5. Programme Implementation

Once the details of program design are set, program implementation includes:

  1. Contracting payment agent;
  2. Targeting beneficiaries;
  3. Setting up beneficiary registration and identification systems;
  4. Distributing cash and vouchers;
  5. Coordinating with others.

The contract template and content depend on situational context and is developed by the procurement team. The template can either rely on the framework agreement developed at preparedness stage, or it can be a contract specific to a particular project. Minimum requirements for this contract include:

  • Duration of the agreement;
  • Cost and type or quality of financial services;
  • Clear division of roles and responsibilities between CARE/implementing partner and the provider;
  • Monitoring, evaluation, and reporting system;
  • Reconciliation process;
  • Provisional calendar for critical dates (distribution, reconciliation, etc.);
  • Data protection;
  • Payment terms.

CARE favors payment agents pre­-financing, where both service charges and money transferred to beneficiaries are reimbursed by CARE once beneficiaries receive payment. Depending on project size and the payment agent’s capacity, pre-financing may not be feasible and the contract should plan for performance bond payment of service charges. In all cases, the loss of funds due to fraud or diversion should be covered by the payment agent.

Targeting is a major step of every emergency response – who is targeted depends on the program objective, not whether CTP is used. Targeting methods and protocols are also independent of the delivery modality.

CARE often relies on community-based targeting, using local criteria and village committees to select the most vulnerable households within a community. The main benefits of these methodologies are buy-in and acceptance from beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries.

No targeting method is perfect, and none will result in a targeting without errors. To mitigate inclusion and exclusion errors, setting up accessible and reliable complaint and feedback mechanism is key, and allows beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries to report problematic exclusion and inclusion.

 

Inclusive targeting:

When identifying target beneficiaries, steps should be taken to ensure that assistance benefits both men and women affected by the emergency equally. The risks of doing harm should be assessed to prevent or find mitigating measures for those risks. This includes:

  • Ensure child-headed households have access to the scheme: Especially important when considering use of banking instruments, as ATM cards or bank accounts are often only accessible persons over 18 years of age. Alternatives should be included to allow assistance to child-headed households.
  • Risk and opportunities of technology and e-transfer: Considering mobile transfers can lead to increased beneficiary accountability, due to increased access to CARE team members. However, access to technology can also represent a barrier for beneficiaries with low technical literacy. When technology is being considered for payment delivery, ensure that beneficiaries can access the transfer or get support to do so.
  • Engage both women and men in CTP and use gender analysis to identify primary household recipients to target: This can be done through information campaigns, raising awareness, and encouraging women’s and men’s participation in design and implementation. CTP could increase intra-household violence and add an additional burden on women in terms of workload and/or social pressure, but it can also provide an opportunity to support women’s economic empowerment and financial inclusion.
  • Communicate clearly with communities: Be sure to outline targeting criteria, and set the expectations associated with this targeting. CTP are unlikely to be successful when the community does not agree with criteria or processes for beneficiary selection.
  • Monitor the well being of women, children, elderly, and people living with disabilities: Ensure cash programming does no harm to any beneficiaries, particularly those from vulnerable groups.
  • Ensure Cash for Work (CfW) is inclusive: When CfW is selected, the type of work offered to beneficiaries should allow all groups to partake in the scheme (including elderly or those living with disability), or provisions should be made for a percentage of unconditional grants for households unable to work.
  • Minimum/Maximum age limits for CfW: The minimum age requirement for partaking in CfW schemes is 18 years old, as otherwise, we are supporting child labor. If upper age limits are set, they should be agreed upon by the community, otherwise participation in work should be skills/vulnerability/capacity based.

 

Additional considerations regarding targeting with Cash for Work:

When CfW is used, in addition to beneficiary selection, the work to be undertaken must be identified and should aim to improve community resources and infrastructures. Work selection should involve the community, with an equal number of female and male representatives. The following criteria can guide the selection:

  • Relevance to addressing community needs;
  • Long-term benefit for the community;
  • Non-duplication with other initiatives;
  • How labor-intensive the work is
  • Number of participants that can be enrolled;
  • Technical viability and capacity of the community and executing agency;
  • Safety and security;
  • Landownership and permit considerations;
  • Do-no-harm considerations, especially in relation to social cohesion/tension, gender, and child labor.

 

 

After targeting, beneficiaries are registered and given identification documents to ensure CTP distribution can go ahead. The process is no different than for in-kind distribution and key steps include:

  • Create a database: Consider what information is needed to implement distribution, reconcile information, and identify targeted beneficiaries. This will vary based on modality and payment mechanism chosen. The team in charge of targeting should know why the information is needed so they can explain it properly to target communities.
  • Agree on identification documents: Identification methods can include: national ID card, bio-metrics, identity confirmation by a community leader, or a combination of different methods. If women or marginalized groups do not have formal identification, or if IDs were lost in the crisis, the project manager is responsible for developing identification mechanisms, so that all targeted groups can access programming. IDs for eligibility must be available, verifiable information that can be provided by applicants without incurring undo costs. It is also important to ensure that payment agents are familiar with the identification documents used and can identify fraudulent ones.
  • Select method of authentication: The same authentication methods should be used by CARE/partner and FSP. These can include visual verification of identification documents, signatures, bio-metrics, PIN numbers and/or passwords.

