifically, the project partnered with the government to leverage the programme's infrastructure, namely the beneficiaries list and its cash delivery mechanism. The intervention aimed to address food insecurity, loss of livelihoods and destruction of agricultural and fishing assets, with particular attention to the needs of pregnant and lactating mothers with children under 5 years of age. 

This social protection and resilience promising practice fact sheet documents the design and implementation of this emergency support intervention and its effectiveness in addressing immediate nutritional needs and restoring food production and livelihoods after the earthquake, while also strengthening community resilience to shocks. 

  • On social protection: Leveraging existing national social protection systems to address immediate needs can contribute to a more timely and efficient response and to achieving a stronger impact. Concretely, this was possible because FAO implemented a vertical expansion of an existing government-led social protection programme, momentarily increasing the amount of cash assistance normally transferred to poor and vulnerable households. 
  • On localization: The intervention showed that the government’s engagement and positive relations developed with local officials had a key role in securing their commitment to support the recovery of the agricultural sector, which in turn promotes the long-term sustainable development of the sector. Capacity development conducted with government counterparts enhanced their ability to quickly respond to similar shocks in the future. The active coordination between the FAO field team and provincial and district extension officers guaranteed project’s access to secondary data and the possibility of conducting timely surveys to identify needs and target beneficiaries, accessing beneficiaries’ data from multiple government registries on their socio-economic status (social registry) as well as their employment in agriculture (farmers registry). Coordination with government counterparts and other stakeholders was also crucial to avoid overlaps with other UN agencies and external partners. 
  • On community engagement: The experience showed that group discussions with target communities and livelihoods assessment surveys can help identify the type of agricultural and fishing inputs to be distributed as well as distribution points to be used. Close collaboration between FAO, village and community-level authorities and local partners facilitates access to various data sources, enabling data triangulation in the process of selection and validation of beneficiaries. In turn, this can contribute to minimizing potential social tensions that could stem from inadequate selection between beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries of social assistance. If selection criteria are public and the process is participatory and localized, potential tensions between community members can be addressed at early stages with support from local leaders.
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