REFANI: News & Updates

March 2019: Comparing the cost and cost-efficiency of two seasonal cash-based interventions of equal value but different timing and duration in Tahoua, Niger

A study to compare the costs, cost-efficiency, and cost-effectiveness of two Cash-Based Interventions designed to prevent acute malnutrition among children 6-48 months of age. The selected programs were implemented in southern Niger in 2015 during the annual lean season amid a context of a high prevalence of child undernutrition. 

October 2018: A cash-based intervention and the risk of acute malnutrition in children aged 6-59 months living in internally displaced persons camps in Mogadishu, Somalia: A non-randomised cluster trial 

Article on the REFANI-Somalia study impact results published by the PLOS Medicine journal. 

July 2018: REFANI Synthesis Report

Report desribing and comparing the results from the three REFANI trials - Niger, Pakistan, and Somalia, and implications for policy and pratice. 

July 2018: REFANI Summary Report

Summary of the REFANI Synthesis report, including key highlights from the project, findings, and implications for policy and practice. 

July 2018: The Cost of Preventing Undernutrition: Cost, cost-efficiency and cost-effectiveness of three cash-based interventions on nutrition outcomes in Dadu, Pakistan

Results from REFANI-Pakistan's cost-effetiveness analysis are now available. 

June 2018: Impact of Cash on Nutrition Outcomes

Action Against Hunger, in partnership with the World Food Programme, has developed the RESEARCH 4 ACTION methodology to build on evidence to inform action. The review on the current state of evidence on cash transfers for nutrtion outcomes is now available. 

June 2018Cost-Efficiency and Cost-Effectiveness in Humanitarian Assistance (CE2HA) Report

USAID, The IRC and CaLP released the CE2HA workshop report,  which brought together key actors  from the UN, donors, NGOs, and academia for two days in Washington D.C. The technical experts presented and synthesized the current knowledge landscape on cost-efficiency and cost-effectiveness, as well as identified needed next steps. Conversation around the cost-effectiveness and costing analysis done for REFANI Pakistan and Niger are discussed on page 11.

May 2018: Findings from a cluster randomised control trial of unconditional cash transfers in Niger

Article published by the Maternal and Child Nutrition journal on the REFANI-Niger study and results from the trial. 

May 2018: New Research Shows Cash Transfers Have Limited Impact on Malnutrition

Article published by Malnutrition Deeply looking at recent evidence from research projects investigating the impact of cash transfers on nutrition.

July 2017: Assessing value-for-money in maternal and newborn health

Article published in BMJ Global Health looking at value-for-money methods, applicability, strenghts and weaknesses. 

Open Access

July 2017: The REFANI-S study protocol: a non-randomised cluster controlled trial to assess the role of an unconditional cash transfer, a non-food item kit, and free piped water in reducing the risk of acute malnutrition among children aged 6–59 months living in camps for internally displaced persons in the Afgooye corridor, Somalia

An article published in the BioMed Central - Publich Health journal on the REFANI-Somalia study protocol.

June 2017: Summary Report on Event Proceedings: Strategies for Maximising Nutritional Impact in West Africa

Summary report on the REFANI-hosted research event held in Dakar, Senegal on 5 April 2017.

June 2017: Summary Report on Event Proceedings: Current Evidence on Improving Nutrition in Pakistan

Summary report on the REFANI-hosted research event held in Islamabad from 28 February - 1 March 2017. 

May 2017: Impact evaluation of different cash-based intervention modalities on child and maternal nutritional status in Sindh Province, Pakistan, at 6 mo and at 1 yr: A cluster randomised controlled trial

A journal article published in PLOS Medicine on the impact evaluation of the REFANI-Pakistan study, containing final results from both the 6-month and 1-year periods.

April 2017: Effects of unconditional cash transfers on the outcome of treatment for severe acute malnutrition (SAM): a cluster randomised trial in the Democratic Republic of Congo

A journal article published in BMC Medicine covering the study design, results and analysis of a randomised control trial conducted in the DRC looking at the effects of CTPs on the outcome of treatment for SAM. 

February 2017: Field Exchange, Issue 54

Among the many articles of this issue of the Field Exchange, you can find articles and an overview of Action Against Hunger's Research for Nutrition Conference held in Paris in November 2016.  Many of the panels included REFANI representation, specifically on the Pakistan study, the Niger study, conducting operational research and implementing a research uptake strategy. 

