This report analyses the views of refugees, asylumseekers, and migrants surveyed in Istanbul, Gaziantep, and Izmir, Turkey between 29 September and 18 October 2017. The surveys focused specifically on cash-based assistance programmes and are part of a series of data collection rounds carried out by Ground Truth Solutions in Turkey, under the Mixed Migration Platform. Previous rounds of data collection in Istanbul, Gaziantep/Kilis, and Izmir looked more generally at the overall humanitarian response efforts in those provinces.
Of the 603 respondents across Istanbul, Izmir, and Gaziantep who took part in this survey, 424 received some type of cash assistance. Individuals from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran, were selected through a snowball sampling process, and their responses were collected in one-on-one, face-to-face interviews. Participants were asked to score each closed question on a scale of 1 to 5, while open-ended questions were also sometimes asked to provide further details about their views. More background and information about the process can be found in the methodology section at the end of this report.
The survey examined how cash support influences decisions to move elsewhere or remain in Turkey, and what recipients and non-recipients of cash transfers think about the available support.
Cash support has little influence on decisions to remain in Turkey or resettle elsewhere
Among cash recipients, 83% do not consider cash assistance to have any effect on their decision to remain in Turkey or move elsewhere. When asked to consider the impact of cash assistance if they were to receive it, 72% of non-recipients say that the support would not influence their migration decisions.
Respondents are largely unaware of how agencies decide who receives cash and who does not
Among both cash recipients and recipients of other forms of aid, awareness of the eligibility criteria that aid agencies use to select those to receive cash support is very low. Only 56% of recipients of other support are aware that cash support is available to refugees in Turkey.
Of the 63% of cash recipients who are aware of the criteria, 95% are satisfied with the processes.
Fairness of cash support is perceived to be mixed
Around 50% of cash recipients believe cash support goes to those who need it most. Non-recipients who are aware of cash support express concerns that the poorest are left out. Only 24% of non-recipients think that the general refugee support offered in Turkey reaches those who need it most in the areas in which they live.
Mixed views on the value of cash support
Just under half of the cash recipients feel the support has made a big difference or been life-saving, mostly using the transfers to pay for food, rent, and household bills. Those who receive regular transfers – once a month – see the biggest difference. More than half of the cash recipients do think that it will help them achieve self-sufficiency in the future.
Housing and food among most common unmet needs for cash recipients
Fewer than half of the respondents say that the support has allowed them to improve their housing situation.
Among their current unmet needs, top priorities relate to household items and appliances, food and water, and support in paying rent.
Satisfaction with the cash distribution mechanisms and registration process is high
Most cash recipients are satisfied with the process to register for support. Over half of the recipients received their cash assistance through a transfer onto a bank or cash card, and just under a third received it through an e-voucher. Just over three-quarters of cash recipients are satisfied with the mechanism aid agencies use to transfer the cash support to them. That being said, 43% of the respondents report having to borrow money, while 16% and 15% are said to have had to reduce their spending on food and downgrade the quality or brand of food they are purchasing, respectively.
Low impact of cash support on relationships with host community and among refugees
Over three-quarters of cash recipients and around two-thirds of recipients of other types of support do not think that cash support has had an impact on their relationship with the Turkish population or other refugees.