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Study Overview

Impact Evaluation of ADRA's TRANSFER Project in Honduras: Enhancing Food Security Through Sorghum
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The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is implementing the Integrated Actions for Sustainable Food Security (TRANSFER) Project, to improve the food security of vulnerable families in the south of the dry corridor of Honduras. The project operates within three key sectors: Food Assistance, Agriculture, and Economic Recovery and Market Systems. The intervention has an innovative activity: the reintroduction of sorghum cultivation as a productive alternative to other basic grains that are less tolerant to drought and that can be used for human consumption. The ADRA sorghum crop reintroduction activity aims to increase and diversify the production of food that is resistant to climate change in the intervention area and promote the creative use of sorghum in the family diet.

Registration Citation:
Agriculture and Rural Development
Health, Nutrition, and Population
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Principal Investigator(s)

Name of First PI:
Hugo Navarro
Name of Second PI:

Study Sponsor

The Humanitarian Assistance Evidence Cycle (HAEC)
Study Sponsor Location:
United States

Research Partner

Name of Partner Institution:
Type of Organization:
Private firm
United States

Intervention Overview


The intervention under evaluation is the TRANSFER project in Honduras, with a focus on reintroducing sorghum cultivation to enhance food security and agricultural sustainability. The project targets vulnerable households residing in the south of the dry corridor of Honduras, an area prone to extreme poverty, food insecurity, and the effects of climate change. This specific geographical area where the TRANSFER project is being implemented also has a high number of women beneficiaries who may face marginalization due to their gender.

The TRANSFER project, overseen by ADRA, has 5,700 registered beneficiaries who meet specific criteria. All of these beneficiaries have received unconditional cash transfers under the food assistance sector component. Among these, approximately 51% (2,887 households) are also involved in the agriculture sector component, requiring them to meet three additional criteria.Within the agriculture sector, all 2,887 households received corn seeds and participated in the Field School program. This initiative aims to enhance skills in best agricultural practices for climate change resilience, particularly focusing on increasing basic grain production. Furthermore, some beneficiaries received additional support such as home gardens (1,768 families), henhouses (664 families), and irrigation systems (331 families). In terms of seed distribution, 66.4% of the beneficiaries (1,917 households) received sorghum seeds. Among these, a significant portion (55%) also received beans and corn, while a smaller percentage (45%) received only corn alongside sorghum. For those not receiving sorghum seeds, 21% cultivated corn and beans, while the majority (79%) focused solely on corn cultivation.

Theory of Change:

The intervention has an innovative activity: the reintroduction of sorghum cultivation as a productive alternative to promote food security and stimulate sorghum cultivation. Sorghum is traditionally cultivated in the intervention area, especially to other basic grains that are less tolerant to drought and that can be used for human consumption. The impact evaluation focuses on key mechanisms: first, assessing the increase in sorghum production resulting from seed provision, measuring both the quantity grown and factors influencing production levels. Second, it examines the impact on household consumption, tracking how much sorghum is consumed, its frequency, and effects on dietary diversity. Third, it gauges improvements in food security through indicators such as the Food Consumption Score (FCS), Household Hunger Scale (HHS), and Coping Strategy Index (rCSI). Fourth, it evaluates knowledge and skill development by analyzing adoption rates of improved agricultural practices and nutritional awareness related to sorghum. Lastly, the evaluation scrutinizes the cost-effectiveness of the intervention, comparing costs of seed provision, training, and related activities against observed outcomes to inform future program designs and resource allocations. Through these lenses, the evaluation seeks to illuminate the intervention's impact on sorghum cultivation, consumption patterns, food security, household practices, and overall well-being within the targeted vulnerable communities.

Multiple Treatment Arms Evaluated?

