LEAP Ethiopia. Estimating the Number of People in Need of Food Aid.

by Peter Hoefsloot
February 27, 2015


LEAP is a methodology that helps the government of Ethiopia to estimate the number of expected food aid beneficiaries. It is used to trigger the scale up of the Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP)

See the official World Food Programme Page

The LEAP methodology has been developed jointly by Sandro Calmanti (ENEA, Rome) and Peter Hoefsloot.

Download version 2.40

Request the latest version of LEAP from DRMFSS (Government of Ethiopia) or WFP
Download manual only (3 MB)
Download the LEAP tutorial (2.5 MB)


The Ethiopia Drought Insurance Pilot Project of the World Food Program of the United Nations and the World Bank has shown that

  • it is feasible to use market mechanisms to finance drought risk in Ethiopia. As part of the pilot, WFP obtained insurance through a contract with AXA Re, a Paris-based reinsurer using a sophisticated index based on Ethiopia’s historical rainfall and agricultural output
  • it is possible to develop objective, timely, and accurate indicators for triggering drought assistance. The Ethiopian agricultural drought index referred to above shows an 80% correlation with the total number of historical food-aid beneficiaries. This suggests that such an index can be used as a relatively good proxy of actual aggregate needs in case of drought. Field visits have indicated that the index has so far correctly captured events on the ground. Moreover, the index is updated on a 10-day basis, which greatly improves the timeliness of information.

The software supporting this programme is called LEAP.

LEAP is being used by the Ethiopian government, WFP and a number of international agencies such as IFAD, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) andProjectconcern.

Presentations Workshop April 2010 – Addis Ababa – Intercontinental Hotel

LEAP introduction training – Niels Balzer
LEAP progress – Peter Hoefsloot
Creating an Interface Between LEAP & the LIASs (Livelihoods Impact Analysis Spreadsheet) – Lorraine Coulter
LEAP beneficiaries – Sandro Calmanti

Other related presentations

Risk and Poverty – Ulrich Hess
Ethiopia livelihood risk financing Project – Elliot Vhurumuku
Early warning component – LEAP principles – Ulrich Hess
LEAP Software – Peter Hoefsloot
Triggering Early LP Costs using LEAP – Joanna Syroka
Ground truthing of LEAP intermediate outputs -MHunde and GMamo


LEAP is being developed by:

Software training and agriculture specialist, Mathewos Hunde, Director of the Early Warning and Response Directorate of DRMFSS (Disaster Risk Management Food Security Sector). Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development

Coordinator Donor Group, Wout Soer. Productive Safety Net Program, The World Bank Addis Ababa – Ethiopia. Ph: +251 11 5176000

Peter Hoefsloot, agrometeorologist, software developer and consultant to WFP and World Bank. Wellsedijk 27 5325 XN Well, The Netherlands. Ph: +31 73 5992889

Sandro Calmanti, climate modeler and analyst at ENEA (Italian Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development), Lab for Climate Modelling and Impacts. Ph: +39 06 30486652 mailto: sandro.calmanti@enea.it skype: sandro.calmanti

WFP Project leader Niels Balzer, Policy officer Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Coordination Unit, UN World Food Programme, Rome Ph: +39 06 65132033mailto: niels.balzer@wfp.org

Dr. Muktar Reshid, Weather Risk Management Pastoral Area Consultant to Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (VAM) section, WFP Ethiopia. Ph:+251 911 771147mailto: muktar.reshid@wfp.org

Professionals that have also contributed in earlier phases of LEAP:

Head of Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (VAM) Section, Elliot Vhurumuku, United Nations World Food Programme – Ethiopia mailto: elliot.vhurumuku@wfp.org

Ulrich Hess Senior Economist, Multilateral Trusteeship and Innovative Financing, Concessional Finance and Global Partnerships, The World Bank. mailto:uhess@worldbank.org

Former Project manager William Wiseman Human Development Department, The World Bank, Africa Region, 1818 H Street, Washington, DC 20433, USA Ph: (202) 458 5698 mailto: wwiseman@worldbank.org

Technical support and advice Joanna Syroka UN World Food Programme 2 UN Plaza, DCS-2500 New York NY 10017 mailto: Joanna.syroka@un.org

Senior agrometeorologist René Gommes FAO of the UN, Rome

Risk financing specialist Seonyeon (Sunny) Im formerly Business Planning Unit World Food Programme (Addis Ababa)

Support and graphics Bronwyn Cousins mailto: Bronwyn.Cousins@WFP.ORG

WFP HQ support unit to the project, Giuditta De Simone, mailto: giuditta.desimone@wfp.org

Teshome Erkineh, Weather Risk Management Lead consultant to Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (VAM) section, WFP-Ethiopia, Ph(Office): +251 11 5515188 , Ph( Mobile): +251 913304097

WFP HQ support unit to the project, Vanessa Cardamonemailto: vanessa.cardamone@wfp.org and Ida Mattfolkmailto: ida.mattfolk@wfp.org

Current Livelihood situation in Ethiopia

Focus On Ethiopia by UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), in collaboration with other UN agencies and partner NGO
Belg season WRSI development by FewsNET
Hoefsloot NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index gives indication of vegetation greenness)
FewsNet NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index)



UN WFP – Disaster Risk Reduction
UN WFP – Climate Change
Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery