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Study Overview

Impact Evaluation of DRC in Niger: Assessing Impacts of Delayed Food Assistance for Displayed People
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This study examines the effects of delayed food assistance on families displaced by armed conflict in Niger's Tillaberi and Diffa regions. With millions in need due to ongoing crises, the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) is implementing emergency responses funded by the Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) and the World Food Program (WFP). Originally designed to assess the benefits of combining food and shelter aid, the study shifted focus due to WFP delays, now aiming to evaluate the impact of delayed assistance and the ability of households to recover once assistance resumes. Through surveys and analysis, the study seeks to assess the costs of delayed responses to beneficiaries.

Registration Citation:
Health, Nutrition, and Population
Social Protection
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Principal Investigator(s)

Name of First PI:
Dr. Chris Moser
Western Michigan University
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Study Sponsor

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

Research Partner

Name of Partner Institution:
The Danish Refugee Council
Type of Organization:

Intervention Overview


Originally, the intervention aimed to analyze the effect complementary effects of food and shelter compared to food assistance alone in the Tillaberi and Diffa regions of Niger. BHA was providing food assistance to internally displaced persons (IDPs) in one area, and WFP was providing food assistance in another. Shelter was also provided in the WFP area. However, after collecting baseline data in May-June 2023, WFP announced that it’s assistance would be delayed. Assistance in the other area funded by BHA was unaffected. When it became clear that the delay would not be resolved quickly, the initial question could no longer be studied because the timing of the assistance would not be the same between the two groups. That shifted the intervation program, where the objective now is to assess the impact and costs of delayed food assistance on households in the previouly mentioned regions. The expected beneficiaries include protracted displaced persons, host communities, and vulnerable households impacted by ongoing conflicts and crises in the region.



Theory of Change:

The Theory of Change for the evaluated intervention in Niger's Tillaberi and Diffa regions revolves around two main program components: Immediate Food Assistance (BHA-Funded) and Delayed Food Assistance (WFP-Funded). The theory posits that immediate food aid addresses acute food needs, leading to improved food security, dietary diversity, and reduced hunger among vulnerable households. Additionally, the program aims to measure whether households receiving delayed food assistance can reach the same levels of food security as those receiving immediate assistance.The impact evaluation will focus on these mechanisms, particularly examining indicators such as Household Dietary Diversity Score (HDDS), Food Consumption Score (FCS), or Coping Strategy Index (rCSI).

Multiple Treatment Arms Evaluated?

Implementing Agency

Name of Organization:
The Danish Refugee Council
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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Method Details

Details of Evaluation Approach:

The evaluation will use a quasi-experimental design using matching techniques (Mahalanobis Matching) to ensure comparability of households. The BHA food assistance, the no-delay group will be matched with households receiving WFP food assistance with delay. Identification relies on the two groups being similar at baseline and having common support for matching.

The analysis will employ an ANCOVA model, incorporating a dummy variable for delayed assistance and baseline outcome values. Also, the following analysis will be conducted:

  • Robustness checks will look at alternative matching measures as well as not matching and including covariates in the regressions. We will also repeat the analysis for only baseline and endline to assess the cumulative effect of the distributions.
  • If attrition or noncompliance are high, we will analyze whether these differentially occur in treatment and control areas and if they pose a risk to identification.
  • If missing data or outliers are an issue, similar to above, we will analyze missing data and outliers for patterns that could threaten validity of the results. For outliers, we will check that their inclusion does not drive results.

Additionally, a Cost-Effectiveness Analysis (CEA) will calculate the cost per unit improvement in outcomes.

Outcomes (Endpoints):

The key outcomes relate to food security and coping strategies. The questionnaire would allow the calculation of the Food Consumption Score (FCS), Household Dietary Diversity Score (HDDS), reduce Coping Strategy index (rCSI), Household Hunger Scale (HHS), and the Livelihoods-based and Protections-sensitive Adaptation Strategies.

Unit of Analysis:

The original research question was “What is the added benefit of shelter protection when combined with food assistance compared with food assistance alone?” However, in July 2023, the World Food Program signaled delays in food delivery. Therefore, the alternate research question is ”What is the impact of delayed food assistance relative to on-time food assistance?".


Unit of Intervention or Assignment:
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Number of Individuals in Sample:
The expected sample size is 916 households
Size of Treatment, Control, or Comparison Subsamples:
There are 724 households in the non-delay group and the 192 households in the delay group.

Supplementary Files

Analysis Plan:
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Outcomes Data

Baseline data for all beneficiaries were collected in baseline data in May-June 2023. There are three food distributions planned in July, August, and September and follow-up household surveys with all beneficiaries would be collected in October-November. Then, the final distribution is scheduled for the end of 2023 and beginning of 2024. The final endline survey would be collected in February-March 2024.
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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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Study Stopped