"This is an example of how to do things. World Vision Zimbabwe should be commended for the order and calm at the food distribution points," said Mr. Sitnam.
He was speaking after visits to Magamba, funded by World Food Programme (WFP) and Empandeni, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) food distribution points in Mashonaland East and Matebeleland, respectively.
The group distribution model is being widely promoted by the Food Resource Management Group, director Mr Walter Middleton with World Vision being the leading agency among other humanitarian agencies in adopting the model.
Mr Sitnam singled out World Vision Zimbabwe as the leading agency within the partnership to have successfully implemented the group model in its current relief programme.
"The model has since been adopted in Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia, and Zimbabwe has been leading the way," said Mr Sitnam.
He said that the community involvement of the model lays a foundation for transforming relief programmes into developmental work.
"The partnership between the community and World Vision builds trust and collaboration vital for launching of sustainable development."
The group model adds dignity and a sense of ownership of the programme by the community as World Vision consults them at a grassroots level on how to implement the programme.
"By the mere fact that they (community) are consulted cancels the question of exploitation by staff, as they are equal stakeholders.'
Besides fostering partnerships, the group model has proven to be cost effective and less labour intensive as compared to the individual ration model.
The group model has proved to have less structures allowing for a leaner pay-roll on the part of World Vision and easier to manage as the community fills in some of the less technical roles.
The group model, when fully operational, is quicker as opposed to the individual model, which often results in panic and chaos as villagers scramble for rations.
World Vision is currently carrying out general food distributions in 18 districts of Matebeleland South and North provinces, Masvingo and Mashonaland East and Central provinces.
According to a recent Vulnerability Assessment Committee report, an estimated 7,218,200 people representing 52 percent of the total population are faced with food shortages.