The Kızılaykart: Innovative Cash-Based Assistance
The project in brief
Türk Kızılay (Turkish Red Crescent)
2012 - ongoing
Kızılaykart is a platform where humanitarian, private, and public sectors collaborate and work together. It provides regular cash support via governmental and banking infrastructure to the vulnerable people that meet specified criteria. The Platform was initially established to support Turkish citizens in need since 2012. Due to the conflict in Syria, the platform started to provide assistance to meet the basic and educational needs of those refugees to enhance the social cohesion within the local communities and provide them freedom of choice and dignity.
As of 2019, the Kızılaykart Platform is implementing eight themed programmes.
Importantly, assistances are delivered to the beneficiaries via Kızılaykart. This innovative approach to deliver humanitarian assistance made it easier for Türk Kızılay to plan, manage, and monitor eight cash programmes for different donors and to collaborate with much higher number of stakeholders to reach large scale implementation within a timely manner. Now, Kızılaykart is implementing diﬀerent programmes through separate wallets, which are deﬁned according to diﬀerent conditions and payment regulations to empower the needy and enhance social integration.
Existing programmes are as follows:
Kızılaykart platform aims to provide the most vulnerable refugees with the basic humanitarian needs and to build a bridge for a more sustainable assistance, reaching the highest beneficiary number with the use of multi-dimensional and comprehensive monitoring system.
Main activities of the Good Practice
In order to manage such a large scale cash based programming, several thematic working groups were established to meet donor requirement and implementation needs. These groups and their main tasks are explained below:
- Registration and Application: Following registration and application figures of the above mentioned programmes.
- Outreach Activities: Carrying out advocacy and sensitization activities, in addition to maintaining an effective referral system.
- Data Verification/Enrollment: Data management and eligibility assessment controls
- Transfer Management/Reconciliation: Following Financial Service Provider (FSP) related issues and transfer processes.
- Communication: Responsible for accountability to affected populations by making use of Türk Kızılay owned communication channels and feedback mechanisms.
- Monitoring and Analysis: Monitoring of programmes implementation and quality.
- Protection and Referral: Management of Protection cases referred through Kızılaykart channels
- Coordination: Participation in related coordination mechanism and co-chairing ESSN Task Force
- Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services; Directorate General of Migration Management
- Ministry of National Education
- Turkish Red Crescent (Türk Kızılay)
- UN World Food Programme (WFP)
- UN International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF)
- International Organization for Migration (IOM)
- United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Challenges and how they were overcome
Managing and implementing a platform with over 2.6 million applicants, 8 different programs with different themes and working together with lots of different stakeholders is a challenge but also an opportunity to improve effective responses and develop strong partnerships. This was addressed through an effective governance systems and having detailed and sophisticated management tools.
Working with different organizations bounded by different rules and regulation and have different institutional cultures was a big challenge. In order to cope with this challenge Joint Management Cell was established to solve day-to-day problems and coordination efforts were carried out to ensure complementary approach.
Out-reaching to potential beneficiaries speaking different language was a considerable challenge and therefore a call center speaking five languages was established. As of today 1.2 million calls have been received by the 168 Call Center. The recruitment of bilingual call center operators was of great importance for the programmes. Additionally, further bilingual services are provided through the different channels of communication such as; Facebook, website, call center, YouTube channel, visual materials, and SMS.
Another outstanding affair was to manage the perception and maintain the hospitality of host community. A sensitive and well-coordinated public information approach were adopted and implemented. All partners pursued a delicate balance to introduce the program in the way, which shall be acceptable either host community or migrants.
Finally, sustainability of such a large cash-based assistance program has been a question. However, all partners are conscious and careful about the importance of sustainability. Therefore, a great need is still there to further advocacy to fundraise in order to meet the need of the most vulnerable refugees.
Results of the Good Practice
The good practices that has been achieved with Kızılaykart are as follows;
- Alleviate Suffering: one of the most import achievements of Kızılaykart Platform is alleviating human suffering of more than two million migrants who started to receive monthly cash assistance to meet their basic needs.
- Disability: Disabled people are one of the most vulnerable groups amongst the applicants. Therefore, a special study had been conducted with the verification working group to deliver additional assistances to households, who have one or more disabled people in their families and meet the defined criteria.
- Social Integration: Promoting further social integration with the local community is one of the key objectives of cash based assistance. Kızılaykart has a positive impact decreasing the negative coping strategies for the targeted population.
- Accountability: An improved level of accountability to the affected population is achieved through an effective management of communication procedures. Accountability is provided through different channels of communication such as; Facebook, website, call center, YouTube channel, visual materials, and SMS.
- Education: Within the scope of Conditional Cash Transfer for Education Programme (CCTE), families have been assisted through Kızılaykart in all provinces of Turkey to support the children to attend school regularly and continue their education.
- Alleviating Language Barrier: With Adult Language Training Education Programme (ALT), it is aimed to facilitate the participation of refugees into economic life and labor market. In addition to removing the language barrier it also aimed to provide social cohesion with the host community.
- Livelihood: Vocational Course Incentive (VCI), Vocational Course Allowance (VCA), and Kitchen of Hope Projects are implemented in partnership with Türk Kızılay Community Centers. With the trainings offered in these projects participants can be transitioned into livelihood.
To find out how his project has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, please read here.
Orhan HACIMEHMET, Coordinator, Kızılaykart Cash Based Assistances Coordinatorship,Turkish Red Crescent