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  • REPORT ON

    SHARING LESSONS LEARNT

    WORKSHOP

    CASH TRANSFER PROGRAMMING IN AFGHANISTAN

    23rd-24th of June 2013

    KABUL, AFGHANISTAN

    Funded by European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO) - Emergency Response Mechanism (ERM II)

  • Page | 1

    Acknowledgements

    Oxfam Great Britain (Oxfam GB) in Afghanistan is serving as a consulting partner for the

    Coordinating Cash Based Transfer Mechanisms project under the Emergency Response Mechanism

    (ERM II), with support provided by ECHO and in partnership with Action Contre La Faim (ACF). Oxfam

    GB wishes to thank the organisations that prepared and made presentations for this event, including

    the Emergency Response Mechanism consortium members - Solidarites International, ACF, ACTED,

    Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Martyrs & Disabled (MoLSAMD) and Norwegian Refugee Council

    (NRC). We would also like to thank the individuals and representatives of organisations that

    participated and contributed in the lessons learnt workshop.

    Photo Credit Cover Page: Partners in Revitalisation and Building

  • Page | 2

    Acronyms

    ACF Action Contre La Faim

    AOGs Armed Opposition Groups

    CBA Community Based Approach

    CBP Cash Based Program

    CDC Community Development Committee

    CfW Cash for Work

    CTP Cash Transfer Program

    ECHO European Commission and Civil Protection

    ERM Emergency Response Mechanism

    FSAC Food Security and Agriculture Cluster

    GoA Government of Afghanistan

    INGO International Non Governmental Organisation

    DFID Department for International Development

    NFI Non Food Items

    NGO Non Governmental Organisation

    NRC Norwegian Refugee Council

    MoLSAMD Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Martyrs & Disabled

    M-PAISA Mobile Money

    UN United Nations

    UNOCHA United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

    VSC Village Selection Committee

    VVC Village Verification Committee

    WFP World Food Program

  • Page | 3

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

    This report is a summary of the lessons learnt workshop on cash based interventions by

    humanitarian agencies in Afghanistan. Eleven non-governmental organisations, three United Nations

    (UN) agencies and one Afghan government ministry participated in the workshop and shared lessons

    they have documented during the past few years. The objective of this two-day workshop included a

    platform where delegates from the community of practice in Afghanistan interacted and shared

    lessons they have learned in designing, implementing and monitoring CTPs in Afghanistan. This

    event included twenty-two participants that shared their experiences and agreed that CTPs can be

    successfully implemented in Afghanistan, despite the insecure and conflict sensitive environment.

    In this report, at least two key discussion points are highlighted:

     Targeting, designing and choosing the best type and modality of Cash Transfer programme; and

     Choosing the most secure payment mechanism.

    The report notes a critical fact that each modality and delivery mechanism has its own challenges. As

    the context differs from region to region in Afghanistan, one modality, or delivery mechanism, cannot

    be advised as a proper cash transfer mechanism for the entire country.

  • Page | 4

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    Acknowledgements ................................................................................................................................. 1

    Acronyms ................................................................................................................................................ 2

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ............................................................................................................................ 3

    TABLE OF CONTENTS ............................................................................................................................... 4

    INTRODUCTION, BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE OF THE LESSONS LEARNT WORKSHOP ....................... 5

    How to Institutionalize Lesson Learning ......................................................................................... 6

    THE CASH TRANSFER IMPLEMENTATION PROCESSES: LESSONS LEARNT IN AFGHANISTAN ................. 6

    i. Factors to Consider on the Appropriateness of a Cash Transfer Programme: ........................ 6

    ii. Identification and Targeting: .................................................................................................. 7

    Targeting: Selection of Cash Transfer Beneficiaries in Conflict Sensitive Environments ................. 7

    iii. Selection of the Most Appropriate Type of Cash Transfers: .................................................... 9

    iv. Payment Mechanisms in Afghanistan: Ensuring Secure Payments ...................................... 10

    v. Monitoring: Reflections on Post-Distribution Monitoring Results ........................................ 10

    GROUP WORK: ...................................................................................................................................... 11

    Is Cash Intervention Appropriate only to Food Insecurity Response? ................................................. 12

    Challenges and Concerns ...................................................................................................................... 13

    PLENARY SESSIONS – QUESTION AND ANSWER ................................................................................... 15

    CASE STUDY GUIDELINES INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................ 15

    RECOMMENDATIONS OF AND TO THE COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE IN AFGHANISTAN ........................ 18

    1) On Cash Transfer Programming: ............................................................................................... 18

    2) On Similar Future Events: ......................................................................................................... 18

    ANNEXES ............................................................................................................................................... 19

    Annex 1: Lessons Learnt Workshop Agenda ..................................................................................... 19

    Annex 2: Sharing Lessons Learnt Participants List ............................................................................ 22

  • Page | 5

    INTRODUCTION, BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE OF THE LESSONS LEARNT

    WORKSHOP

    With support from ECHO and through partnership with ACF, Oxfam GB is supporting the

    coordination mechanism of cash based interventions across the community of practice in

    Afghanistan. According to the 3Ws mapping shared by the FAO-led FSAC, cash programming

    interventions are increasingly being utilised in Afghanistan, with the current number of NGOs

    implementing cash projects recorded at sixteen. Cash support has been targeted at achieving food

    security, but during the past three years, there has been a marked increase of cash and voucher

    utilization in other sectors such as shelter, nutrition, WASH, education, protection and health. This

    diversity of cash programming has resulted in a number of new innovative ways of delivering cash to

    vulnerable households in Afghanistan. Although most NGOs are still using direct cash distributions,

    various stakeholders seem to be cautious of the challenges posed by such practices over time. Some

    NGOs and UN agencies within the community of practice have piloted the use of mobile phones and

    commodity vouchers. Based on the increase of cash programming efforts in country, lessons learnt

    workshop allowed practitioners to share their experiences with conditional and unconditional cash

    and voucher mechanisms in Afghanistan.

    The lessons learnt workshop, held on the 23rd and 24th of June 2013 in Kabul, Afghanistan, is part of

    this coordination process to share experiences with various cash distribution modalities. The event

    aimed to facilitate a platform where organisations interacted and discussed how to improve

    preparedness and strengthen design and implementation processes. The learning focused on

    practical experiences from previous and current projects to feed into future interventions.

    During this two-day workshop, participants interacted and shared lessons that they have

    documented in their various CBPs within a conflict sensitive environment. The emphasis on lessons

    that participants have learned included targeting, assessment, designing, response analysis,

    selection of the best type of cash transfer modality(s), security and the implementation of CBPs in

    NFI programs. The participants also engaged in discussions on the challenges that have been

    experienced in implementing CBPs in Afghanistan. The workshop planners organized the session

    around a central principle of integrating lessons and ideas from various organizations. The plenary,

    thematic area discussions, group work and question and answer sessions cr

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