We have found very little information on the past or likely future impact of livestock gift programs.
We have argued that distributing livestock may bring many of the same challenges as directly distributing cash, while also bringing additional challenges.
When examining organizations implementing livestock-distribution programs, we feel it is appropriate to ask the following questions. We have not found a livestock-distribution charity that has published either evidence of impact (i.e., organizations that pass Heuristic 1) or clear answers to these questions.
- Are the livestock in good health? Will they meet recipients' expectations, or will they die or underproduce, potentially causing people to make bad plans and investments?
- Do the recipients of livestock gifts have the ability, in terms of knowledge and resources, to take care of the livestock well? (Similar problems as in the above bullet point could arise if they don't.)
- Do the recipients of livestock intend to take care of the livestock well? Or is there reason to be concerned that gifts of livestock could lead to cruelty to animals?
- Are gifts successfully targeting those in need within a community? Is there a risk of fostering jealousy and/or economic instability?
- Are there other consequences of introducing large numbers of livestock into a community?
- Might recipients benefit more from different valuable gifts, such as cash?