February 2017: Cash Delivery Mechanism Assessment Tool 

UNHCR has developed a tool to help field teams assess the adequacy of various cash delivery mechanisms to meet program needs. 

February 2017: Research for Nutrition Conference

Videos of panels and presentations from Action contre la Faim's Research for Nutrition Conference (#R4NUT) are now available online. 

January 2017: Assessing Impact of Cash Transfer Programs in Reducing Child Malnutrition in Somalia IDP Camps

Q&A with the REFANI-Somalia Study Coordinator, Mohamed Jelle, for the Humanitarian Innovation Initiative.

January 2017: Cash Transfer Briefing Package for Food Security Cluster Coordinators 

This briefing package consists of resources that provide greater clarity and guidance to those assigned to lead and manage the Food Security Clusters in countries with humanitarian crises.

January 2017: Five Myths About Cash Transfers

Irin News summarizes five myths about cash transfer, which some view as a waste of aid resources. 

December 2016: What Does it Mean to Implement a Research Uptake Strategy? Experiences from the REFANI Consortium - Summary on the Panel Discussion

Summary report on REFANI's research uptake discussion held on October 4, 2016 in London. 

September 2016: Cash-based approaches in humantarian emergencies: A systematic review

This review (from April 2016) assesses and synthesizes evidence on the effects of  cash-based assitance on individual and household outcomes in humanitarian emergencies. 

September 2016: Evaluation of the Use of Different Transfer Modalities in ECHO Humanitarian Aid Actions 2011-2014

This report (from January 2016) evaluates the use of various transfer modalities (cash, vouchers, in-kind, combined, etc.) by ECHO from 2011-2014. 

September 2016: Value for Money of Cash Transfers in Emergencies

This study (from February 2015) analyzes the evidence on the value for money of cash transfers, compared to in-kind assistance and vouchers. 

July 2016Beyond the Numbers: Why Qualitative Research Matters

Researching how cash transfers impact communities in Sindh, Pakistan.

July 2016: Labouring in a Conflict Zone: Lucrative but Dangerous Prospects for Niger's Migrants in Libya

A closer look Nigerien migrant paterns to Libya. 

June 2016: Press release announcing the launch of the 2016 Global Nutrition Report

The 2016 Global Nutrition report is now available. 

May 2016: Wanting Knowledge: Social Science Research and the Demand Factor in a Low Income Country - the Case of Niger

A paper published in February 2016 examining the environment of social science research in Niger, both in the past and present.  

May 2016Researching How Cash Transfers Impact Communities in Sindh, Pakistan: Q&A with REFANI-Pakistan’s Qualitative Researcher

The REFANI-Pakistan qualitative researcher explains what kind of information she collected in Dadu, Pakistan, and how it will help fill the evidence gap on nutritional outcomes in cash transfer programming.

April 2016: DFID Research Uptake Guidance

DFID has released an updated version to their 2013 guidance on research uptake. 

April 2016: Webinar: How Can We Better Involve National Actors in Humanitarian Coordination?

A recording of ALNAP's webinar held on March 22, 2016. 

April 5, 2016: Networks of Academics Help Turn Research into Action

Director of Communications and Impact at IDS discusses the challenges in turning research into action and how researchers should be better connected in order to obtain impact from research. 

March 31, 2016Research and evidence for DFID: the role for evidence in new aid strategy

IDS publishes an article describing a lecture given by DFID'S Chief Scientific Advisor, Charlotte Watts. 

March 2016When Is A Baseline More Than A Baseline? 5 Uses for Your Baseline Survey

A practical approach to what one can do with baseline data, and how it can already affect policy. 

February 2016: Summary Report: "Research Uptake in a Humanitarian Context"

A report summarizing the presentations and discussion of the Research Uptake in a Humanitarian Context panel, hosted by DFID, orgnaized by REFANI.

February 2016The REFANI Project in Pakistan: adapting research to a multi-sectoral programme for impact measurement

A detailed look into the EU-WINS intervention in Pakistan, and how the REFANI-Pakistan project looks to measure the nutritional impact of the intervention. 

February 2016Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies (IYCF-E) Position Paper 2.0

This position paper highlights the issues, challenges and guidance regarding the optimal promotion, protection and support of IYCF in emergency settings. 

January 22, 2016Cash transfers: only 6% of humanitarian spending – what’s the hold up?

The Guardian explores why cash transfers don't make up a larger percentage of humanitarian assistance. 

