This technical brief features the winner of SCALE's Creative Adaptation Award, which highlights creative innovations to aid and program delivery in light of challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The winning adaptation from CARE-led Feed the Future Ethiopia - Livelihoods for Resilience Activity (L4R) was selected from a strong pool of submissions by partners implementing USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA)-funded emergency and development activities, as well as those working on other donor-funded programs that have relevance to the food security implementing community.
Prior to the pandemic, L4R had been working for several years to set up sustainable distribution chains for soap and other products in rural parts of Ethiopia through its Hulu Bedej micro-franchise initiative. In light of the spread of COVID-19 and the corresponding necessity for frequent handwashing, L4R pivoted from its standard micro-franchise approach to a voucher-based approach for soap. Vouchers were distributed to nearly the entire project caseload and could be redeemed through Hulu Bedej micro-franchise saleswomen (as well as new sales agents recruited for the voucher initiative) for two large bars of high-quality soap.