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Assessment of Financial Service Providers – Cash and Voucher Assistance in Uganda (November 2021)

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1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Under the Uganda Refugee Response Plan (RRP) 2018-2022, both international partners and local government place a strong emphasis on shifting the response paradigm “from care and maintenance to inclusion and selfreliance.” In pursuit of this objective, cash-based interventions are marked as a modality of priority with partners committing to expand and widen the transformation of in-kind assistance to cash-based assistance where possible.

Financial Service Providers (FSPs) play an important role in the implementation of most cash and voucher assistance (CVA) programmes by facilitating the transfer of payments. Cash can be delivered in-person at the location of an FSP or a designated distribution site, or delivered electronically through banking or mobile money services. The choice of FSP and delivery mechanism are central to the success of any CVA programme.
Considerations such as beneficiary preferences, inclusion of all vulnerable target groups, feasibility, cost, and speed of delivery should be streamlined along with the specific programme’s objectives to inform this decision. An assessment of the FSP landscape and supported delivery mechanisms can therefore provide partners in the refugee response with the information needed to design a successful CVA programme.

While previous FSP assessments undertaken by partners in Uganda were often conducted internally, focusing on one specific location or the feasibility of one particular delivery mechanism, this assessment will take a more comprehensive approach in response to information gaps expressed by the partners in the Uganda Cash Working Group (CWG). The aim is to provide partners with a comprehensive overview of the capacity and experience of FSPs in different parts of the country, updated information on beneficiary preferences surrounding FSPs and delivery mechanisms, as well as the risks, challenges, and potential barriers to inclusion associated with each.

This assessment combines qualitative and quantitative data. In total, 101 key informants (KIs) were interviewed using semi-structured qualitative interviewing tools, and an additional 79 staff members of FSPs were interviewed using a structured survey tool. Interviews took place from 16 June to 30 August 2021. KIs included humanitarian staff implementing CVA, FSP agents, and beneficiary representatives.