cash and vouchers

CASH AND VOUCHER ASSISTANCE IN RESPONSE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

In April 2020, CARE received a five million dollar grant from MARS to implement a multi-country program, including Cote d’Ivoire, Ecuador, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Peru, Thailand, and Venezuela1, with the aim of reducing the negative impacts of COVID-19 on vulnerable populations, especially women and girls, using complementary and multimodal approaches. A key activity of this program was the provision of cash and voucher assistance (CVA) to vulnerable populations to meet their diverse basic needs. Program data indicated that CVA was implemented in Cote d’Ivoire, Ecuador, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, and Thailand. Monitoring data from different countries showed that CVA was unconditional; with cash modality representing 95% of transfers. Key targets populations for CVA activities vary by country and include: vulnerable households (Cote d’Ivoire, and Haiti); migrants and refugees (Honduras, Ecuador, and Thailand); domestic workers (Guatemala and Ecuador); survivors of GBV and other forms of violence against women (Guatemala and Ecuador); and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer/questioning (LGBTQI+) individuals (Ecuador). Across all projects (or countries), participants reported numerous uses of CVA including purchase foods stuff, payment of health services, hygiene services, rental/housing, savings and livelihoods activities.
Given the nature and scale of this program as well as its organizational commitment to learning, CARE was keen to understand the extent to which the project supported and protected vulnerable populations against the loss or disruption of their livelihoods in a gender sensitive manner. The study seeks to provide open-source learnings for peer
companies and agencies on how CVA was utilized in this program with two major questions: (i) How gender sensitive was the process for CARE’s CVA? (ii) How gender sensitive was the intended outcome of CARE’s CVA?
This documentation report compiles lessons from across the projects implemented in the targeted countries and draws from the diversity of their experiences to provide some recommendations on more gender sensitive CVA in the future. Read More...

Gender Assessment Cash and Voucher Assistance Feasibility Study in the Solomon Islands

Feasibility study partner CARE Australia commissioned a qualitative gender-sensitive analysis to inform the overall development of the Solomon Islands Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA) Feasibility Study. The gender analysis was conducted with the support of Oxfam, Save the Children, World Food Programme, CARE Australia, Live and Learn and World Vision with funding support from DFAT through the Australian Humanitarian Partnership (AHP) Disaster Ready Program. The study’s gender analysis is the first evidence produced in the Pacific region that examines the effect of CVA on women’s well-being and empowerment, aligned with the “Agenda for Collective Action” that was agreed following the Cash and Learning Partnership (CaLP) symposium on “Gender and Cash and voucher assistance” in Nairobi, Kenya in February 2018.

There is a growing body of research on the effects of cash and voucher assistance on protection and women’s empowerment outcomes in relation to development programming; however, less so in humanitarian settings and particularly relating to short-term CVA. Cash and voucher assistance is considered to be one of the most significant recent developments in humanitarian assistance, in addition to being poorly understood in some regions, including the Pacific. As a result, it is likely that many interventions fail to capitalize on opportunities to foster positive gender impacts or possibly lead to negative externalities, including gender-based violence affecting women and girls. For these reasons, the rise in CVA in humanitarian programming must be accompanied by an equal interest in ensuring CVA does not cause harm to women and girls or lead to a deterioration of gender relations in the home. It is important to undertake a gender analysis to understand context-specific gender norms and the implications of CVA on men, women, boys, girls, and other vulnerable groups in order to inform effective and high-quality programming. Read More...

Final: Servicio de Diagnóstico sobre las Necesidades de Financiamiento y de Servicios de Desarrollo Empresarial en contexto Post-COVID 19 de los Empresarios de la Microempresa y Pequeña Empresa – MYPE

CARE Peru. El presente informe tiene como objetivo presentar los resultados del primer y segundo levantamiento de información y el diagnóstico para la identificación de las Necesidades de Financiamiento y de Servicios de Desarrollo Empresarial en contexto Post-COVID 19 de los Empresarios de la Microempresa y Pequeña Empresa – MYPE, durante el periodo de diciembre del 2020 a marzo del 2021. Para ello, se realizó una revisión del enfoque metodológico empleado, proceso y herramientas de recojo de información, en donde se detalló los elementos que permitieron y dificultaron dicho proceso. El diagnóstico consitió en el análisis de la información recogida en donde se tomará en cuenta la revisión de los hallazgos por variables del estudio, diferencias percibidas por grupo de participación (strivers y pre-strivers), así como de la diferenciación por género y resiliencia. Por otro lado, se presentan conclusiones enfatizando temas relacionados a su gestión empresarial como formas de financiamiento, conocimiento de plataformas y medios virtuales, conocimientos sobre estructuración de costos, demanda de microcréditos de los y las micro-empresario/as [63 pgs.] Read More...

