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Save the Children's experience in consolidating information on its programmes involving cash transfers worldwide

During the last months of 2014, Save the Children (SC) consolidated information on its programmes involving cash transfers worldwide. While data had already been shared during the past year, this effort aimed at comprehensively consolidating and analysing cash transfer programmes across its SC country offices. Jessica Cohn – ex-Cash Transfer Programme Project Officer at Save the Children International, explains the data collection process and how this data will be used.

Why did Save the Children decide to collect information on their cash transfer programmes?

There are two main reasons. Firstly, SC wanted to have a good understanding of the size and scale of the cash programmes across the organisation, and the modalities and mechanisms of cash transfers used to date. Save the Children will continue to improve its cash transfer programming with updated tools, templates and guidelines from exercises such as these

This exercise provided an opportunity to facilitate cooperation between country offices, to share knowledge, tools and experiences. While collecting data on cash transfers, we collected a wide range of documents that will be used to improve our overall guidance and shared within Save the Children. This is all part of a general effort to encourage greater cross-organizational cooperation.

How will the information collected be used?

The information will be used both by the headquarters and by country offices to support the growing importance of cash transfers within Save the Children’s programming (in emergencies, and in humanitarian and longer term development programs). As well as supporting existing and new cash transfer programs this information enables informed strategic decisions on future cash programming.

How did you proceed?

We approached a wide range of staff, both in Save the Children member headquarters as well as country offices, with helpful and pragmatic information coming from staff in country offices. Although, getting to talk to the people who have the information proved challenging due to competing demands on country office staff. Food Security and Livelihoods Advisers and Project Managers were most useful, the latter knowing their projects in details.

The buy-in of the Country or Regional Directors was critical, but challenging to obtain at times due to competing priorities, as it was important to show how this would help country and regional offices in the future intervention strategies. Many staff were glad that this work was being carried out and wished this would have been done previously.

What have been the main challenges and how did you go around them?

The template that was used was intimidating to some and therefore people did not necessary fill all the information even though they may have had it - although once done, some people said it hardly took them 10 minutes to fill the data. Keeping data up-to-date is another challenge which we are still working on to ensure we relevance to future decision making.

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