Cash Transfers Makes Impact on Poor Communities

A report compiled by a British consulting firm says vulnerable households in four poorest and arid counties are enjoying their basic needs.

According to a new impact evaluation study compiled by the Oxford Policy Management (OPM) indicated that the families in the said regions who benefit from cash transfer programmes are equally actualising activities that are impacting positively to the local economy.

OPM, an international development research and policy consultancy conducted an impact resource study on the Hunger Safety Net Programme (HSNP) which is one of the four cash transfer programmes being implemented by the government.

The study that was carried out in Turkana, Marsabit, Wajir and Mandera indicates that the beneficiaries are able to afford basic needs such as food, clothes, school fees and paying off credit debt.

Speaking during the launch of HSNP evaluation report, Social Protection Principal Secretary Susan Mochache said currently the current cash transfer programme is providing regular and predictable incomes to 101,800 poorest and most vulnerable households.

The cash transfer programmes include Orphans and Vulnerable Children Programme (CT-OVC); Older Person Cash Transfer Programme (OPCT); and the People with Severe Disability (CT-PWSD) are implemented under the Ministry of East African Community, Labour and Social Protection.

Hunger Safety Net Programme (HSNP) is the other cash transfer programme being implemented under the Ministry of Devolution and Planning and managed by the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA).

Approximately 606,800 people in four Northern Kenya’s Arid Counties are benefitting from the bi-monthly cash transfer with each household receiving Sh5,400 directly which is transferred to bank accounts,, Ms. Mochache.

Mochache explained that in its first phase the programme which was implemented in 2009 managed to reach around 414,000 people.

Last month the programme disbursed Sh 623.2 million to 98,492 households across the four Northern Arid Counties out of which 60 percent of recipients are women meaning that it’s enabling inclusion of financial services to rural remote women, she said.

The PS explained that in the ongoing drought emergency, HSNP has now scaled up five times between November 2016 to April 2017 to deliver emergency cash transfers to additional 546,864 people across the four counties at a total of Sh810 million.

Between 2013 and 2017 so far, Mochache explained that the hunger safety net programme has cumulatively extended payment of Shs10.6billion to 590,952people regular households and a further S.6 billion to additional households in response to drought and flood emergencies.

Josepheta Oyiela Mukobe, Special Programmes Principal Secretary under the Ministry of Devolution and Planning said her ministry is spearheading data harmonisation of the various Cash transfer programmes.

This is aimed at avoiding duplication of the beneficiaries’ names as well as the latter benefiting more than once.

As various government agencies managing the four Cash Transfer Programmes, we are working on a uniformed coordination platform, Mukobe said.

Senior Consultant at OPM, Fred Martens, said 90 percent of the beneficiaries say they pick up their transfers on foot, more than half of beneficiaries said they wait for less than 30 minutes to collect their transfers since most of them collect from the trading centres.

Although most beneficiaries’ money tends to have been spent a week or so after payday, the next six to seven weeks before the next payment, they survive by their own by accessing credit, Marttens said noting that the transfer has however helped recipients join informal saving groups.

Overall, in 2017 around 1.02 million households are in receipt of a regular and predictable transfer across the 47 Counties.

Source: Kenya News Agency