Cash and Education in Somalia
6th October, 2017: Cash programming has become a significant part of the current drought response in Somalia. Conditional and unconditional cash grants or vouchers, that are either restricted or unrestricted, are being used by a large variety of partners for food or multi-purpose transfers to affected people. In the month of May 2017 alone, more than USD 48 million was channelled through cash programming reaching more than 3 million people. With the increase in cash programming as part of the response, more and more focus has been given to sectors which are not traditional cash sectors to capture and better understand how cash is being used in the different sectors. Indicators on cash transfers is increasingly being captured in 4Ws across the different clusters. Cash elements in education responsesis not entirely new, but in a Somali context it has not previously been captured as ‘cash response’ per se. Increasingly education partners are introducing cash transfers or vouchers in the education response and testing different modalities. In this note, some of these examples from ongoing response programmes are highlighted.
Several partners are implementing projects with a specific focus on increasing and sustaining girls’ enrolment, attendance and retention in school. As part of the DFID funded Girls Education Challenge, Relief International are waiving off the school fees for marginalized girls. The targeted girls are identified using an agreed upon selection criteria by the Community Education Committees (CECs) and the Ministry of Education (MOE) and once the schools submit attendance records of the girls funding equivalent to their school fees based on a minimum attendance criteria are transferred to the school’s bank account operated by the CEC representatives and Head Teacher. As part of the drought response Norwegian Church Aid in collaboration with WFP are providing conditional un restricted cash vouchers to families of girls enrolled in schools. The entitlement is registered through the mothers of the girls and upon completion of 18 full days of attendance per month the voucher is given. All girls in the targeted schools are provided the grant upon 18 days’ attendance.
In Somalia, the Somalia Humanitarian Fund (SHF) is putting more and more emphasis on emergency responses being delivered through an integrated approach. The aim is to increase the quality and effectiveness of the response. During the drought response World Vision International has piloted an integrated response including food security, health, WASH and Education. In addition to establishing schools for drought affected IDP children, the project is targeting families who enroll their children in the schools and are providing them with conditional cash transfers. In addition, selected parents are targeted with Cash for Work (CfW) where they work on improving the school environment incl. establishing recreational spaces. The unconditional cash transfers as well as the CfW is done through mobile payments. Save the Children is also implementing a cross sector project where they as part of their Food Security response target drought affected families with children enrolled in schools to receive conditional unrestricted cash transfers. Parents must produce attendance records for the cash transfer to be done. The transfer is done through mobile payment to the family.