January 20, 2016What Happens To The Body And Mind When Starvation Sets In?

An article by NPR that takes a closer look at starvation.

December 23, 2015: The REFANI-N study protocol: a cluster-randomised controlled trial of the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of early initiation and longer duration of emergency/seasonal unconditional cash transfers for the prevention of acute malnutrition among children, 6–59 months, in Tahoua, Niger

An article published in the BioMed Central - Publich Health journal on the REFANI-Niger study protocol.

December 7, 2015: Comparind Household Food Consumption Indicators to Inform Acute Food Insecurity Phase Classification

The final technical report for the Food and Nutrition Technical Assisstance III Project (FANTA) and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) Household Food Conumption Indicators Study gets published.

December 1, 2015: Preventing Acute Malnutrition: Addressing a Global Evidence Gap. An Interview with Bridget Fenn, the REFANI research project principal investigator in Pakistan

A Q&A with the REFANI-Pakistan principal investigator on conducting research in humanitarian contexts.

November 13 2015: Voices and views of beneficiaries on unconditional cash transfers - Democratic Republic of Congo, Nepal and the Philippines

This CaLP study presents the views of beneficiaries of humanitarian cash transfer programmes in Nepal, DRC and the Philippines. 

Nobember 2015: Nutrition Embedding Evaluation Programme (NEEP)

Learn about another DFID-funded project, the NEEP. Similar to REFANI, NEEP aims to contribute to the reduction of undernutrition by building the nutrition evidence base. 20 grantees are evaluating their nutrition interventions through the NEEP.

October 12 2015: The REFANI Pakistan study—a cluster randomised controlled trial of the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of cash-based transfer programmes on child nutrition status: study protocol

An article published in the BioMed Central - Publich Health journal on the REFANI-Pakistan study protocol.

October 2015: Facing Famine - Somali Experiences in the Famine of 2011

A paper focusing on the local, Somali experience to the famine.

October 2015: Cash Transfers and Child Nutrition: What we know and what we need to know

An overview on the impacts of cash transfer programmes on the immediate and underlying determinants of child nutrition.

September 28 2015: Q&A: How Cash Can Combat Malnutrition

An interview with Action Against Hunger's Technical Director, Silke Pietzsch, on malnutrition and REFANI.

September 23 2015: Global Nutrition Report 2015

The report tracks country progress towards two nutrition-related targets for 2025, and provides a snapshot of the scale of malnutrition across the world. 

September 22 2015Announcing the Launch of REFANI Research Initiative

Action Against Hunger puts out a press release about the REFANI Consortium.

September 2015: MARKit tool/Monitoring of Cash-Based Programs: What are we doing now? What do we need to do better?

The Food Security and Nutrition (FSN) Network shares recordings and resources from their Monitoring of Cash-based Programs event held on Tuesday September 17. 

August 12 2015: Can randomized trials eliminate global poverty?

This article discusses how randomised trials have become the preferred method among researches investigating the success and efficiency of social programmes.

August 6 2015: Cash transfers in Niger: the manna, the norms and the suspicions

This report provides a history of cash transfer programmes (CTP) in Niger, the methodology and problems encountered during the various stages of the transfer. Lastly, the report also investigates the conditions which beneficiaries must meet in order to benefit from the transfers.

August 4 2015: Videos on cash and voucher programming from Logistics Cluster

These videos, produced by the Logistics Cluster, explain key concepts of cash and voucher based humanitarian assistance. 

June 2015: Nutrition Exchange: Issue 5

Page 29 of the Nutrition Exchange gives a brief overview of the REFANI project.

June 2015: Cash transfer and community resilience programming in South Central Somalia

This article summarizes the Building Resilience in Central Somalia (BRCiS) project, which provides immediate humanitarian assistance as well as long-term capacity building through cash-for-work programmes and unconditional cash transfers.

March 2015: REFANI Literature review

The REFANI literature review focuses on evidence gaps in measuring the impact of cash transfer programmes on nutrition outcomes.  


Action Against Hunger is leading a global movement to end hunger in our lifetimes. It innovates solutions, advocates for change, and reaches 26 million people every year with proven hunger prevention and treatment programs. As a nonprofit that works across 50 countries, its 8,300 dedicated staff members partner with communities to address the root causes of hunger, including climate change, conflict, inequity, and emergencies. It strives to create a world free from hunger, for everyone, for good.