Cash and voucher programmes restoring hope
Data Sharing and Harmonisation to support more vulnerable children
Cash and Voucher Programming (CVP) has been central in World Vision's response to COVID-19, with World Vision scaling up programmes in many contexts, independently and as part of coalitions. World Vision Colombia has been heavily investing in the institutionalisation and increased use of CVP, with an increase of over 260% targeting vulnerable displaced children and families affected by COVID-19. In Latin America, since the inception of the response, World Vision facilitated the provision of basic economic support for over 80,695 vulnerable refugees and migrants -50% of whom were children - affected by the crisis in Venezuela. In addition, CVP was provided to host communities, with a particular focus on vulnerable women. In partnership with UN agencies, World Vision has implemented this scale-up as an active member of the Collaborative Cash Delivery Network (CCD).
Throughout 2020, the CCD has been increasing the volume of multi-purpose cash distributed due to increased humanitarian needs. A data-sharing agreement was signed by all nine CCD members, and the contracting of common data management platforms ensures the harmonisation of assessment and monitoring tools. As a result, the CCD delivers an integrated service package complementing multi-purpose cash transfers with access to health, education, protection for vulnerable children and livelihoods for their families. Long-term strategic directions outlined in 2020 included greater participation of local organisations, addressing sectoral needs – such as shelter and livelihoods - and strengthening linkages to governmental social protection schemes and basic services. Furthermore, CCD devised a Global Response Strategy as part of an Interagency COVID – 19 efforts.
Program Spotlight: Ven Esperanza and Cash for Urban Assistance
Cash and Voucher Programming (CVP) has been central in World Vision's response to COVID-19, scaling up programmes in many contexts, independently and as part of coalitions.
Since the onslaught of the COVID-19 crisis, the provision of assistance in Colombia had been focused on meeting basic needs and rights such as food security, access to hygiene items, support to the payment of rent, and access to health and education services. There was limited interest from donors to expand funding to other areas. Only recently, there has been a shift to long term development and livelihoods with the establishment of 10-year residence permits awarded by the Colombian government to Venezuelan migrants. According to monitoring reports, beneficiaries themselves are increasingly expressing interest in financial inclusion and income-generating activities.
In March 2021, the two consortiums that make up the Collaboratively Cash Delivery Network (CCD) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the World Food Programme (WFP) and UNHCR. The MoU facilitates joint deduplication efforts by the four entities at the Cash Working Group level, with the purpose of creating a "deduplication Committee" ensuring that each household receives Multipurpose cash assistance by only one organisation, and ultimately promoting a wider coverage of people in need that are reached by assistance.
COVID-19 and the four-month national strikes which started in late April 2021 severely impacted Colombia and access to livelihoods. As a result, resources were redirected from durable solutions and long-term socio-economic interventions to the deteriorating humanitarian situation of migrants and refugees. Still, together with the CWG, CCD partners continued exploring potential linkages with government social-protection schemes through a dedicated working group.
A round of site visits were performed in late 2021 by representatives of both consortia and the donor for the first time since COVID-19 restrictions were lifted in the country. Based on these visits and consortium-level working meetings, VenEsperanza and CUA developed a joint-working agenda in close collaboration with USAID’s Bureaux for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) focusing on aligning standards and best practices of implementation learned across the seven organizations. At the time of writing, CUA and VenEsperanza are finalising this work, with the goal implementing these changes in the new year. Some of the adaptation areas include: identifying participants using a direct community-based approach, improving the delivery of the eligibility survey, aligning communications and key messaging materials, and boosting ongoing capacity building and training efforts for team members. Both CUA and Ven Esperanza are adapting some implementation activities to include assisting in pre-registering eligible programme participants from Venezuela in the ETPV (Temporary Statute of Protection for Venezuelan Migrants), a Government of Colombia (GOC) programme that provides legal status for Venezuelan migrants and a pathway to accessing public services, such as healthcare and education.
An Annual Learning Review was conducted by the CUA consortium and a Real-Time Evaluation of the COVID-19 emergency response by Ven Esperanza consortium. Both consortia are considering additional research and documentation efforts such as an Impact Evaluation and a Final Evaluation for 2022.