The Food and Nutrition Security Resilience Programme (FNS-REPRO), funded by the Government of the Netherlands through FAO, is a four-year programme of USD 28 million that contributes directly to the operationalization of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2417 by addressing the “cause-effect” relationship between conflict and food insecurity in the Republic of South Sudan, the Republic of the Sudan (Darfur) and Somaliland. The programme became operational in October 2019. Its design allows FAO and partners to set examples of building food-system resilience in protracted crises. The programme adopts an innovative area- and livelihood-based approach that looks at the multidimensional threats and risks that communities are exposed to, while identifying and utilizing opportunities for improved livelihood resilience. It focuses on value chains that can contribute to more resilient food systems, resulting in improved food and nutrition security and localized peace dividend. These value chains include fodder (Somaliland), seeds (South Sudan) and gum Arabic (the Sudan – Darfur). Activities for FNS-REPRO are built around these value chains.
This report acts as a baseline for the FNS-REPRO project for South Sudan. The purpose of the current study is two-pronged. The first is to collect baseline values for the identified project indicators, which will be tracked over time and used to establish the impact of the project. The second is to identify and document lessons learned that will help in continuously realigning the current project’s theory of change and assist in defining and designing similar food security projects in the future, in South Sudan and in other parts of the world with similar contexts. In this regard, the baseline study was structured around the project indicators that can be measured at household level as well as indicators that will be used to estimate household resilience capacity. Estimation of the household resilience capacity is done using the FAO RIMA-II tool (FAO, 2016). Overall, the study employed a panel design with both intervention and comparison households.
The roll-out of the project activities in the seven target locations is in the form of a phased approach that started with Yambio and Torit counties in 2020, extending to Aweil, Bor and Wau counties in 2021 and Renk and Akobo in 2022. The current baseline survey focused on Yambio and Torit counties, the first areas of the project roll-out. The data collection covered about 600 households from the two counties (407 treatment and 192 control) in October 2020. A team comprising FAO staff together with external enumerators from the roster in Torit and Yambio field offices participated in the exercise. The enumerators were trained for two days in mobile data-collection techniques (implemented using Kobo Collect), systematic discussion of the questionnaire and the basics of FAO’s Resilience Index Measurement and Analysis (RIMA) methodology facilitated by FAOSS Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) and RIMA experts from RTEA and South Sudan.