NOTE on data protection: All programs present risks in terms of data protection that are associated with the collection, storage, use and disclosure of the data of beneficiaries. This personal data is however often more extensive than that gathered in in‐kind aid distributions and is usually shared with payment agents, sometimes with governments and may be subject to request from donor agencies. It is the responsibility of Project Manager and the Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability, and Learning officer to assess the risk of misuse of information by the payment agents in cases where sensitive personal information on beneficiaries is shared with them.

 

General distribution principles should be applied to cash and voucher distribution. A key part of distribution success is outlining roles and responsibilities and ensuring that all parties involved understand their duties, which will vary depending on the payment agent chosen.

  • Ensure that all parties (CARE staff, partners, payment agents) know their roles and responsibilities;
  • Role-playing can help all teams understand what is expected from them;
  • Trainings are a good opportunity to introduce humanitarian principles and CARE code of conduct to non-CARE staff.

Distributions where CARE gives cash directly to beneficiaries usually require many team members, including daily workers. Technical skills for those daily workers may be reasonably low: knowledge of local authorities and communities, ability to manage a crowd, common sense, patience, and ability to read and write.

Designate a distribution team leader to oversee each distribution and ensure you have a security focal point. This team leader will be the only one moving among the different desks during distribution, while other team members will remain static. Ensure that a complaint desk is set near (but not in) the distribution site. Key principles of voucher distribution include:

Direct cash/voucher distribution by CARE Cash/voucher distribution by a third party

Roles and responsibilities

Cash or voucher handling aspect should be extremely clear within CARE teams and roles shared to minimize fraud.

  • Example: the technical team in charge of registering beneficiaries does not handle cash or vouchers, but ensures that beneficiaries know the distribution processes, know their entitlements, and recount the cash/check the voucher they receive. The team also ensures beneficiary authentication and signatures following distribution. The finance team handles the cash or voucher, makes the reconciliation. The logistics team sets up all aspects of the distribution site and manages the crowd.

Roles and responsibilities

Only the third party is handling the cash/voucher. The CARE team is involved in all of the other steps.

  • Example: the technical team makes sure beneficiaries are aware of the distribution process, know their entitlements, and recount the cash they receive. The team also ensures beneficiary authentication and signatures following distribution. The finance team signs off on the third-party reconciliation following distribution. The logistics team sets up all aspects of the distribution site and manages the crowd.

Loss

CARE is responsible for any loss that is incurred up until the beneficiary has signed the distribution list and recounted the money received. The beneficiary is responsible for any loss after exiting the distribution site.

Loss

The third party is responsible for any loss incurred until the beneficiary has signed the distribution list and recounted the money received. The beneficiary is responsible for any loss after exiting the distribution site.

When redeeming cash/voucher, the shop is responsible for any loss incurred if a false voucher is being used.

Sign off and agreement

The Project Manager and Team Leader are responsible for sign off on the cash disbursement.

Sign off and agreement

The Project Manager and Team Leader are responsible for sign off on the cash disbursement.

Security

The distribution supervisor oversees overall security and is the only one who can decide to evacuate the site.

For each distribution site, there should be an evacuation plan, with identified evacuation routes. All team members should know about the plan and the evacuation routes.

Security

CARE’s distribution supervisor oversees security for their team and beneficiaries and is the only one who can decide to evacuate the site and is responsible for informing the third-party agent of that decision.

For each distribution site, there should be an evacuation plan with identified evacuation routes. All CARE team members should know about the plan and the evacuation routes.

Using armed guards

CARE has a no arms policy, the Country Director should be referred to this policy if use of armed guards is being considered and CARE protocol for due diligence should be applied.

Using armed guards

CARE has a no arms policy, the Country Director should be referred to this policy if use of armed guards is being considered and CARE protocol for due diligence should be applied.

Cash coordination includes both operational functions, focused on process, and strategic functions, focused on results and impact. While some functions may have both operational and strategic values, strategic coordination usually covers:

  • Influencing standards and cash transfer values;
  • Joint analysis and decision-making on appropriate type of response, to ensure that CTP and other modalities are complementary;
  • Coordination of the humanitarian response;
  • Advocacy with host governments, Humanitarian Coordination Team, donors, etc.

Operational coordination covers:

  • Sharing of good practices and lessons learned;
  • Joint assessment and Cash Feasibility Study;
  • Using CTP to address multiple objectives;
  • Streamlining cash delivery instruments and negotiating service fees with payment agents;
  • Joint monitoring;
  • Development and use of common guidelines and tools.