Feasibility Study on Cash and Voucher Assistance Programming in Four Sub-Prefectures of Central African Republic (CAR), August 2019

Report
from Plan International
Published on 31 Aug 2019

Binod Koirala
Deployable Cash and Market in Emergencies Specialist, Plan International, Global Hub

(This document reveals the outcome of a feasibility study on Cash and Voucher Assistance Programming in relation to education, child protection and livelihoods outcome targeted for the conflict affected population in four sub-prefectures. The study evaluated various preconditions related to the feasibility and thereby found the Cash and Voucher Assistance being feasible in the area. A set of recommendations are also made. Please contact Akoy Dede Beavogui (AkoyDede.Beavogui@plan-international.org), Head of Program, Plan International CAR for further information.

1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Central African Republic (CAR) has been going through a complex crisis for the past five years, affecting the entire population. More than 50% of the population depends on humanitarian aid (Humanitarian Response Plan, 2018). A vast majority of CAR refugees-a total of 242,052 people are in Cameroon (UNHCR, June 2018). The prolonged stay of CAR refugees has a negative impact on social cohesion in the border areas and creates pressure on the basic social infrastructure. A recent analysis by Plan International of project communities in Cameroon showed that refugee households suffer even more from extreme poverty than host households.

With an aim of supporting the most vulnerable households affected by conflict (particularly gender based violence survivors) through community infrastructures on child protection, promoting inclusive and adapted educational opportunities and contributing to meet the basic needs; Plan International Cameroon and CAR with funding from BMZ (through Plan International Germany) are implementing a cross-border project in two sub-prefectures of the eastern region of Cameroon and 4 sub-prefectures of CAR with context specific Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA) modalities to support the target beneficiaries.

In this regard, a detailed feasibility study was conducted in CAR (also in Cameroon separately) evaluating different enabling parameters (preconditions) as to understand the suitability of CVA in relation to protection, education and livelihood outcomes. The study adopted a mix of both quantitative and qualitative methodologies to gather data across 4 sub-prefectures. Primary data were collected from focus group discussions; individual interviews with traders; key informant interviews (KII) with local authorities, trainers, market committee and community leaders including transact walk along the markets. The study was led by Plan International’s Deployable Cash and Market in Emergencies Specialist with support from CO-CVA Focal Point, Project Manager and the Project Staff. Inputs were received from child protection, gender based violence, education, livelihood, food security, nutrition, cash; information technology; monitoring and evaluation focal points from the country team.

The following key determinants, which guide whether the cash and /or voucher in particular areas are feasible or not were carefully assessed, analyzed and thereby reached to a conclusion.

  • General CVA environment in the country and acceptance of cash and voucher by the government and the communities

  • Functional market with adequate stock to absorb increased demand, robust supply chain, relatively stable price of the commodities.

  • Willingness of the traders to participate in the CVA intervention.

  • Availability of financial service providers and their willingness to collaborate with the program.

  • Coordination with peer agencies to harmonize the CVA practices and avoid possible duplication.

  • Project implementation capacity of the organization and the implementing partners.

  • Favourable security situation in the project areas with appropriate risk assessment in place.

The feasibility study found cash and/or voucher to be feasible for the project interventions in order to achieve the protection, education and livelihoods outcomes. The most suitable forms of cash or voucher, standard package together with their transfer values for education kits and dignity kits have been recommended. Recommendations have also been made in relation to the service providers. The study also identified existing and potential livelihood activities, opportunities, vocational trainings (time frame and modality) and start-up grants support suitable for the target group, and thereby a set of recommendations have been made.