12.2 Distribution prior to registration

During the first stages of emergency response, it may be necessary to undertake community distributions before ration cards and direct distribution systems can be established.

In such cases, the most practical community unit to target for distribution (e.g. neighbourhood, camp sector, and village) must first be determined. Reliable community representatives are then requested to compile a list of households in each unit.

  • Attempt to identify respected leaders of organisations with strong ties to the target population, such as NGOs, health workers, community groups or neighbourhood committees.
  • Avoid individuals or organisations in conflict with the target population, or openly associated with political parties or military factions.
  • Avoid gatekeepers/problem makers who look only after their interest and try to take advantage of the distribution process.

As soon as possible, establish a written agreement with the representatives outlining the distribution procedures to be used, control and monitoring mechanisms, selection criteria, and reporting obligations. Make every attempt to inform the entire community of the terms of these contracts.

A total quantity of goods or commodities is calculated for distribution based on the number of individuals in the community unit, the ration scale and (for recurrent distributions) the length of the distribution cycle.

On an established distribution date, the community representatives (along with sufficient community members to unload and transport the entire allocation) meet the CARE trucks and sign for receipt of the goods or commodities. The representatives are then responsible for distribution to individual community members or households.

Post-distribution monitoring at the household level must be conducted as soon as possible after goods and commodities are turned over to the representative(s), to confirm that household-level distribution has been completed and that the established ration scale has been observed.