On April 19th and 20th, CaLP and the Regional Platform for Social Protection hosted a learning event exploring how humanitarian cash transfer programmes can work to support national social protection systems in the Sahel.
We were joined by a good number of government representatives from the Sahel region and beyond, including Liberia, Niger, Mali, Chad, Senegal and Comoros.
They accompanied humanitarian actors, donors and development partners to look at case studies in Liberia, Mali and Senegal, and collectively draw recommendations.
The event was very well received, and we were pleased to hear participants remarking with enthusiasm that this was the first time such a group of actors have come together to discuss these issues.
Discussions were lively and interesting, ranging from the possibility of taxing extractive industries to channelling Islamic charitable giving to fund social protection, and from what a "household" means in a modern urban context, to how social protection can work in conflict settings.
Recommendations emerging were around:
Strategic coordination and accountability: What role can Cash Working Groups play in supporting national social protection systems? How can we be more inclusive, build the capacity of government, and make sure we have the right resources?)
Social registries: Can government and humanitarian actors build, work from and adapt common databases of vulnerable households? What are the data protection issues? Can we share common targeting approaches?
Financing: Can we explore innovative funding sources, such as Islamic social finance, taxes on luxury items, or solidarity tax? How can we encourage flexible multi-donor funding pools?
Technical coordination: To what extent can/ should we harmonize tools, targeting criteria, and transfer values? Can we share M&E systems? How can we plan and prepare for shocks jointly?
To stay updated on this area of work, please follow the Regional Platform for Social Protection West Africa here: http://socialprotection.org/fr/plateforme-regionale-de-la-protection-sociale-en-afrique-de-louest-et-du-centre