9. Recipient verification

CARE’s responsibilities for the formal registration of recipients will depend on the specific national government, donor requirements or a written CARE/counterpart agreement. Whether CARE is directly or indirectly involved in recipient registration, a master recipient database must be established for ongoing distributions, and ration cards prepared and distributed. Refer to the procedures for recipient registration in section 5.

Once the master recipient database is established, a house-to-house physical verification of the accuracy and completeness of information is recommended where possible. This physical verification is especially important if there has been no formal registration process, and/or the recipient list was prepared by the local government or a community committee/group.

The verification process consists of interviews and a cross-check of the information used in eligibility determination, such as an inspection of a dwelling or possessions. To ensure consistency, a questionnaire that includes a checklist of eligibility criteria should be completed during each interview. Document the interviewee’s ration or identity card number on the questionnaire and match the numbers against the master data initially received. Where online platforms like LMMs and SCOPE are being applied, then bio-metric verification of finger prints is applied. At completion of the interview, the interviewee must sign the questionnaire.

As the original registration process is frequently a target of corruption (which can result in large-scale misappropriation of goods and commodities), pay special attention to the following potential types of abuses:

  • female or adolescent-headed households and other socially or politically vulnerable individuals omitted from registration lists (often those most in need of assistance are also the most vulnerable to exploitation and corruption by controlling elites)
  • multiple registration of household members at one distribution site
  • registration of household members at more than one distribution site
  • inflation of household size
  • registration of non-eligible individuals
  • registration of non-existent or phantom families
  • sale of recipient documents
  • the control of registration lists and ration cards by elites.

For a variety of reasons (such as births, deaths, recipients leaving the area, changes in eligibility criteria, lost or stolen ration cards), the master recipient database must be updated on a regular basis, usually monthly. In many Country Offices, the master recipient database must be updated before a distribution plan can be prepared (and sent to a warehouse to authorise release of goods or commodities).

  • In a manner similar to recipient verification described above, examine evidence that support claims (e.g. medical records or birth certificates) or conduct interviews with neighbours of potential recipients, and document in writing the basis for adding and deleting recipients from the master list.
  • Submit such documentation to the Programme Manager.
  • Access to the database is limited and only those authorised by the Programme Manager may make changes.