Midline Study of the Maharo Resilience Food Security Activity in Madagascar
This report captures midline (ML) survey data collected from February to March 2023 for the impact evaluation (IE) of the Maharo resilience food security activity (RFSA) implemented by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in the southern region of Madagascar. This activity attempts to address and mitigate acute levels of food insecurity experienced by communities in this region of Madagascar. Indicators studied at the ML include food security; child nutrition and health; women’s maternal nutrition and reproductive health; water, sanitation, and hygiene practice; agricultural practices; and gender dynamics.
Some of the key findings were:
Agriculture - The ML focused on a specific set of agricultural interventions and found that households in treatment areas showed substantial progress. A higher share of treatment households used financial services (by five percentage points), saved (by 13 percentage points), practiced value chain interventions (by 34 percentage points), and adopted improved management practices for all targeted crops. Two Maharo agricultural initiatives were examined at ML—a livestock voucher program and a seed program. Approximately 8% of treatment households reported receiving a livestock voucher, compared to 1% of control households. The results indicated that the seed program, which was delivered to both treatment and control areas, clearly reached treatment areas, where participation was roughly double.
Gender Dynamics - The results show that nearly all women participate in decisions about using their self-earned cash, but a lower percentage of men do the same. There are large gender differences in perceived participation in decisions about husbands’ cash earnings. 83% of men report that wives participate in these decisions, while women report their own participation at 65%. The analysis of covariance results confirm there are no statistically significant differences between treatment and control households in indicators related to household financial decisions. 46% of households report using credit