Somalia: Cash Transfers via Mobile Money for Maternal Child Health Services

This study is part of a larger multi-country study by CARE entitled “Cash and Voucher Assistance for Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights Outcomes: Learnings from Colombia, Ecuador, Lebanon and Somalia.”
CARE Somalia has used Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA) in its programs for over ten years. This includes CVA for food security and livelihoods, nutrition, WASH, and education, as well as multipurpose cash transfers. Since 2018, with support from Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) (now the Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA)), CARE Somalia has been implementing a food security and Livelihoods, health, nutrition, protection and WASH program. With BHA support, CARE currently supports 19 MCH facilities across Somaliland and Puntland that target children and pregnant and lactating women (PLW). Read More...

Ecuador: Vouchers for Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights

This study is part of a larger multi-country study by CARE entitled “Cash and Voucher Assistance for Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights Outcomes: Learnings from Colombia, Ecuador, Lebanon and Somalia.” Ecuador is both a transit and destination country for refugees and migrants from Venezuela and elsewhere. As of July 2020, over 400,000 Venezuelans were living in Ecuador. Venezuelan refugees and migrants have considerable health, psychosocial, and economic needs. Within these groups, women, adolescents, and LGBTQI people face heightened risks of Gender-Based Violence (GBV), human trafficking, and sexual exploitation as well as challenges to earning an income while in Ecuador. Although the public health system in Ecuador is free to all regardless of migration status, not all health – and especially SRH services – are covered in the public system. Furthermore, safe access to available services without discrimination based on nationality, sexual orientation/gender identity, or age is a barrier to access and uptake of SRH services in Ecuador. Read More...

Colombia: Vouchers for Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) Services

This study is part of a larger multi-country study by CARE entitled “Cash and Voucher Assistance for Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights Outcomes: Learnings from Colombia, Ecuador, Lebanon and Somalia.” As a result of Venezuela’s socioeconomic and political crisis, there have been massive migratory flows of people from Venezuela into Colombia.1 According to the Interagency Coordination Platform for Refugees and Migrants, as of May 2020 over 1.76 million Venezuelans had fled to Colombia with many continuing to walk to and across the Southern Border with Ecuador as caminantes.

CARE Colombia began direct operations in the country in 2019, focusing primarily on the needs of Venezuelan
refugees and migrants in Pamplona, Norte de Santander and, later, Bucaramanga, Santander. Cash and Voucher
Assistance then (CVA) are primary modalities for CARE Colombia, particularly for its SRHR and protection portfolio.
Working with populations on the move as was was the case in this program, together with high levels of unmet SRHR needs resulted in a unique operating environment for a voucher intervention supporting SRHR programming.
This case study focuses on the design of the programming only. Due to the timing of the review, no substantive data on the user experience of the vouchers or outcomes could be captured. Read More...

Lebanon: Cash Transfers for Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) within Protection

This study is part of a larger multi-country study by CARE entitled “Cash and Voucher Assistance for Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights Outcomes: Learnings from Colombia, Ecuador, Lebanon and Somalia.”
On August 4, 2020, an explosion in the port of Beirut left hundreds killed and thousands injured, damaged numerous neighborhoods – including hospitals and residential buildings – and left 300,000 people homeless. The economic, social, and psychological tolls of the blast were added to an already strained population suffering from an economic crisis and the impacts of COVID-19. The Lebanese Red Cross reported in a post-blast study2 that, of those surveyed, approximately 5% of respondents reported having family members who were pregnant or lactating and, of those households, 40% reported needing Maternal Child Health (MCH) services. A UNFPA report identified a decrease in SRH service availability due to facilities destroyed or damaged in the blast.
Prior to the blast, the Interagency Sexual and Gender-based Violence (SGBV) Task Force conducted an assessment with 562 women and girls across the country on the SGBV impact since the beginning of COVID-19. This assessment found that 51% of respondents felt less safe in their communities and only 30% reported accessing health services.4 Sixty-seven percent of respondents reported that the main barrier to accessing services was lack of money.5 Read More...