Implementing Agency

Name of Organization:
The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA)
Type of Organization:
NGO (International)

Program Funder

Name of Organization:
USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance
Type of Organization:
Foreign or Multilateral Aid Agency

Intervention Timing

Intervention or Program Started at time of Registration?
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Evaluation Method

Evaluation Method Overview

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Additional Evaluation Method (If Any):
Difference in difference/fixed effects
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Method Details

Details of Evaluation Approach:

The methodological approach for this impact evaluation study involves a rigorous econometric analysis to investigate the causal relationship between the distribution of sorghum seeds to vulnerable small agricultural households and both sorghum production and consumption. The main identification strategy used is Propensity Score Matching (PSM), which consists of two steps: estimating the probability of receiving the treatment (sorghum seeds) using a probit model, and then estimating the Average Treatment Effect (ATE) using the estimated probabilities. This approach helps address potential endogeneity and confounding factors. The analysis includes a series of robustness checks, including most notably the estimation of a difference-in-differences model using a subsample that also has a baseline survey, control variables, and sensitivity tests to enhance the robustness of our findings. Also, in the case of PSM, the robustness checks will include variations in the propensity score model and various matching methods such as near neighborhood and caliper. 

The Difference-in-Differences (DID) model will be employed, comparing outcomes before and after the intervention between the treatment and comparison groups. The DID aims to account for any time-invariant unobservable characteristics that may differ between groups.

The analysis will also consider a multilayered approach to ensure data quality, from enumerator training to data storage and quality review.

Additionally, a cost-effectiveness analysis will be conducted to assess the program's financial implications in relation to outcomes achieved, enabling decision-makers and implementers to make informed choices regarding resource allocation and investment, thereby maximizing the impact of future interventions.

Outcomes (Endpoints):

The key outcomes that will be measured in the impact evaluation encompass several dimensions: sorghum production and consumption and food security:

  • Sorghum production. This outcome will be measured using the following indicators: hectares planted with sorghum per household and quintals (It is possible to calculate by converting to pounds or kilos). 
  • Sorghum consumption. How much of the quintals of sorghum went for consumption, and how much went for sale and animal consumption. Measure sorghum-based prepared foods and their frequency of consumption.
  • Food security. This outcome will be measured using three indicators: Percentage of households with low, borderline, and acceptable food consumption scores (FCS), Medium and Medium Reduced Coping Strategy Index (rCSI), and Percentage of Households with Moderate and Severe Household Hunger Scale (HHS). ADRA measured these indicators in the baseline it conducted for the TRANSFER program in 2022.
Unit of Analysis:

The specific hypotheses tested here is:

What is the marginal impact to the TRANSFER project of reintroducing sorghum on annual household sorghum production and human consumption practices? 

The marginal impact is framed on top of unconditional cash transfer delivery and corn, or corn and beans.

The evaluation team will answer the research question in a phased approach:

  • Phase 1: Impact of reintroducing sorghum. The evaluation team will determine the program's causal impact on sorghum production and consumption as well as food security indicators.
  • Phase 2: Cost-effectiveness of reintroducing sorghum. The evaluation team will undertake a cost analysis leveraging data provided by ADRA, emphasizing the expenses associated with program development and implementation.


Unit of Intervention or Assignment:
Number of Clusters in Sample:
Number of Individuals in Sample:
880 households
Size of Treatment, Control, or Comparison Subsamples:
The amount of treated households is 440. For the control group, the number of expected households is 440

Supplementary Files

Analysis Plan:
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Outcomes Data

The key outcomes that will be measured in the impact evaluation encompass several dimensions: sorghum production and consumption and food security. The evaluation team will work with ADRA to collect primary outcome survey data from the control and treatment groups (vulnerable families in the south of the dry corridor of Honduras). ADRA will utilize its existing network of data collectors to collect the household survey data after they are trained by the evaluation team.
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Treatment Assignment Data

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Data Analysis

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Study Materials

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Registration Category

Registration Category:
Prospective, Category 1: Data for measuring impacts have not been collected

Completion Overview

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Preliminary Report:
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Data Availability

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Other Materials

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Description of Changes:

Study Stopped