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  Tel :026-2223085
  Fax :026-2221040

  e-mail: socialservices@ep.gov.lk

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A Study on Cash Transfer Programmes and Its Effect on the Program Beneficiaries
(Girls and Boys from Poor Vulnerable Families)
in the Eastern and Northern Provinces of Sri Lanka
1. Background

1.1. After end of the conflict UNICEF child protection programme has been promoting family based care by encouraging family reunification and prevention of family separation, through its national and provincial level partnership with statutory bodies responsible for child protection. During the course of this intervention, it was identified that families have multiple vulnerabilities; and hence needed a multi prong approach to support children in vulnerable families. Thus designed a comprehensive programme response that supports families, to enhance and promote family based care.

1.2. The purpose of the cash transfer intervention is to support vulnerable children and their families with self-employment grants or transitional cash grants as a way of enhancing the capacity of families to provide care and protection by

a. Discourage children from leaving school because of inability to pay fees and entering labour force to support family;
b. Preventing institutionalization and
c. Enabling income generation benefiting the overall welfare of children.

1.3. The current family support programme thus has several components that are complementing and supplementing one another. Key components of the interventions are namely:

• Provision of conditional cash grants to vulnerable and women headed households with children in order to enhance family income and prevent family separation, institutionalisation, abuse and exploitation. A family for such support is selected based on a strict family selection criteria (see annex for selection criteria).
• Provision of tailor made cash assistance to very vulnerable families together with IGA support.
• Provision of monthly cash assistance of Rs.1000 per months for a pre-defined period. This assistance is provided to the families of vulnerable children to promote school attendance and prevent family separation and child exploitation and to primarily to prevent institutionalization of children.
• FiT person allowance of Rs.1,000 per month for a period of three years, is provided as supplementary to the government contribution of FiT person allowances to persons identified by the court to provide care and protection for children who lost both parents.

2. Purpose of Review

2.1. The main objective of undertaking this study is to seek whether the stated objectives of the programme as stated under section 1.2 had been achieved via the interventions adopted in section 1.3 in an efficient and an effective manner. The study will find out whether the interventions had been able to

1. Identify the real poor and vulnerable pockets of people,
2. Whether the interventions had been able to increase their monthly incomes by way of self-employment generated
3. Whether the interventions had been effective to prevent school drop outs and other family separations,
4. As result of all the interventions as a package, whether it had been able to keep the whole family together without been splitting.

2.2. The study aims at providing an in-depth understanding on the effects of providing cash based response to vulnerable families in order to prevent family separation and strengthen family based care. The study will be look into cash transfers provided by the Department of Social Services (DoSS) and Department of Probation and Child Care Services (DPCCS) of the East and Northern Provinces. The study results will inform future programming decisions at both provincial level including advocating for the increased fund/ budgetary allocations by the provincial governments and the possible scale up of the programme in coming years.

2.3. The study will also assess the efficiency, effectiveness of the case management practices and sustainability of the cash transfer program in North and eastern Provinces through cases studies and analyzing the case management process for cash transfers. The study further looks into the quality of the coordination process within government departments through the social care centers. The study will review the % of cases handled by probation officers and SSOs in 2012, 2013 & 2013. Even though case management policies exists, application of policies is different. The study will assess and inform on different types of practices utilized when the probation officers and SSOs manage and engage with children. Best practices will be documented and bad practices will be brought to the attention of the commissioner department of probation and child care services and director social service for policy changes.

2.4. The study aims to inform government bodies and donor organization on the effect of cash based response in strengthening family based care and protection in order to influence policy decisions and budget allocations;

The study will focus on following main tasks:

- Through cash studies analysis of pre and post support status of child protection and well-being for the different support provided by DOSS and DPCSS with their own funds or with the support of UNICEF.

- An overview of the community (including children) perceptions related to cash based response in relation to children’s protection concerns.

- An analyses on the effectiveness and efficiency of the process (case management) of the cash transfer program including the role of the Social Care Center.

- Assessing the effectiveness of beneficiary targeting of the vulnerable families and children.

- Assessing the cost-effectiveness of the cash transfer as opposed to in-kind support or other support program.

- Provide a profile of the families benefited (or recipients) from this scheme and Mapping out the main use of the cash by beneficiary households.

- An understanding of the long term effect of cash based responses on children.

3. Methodology

3.1. The hired consultant will conduct case studies through selection of beneficiaries using the accepted methodology to carry out this study or will identify suitable methodology to conduct this study with the support of Departments of Social Services. The consultant will assess the case management system, and conduct Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) with government officers and families who received support from both departments.

This study will be administrated by the Provincial Director, Department of Social Services, Eastern Province with the involvement of Provincial Director, Provincial Probation Commissioner, East & North , and Provincial Director, DoSS, Northern Province. Department will utilize Social Service Officers (SSOs) to collect data’s from the respective departments or Social Care Centers or families who received assistance from DoSS. The Department will directly hire consultants (with the consultations of UNICEF) to analyses data, draft, and review and finalize the study. Departments and consultant is expected to work with UNICEF throughout all stages of the study.

3.2. Following activity will be undertaken by department to complete the study;

• Based on the data available at the DoSS and DPCSS , the directors and hired consultant will design a study methodology to define the baseline and analyze progress against it during and after the intervention.

• Draft tools for data collection with the consultation of the Social service officers and train numerators to collect data and information’s.

• Prepare cases studies

• Conduct FDGs with selected beneficiary families and other stakeholders and asses the case management procedure.

• Conduct a field study using participatory methodology and case studies.

• Report on the findings in response to the purpose and objective of this study.

4. Payment Modality

This study will be carried out by Department of Social Services as a direct payment modality. After completion of each and every tasks, the Director will certify payments and UNICEF will directly pay the study team based on the tasks/out puts.

For More Information

Mr. N.Manivannan, Mr. S.Ravindran,
Director, Child Protection Officer,
Department of Social Services, UNICEF, Batticaloa.
Inner Harbour Road, Tel : 06526479
Trincomalee. Email : sravindran@unicef.org
Tel : 026-2223085
Fax : 026-2221040
e-mail : socialservices@ep.gov.lk

General Criteria for Beneficiary Selection:

  i. Income below 5000 SLR per months

 ii. Recommended beneficiaries should not be received similar assistance in last three years, but subject to un-systematic risks (Eg-Tsunami, Monsoon etc)

iii. Targeted beneficiaries should be a permanent resident of respective province

iv. The age limit should in between 18 to 65 years old. There have been two reasons identified to lift the age limit. First one is; lot of separated children live with grandparents who are in 60s and should not be excluded. Second reason is that the life expectancy of Sri Lanka is about 74.3 years old, so risk factor on sustainability is manageable. Data source: World Bank, World Development Indicators - Last updated Apr 27, 2011.

v. Selected person should have skill/experience and motivation. In the absence of skill/experience and motivation, s/he should be referred to VTA and other relevant service providers.

vi. Proposed beneficiaries should not be in Samurdhi Scheme.

© Provincial Planning Secretariat-EPC.