CASH AND VOUCHER ASSISTANCE FOR SEXUAL REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND RIGHTS LEARNINGS FROM ECUADOR, COLOMBIA, LEBANON, AND SOMALIA

CARE is committed to ensuring that projects with cash and voucher assistance (CVA) are designed with and for women and girls, addressing recipients’ needs, challenges, and opportunities. CARE has invested in research on how to make CVA work for women and girls through gender-sensitive approaches to framing processes and outcomes of the modalities. As a widely accepted method of increasing access to services and improving autonomy, dignity, and resilience, programming with CVA has been integrated into numerous sectors to improve the lives of displaced communities, particularly the most underserved. To date, CARE’s CVA has primarily been used for food security and livelihood outcomes and multisectoral outcomes via multipurpose cash (MPC) transfers. Now, aligned with its strategic intent, CARE is investing in sectoral areas where CVA is less often used and that are of primary interest for women and girls, including gender-based violence (GBV) response and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).

Building on extensive experience with CVA and SRHR programming, CARE conducted a study to investigate how outcomes for the pilot initiatives using CVA for SRHR compare to global learnings, and to identify opportunities for strengthening and expanding pilots for long-term programming. The study reviewed programming in four contexts (Colombia, Ecuador, Lebanon, and Somalia). The initial study was undertaken by two consultants, one focused on Lebanon and Somalia and one focused on Colombia and Ecuador. Data collection included 25 remote key informant interviews (KIIs) with CARE staff at the global and country levels as well as staff from partner organizations, followed by After Action Reviews with each country team and a validation meeting. All activities were undertaken in either English or Spanish and transcripts were analyzed using data analysis software. Analysis was conducted both by country and across contexts to identify commonalities and thematic learning, mostly led by CARE technical advisors. Read More...

Better Gender Outcomes in Food Assistance through Complementary and Multi-Modal Programing

With an objective of contributing to the knowledge base of promising practice using a combination of modalities to deliver food security and gender outcomes, this study reviews Food for Peace (FFP), DFSA (Development Food Security Activity), EFSP (Emergency Food Security Program), and OFDA projects that explicitly or implicitly incorporated gender-focused programming [55 pages]. Read More...

Beyond Economic Empowerment The Influence of Savings Groups on Women’s Public Participation in Fragile and (post) Conflict-Affected Settings Every Voice Counts

Women’s meaningful participation and influence in public processes in fragile and (post) conflict-affected settings (FCAS) is not only necessary to achieve inclusive development but is a fundamental human right. Unfortunately, in most contexts, men are overrepresented in decision-making and women do not have equal voice in the decisions that affect their lives. Some evidence suggests that the economic empowerment of women opens up opportunities for them to participate in public decision-making processes. One such means for economic empowerment in FCAS is savings groups. Savings groups are small, community-based groups that can provide members a safe space to save money, take small loans, and make investment decisions. Globally, women have made advances in improving their income and access to savings, as well as increased their entrepreneurial endeavours as a result of their participation in savings groups. Research also shows that women’s participation in savings groups improves their confidence, skills, and ability to influence household decision-making. This prompts the question: do these benefits of women’s participation in savings groups extend into the public sphere? In other words, does women’s participation in savings groups influence their public participation1 and decision-making? Through a mixed methods investigation across five countries (18 villages) in Africa and South Asia (Burundi, Mali, Niger, Pakistan, and Sudan), using CARE’s Gender Empowerment Framework, this research investigated the differences in outcomes between women who participate in savings groups under three CARE programmes: Every Voice Counts (EVC), Women on the Move (WoM), and Latter Day Saints Charities (LDS) Recovery Support for Vulnerable Households programmes [74 pages]. Read More...

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