Humanitarian agencies in Somalia have been implementing Cash Transfer Programs (CTP) since at least 2003 and routinely consider cash interventions, as an option for meeting beneficiaries needs with varied programmatic and operational approaches.
Somalia’s Food Security Cluster (FSC) has a strong cash transfer programming history which, over time, has allowed it to accumulate a wealth of knowledge regarding good/bad practices and lessons learned.
Through the Somalia Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) as well as Common Humanitarian Fund/Somalia Humanitarian Fund (CHF/SHF) allocations, the FSC has noticed that humanitarian actors are using a wide range of CTP transfer values along with a wide range of justifications. This variation has in the past and could continue to contribute to challenges between different beneficiary groups, villages, and FSC partners. As a result, there has been demand from partners for the FSC to provide guidance around transfer values.
Given this background, FSC with support from its partners and members formed a Cash & Markets Task Force (CMTF) in March 2015 to address this gap. Interested FSC partners/members were requested to submit their nomination, and the final selection was based on technical expertise, in-country experience, and FSC engagement.
Through face-to-face consultative meetings, email communication, and desk reviews, the draft guidance was developed based on a desk review to determine cash transfer values that allow geographic, seasonal, and economic and livelihood variations considering the pragmatic operational considerations in the context of Somalia. The draft guidance was reviewed by the FSC Strategic Advisory Group1 who requested the Task Force to enrich the draft guidance note through empirical analysis by collating and analyzing data related to per capita food and total expenditure gaps in Somalia aggregated by Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) 2 phases. The data was provided by FSNAU, WFP-VAM and REACH. This process required soliciting additional skills contributed to the analysis of the data available and the finalization of the guidance note.
This guidance note is the first initiative in determining transfer value for food security response using cash as modality. However, it should be treated as a work in progress and the cluster will further review based on subsequent feedback received from the users.
It should be noted that this guidance note was primarily developed based on analysis of IDP and urban household data. As more data becomes available, including from rural household surveys conducted by FSNAU and others, the guidance note whould be reviewed and updated periodically.