• 19 million people

  • 57,6% lives in rural areas

* FAO data for 2018

  • National Poverty 43,8%

  • Urban Poverty 24,6%

  • Rural poverty 54,1%

* INSTAT data for 2018

Nioro Cash & Cash +



Nioro du Sahel circle in the Kayes region


Beginning of the program

April, 2015


Target population:

Poor and very poor households in the Nioro du Sahel circle in the Kayes region.


Intitution in charge

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)


Nioro CASH components

  • Unconditional Cash transfers
  • Hygiene and nutritional knowledge

Nioro CASH+ components

  • Unconditional cash transfers
  • Livestock inputs
  • Hygiene and nutritional knowledge


The main objective of the project was to give an answer to the critical humanitarian situation in the region of Sahel, where around 4.5 million people face recurrent crises because of a lack of food.

Neither agriculture nor social protection alone can address all the constraints faced by poor rural households. Combined interventions are shown to have greater impacts than standalone interventions in assisting vulnerable populations to combat poverty and providing them with productive means to move out of poverty sustainably. The complementarity can also contribute to increasing the resilience of households in the face of external shocks, such as the one we are currently facing as a result of COVID-19.

Experience from the Mali Cash+ Project, which sought to address recurrent drought in the Nioro Circle, demonstrates that the combination of cash transfer and agricultural productive inputs exerted stronger positive impacts on food security and household production than cash alone. However, the successful implementation of social and agricultural interventions requires a great deal of collaboration between relevant stakeholders of the two sectors.

The government of Mali expresses strong commitment and political will to develop both the social protection and agricultural sectors. However, there is still a lack of concerted action to achieve greater coherence between them. There are large numbers of existing mechanisms for coordinating the two sectors, but they are not sufficiently functional and do not explicitly include the issue of coherence and linkages between agriculture and social protection.

To raise awareness and political commitment for the issue of coherence between agriculture and social protection, stakeholders can make use of existing national food security and nutrition and agricultural policy processes to place coherence on the policy agenda.


Impact evaluation

  • Food security and hygiene practices:

The Cash+ beneficiaries were 7.1 percent less likely to experience any level of food insecurity than if they had received Cash Only. Beneficiaries of the programme washed their hands more often with disinfectant than the non-beneficiaries

  • Farm and non-farm production:

The assessment observed a significant increase in livestock production among the Cash+ beneficiaries. The qualitative study reveals that the quantity of livestock feed given to the Cash+ beneficiaries (50 kg) was not enough for the duration of the project and led some people to buy more with their own money.

  • Aspirations and expectations:

The quantitative study did not find any significant impacts of the programme on the respondents’ expectations of better socioeconomic conditions in the future. However, the study did observe positive and significant impacts of the programme on the aspirations for children’s education.





Institutional analysis

  • Nioro Cash+ Project:

Weak coordination of the project due to the absence of a formal mechanism involving concerned ministries at the national and regional levels.

Developed certain synergies with the Food Insecurity and Malnutrition (PLIAM) and Jigisemejiri programmes.

The project’s targeting process only included households that are not beneficiaries of the Jigisemejiri programme. Thus, it happened to act as a complement to Jigisemejiri, as the latter could not serve all the population in need.

  • Quality of the enabling environment:

Despite the high political commitment, the will to improve operational coherence between the two sectors exists but at a low level.

Many arrangements already exist for the coordination between and within sectors at central and decentralized levels, but they do not actively promote coordination between the two sectors.

There are no clear guidelines for coordination issues, and none of the funding arrangements consider the possibility of pooling resources to enhance coherence.







The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger.
Its goal is to achieve food security for all and make sure that people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives. With over 194 member states, FAO works in over 130 countries worldwide.

Evaluation Methodologies

Impact Evaluation 

Institution responsible: FAO-Rome with local officials and consultants

Methodology: Non-experimental design – Inverse probability weighted regression adjustment (IPWRA)

Objective: The quantitative study used a non-experimental model to evaluate the effectiveness and the impacts of the CASH and CASH+ projects, balancing the households according to their focalization criteria scores. The evaluation allows for an assessment of the duration of the effects of the projects as it takes place 9 months after the end of the intervention.

Evaluated dimensions:

  • Food security
  • Dietary diversity of children and women
  • Livestock production
  • Agricultural and non-agricultural production
  • Hygiene practices
  • Attitude towards the future



End-line survey (conducted after the end of the project). The sample has 1,151 households, of which:



  • Qualitative field survey:
    • 2 municipalities: one urban and one rural
      • In each municipality, two villages were identified: one with CASH+ beneficiaries, one with beneficiaries of CASH.

Institutional Analysis

Institution in charge: FAO-Rome with local officers and consultants

Objective: The objective of the institutional analysis was to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the institutional architecture of the national social protection policy and to evaluate the quality of its links with agricultural policies and programs in Mali. The study also did a qualitative examination of the coordination, implementation process, and impacts of the Nioro’s CASH and CASH+ project. In each level, the institutional analysis:

  1. Evaluates the coordination level.
  2. Identifies the facilitating factors that are properly articulated and facilitates the effective delivery of results.
  3. It highlights the obstacles and institutional restrictions that could hinder the articulation of programs/components and actor coordination.

Evaluated aspects 

  1. Political compromise
  2. Political context
  3. Institutional coordination mechanisms
  4. Financial Mechanisms
  5. Human capacities


  • Survey of key documents of the social protection and agricultural sectors related to the study.
  • Field information from key actors at the national, regional, local, communal, and community levels.
  • Field interviews to recompile information related to the implementation of policies and/or programs.
  • The study also made a small analysis of the Jigisemejiri program from the National Net of Social Security.


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Universidad de los Andes | Vigilada Mineducación. Reconocimiento Personería Jurídica resolución 28 del 23 de febrero de febrero de 1949 Minjusticia