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ERC learning event: Scaling up our tools and approaches for multi-purpose cash grants

Last week, Save the Children hosted an event as part of the ECHO ERC Consortium for ‘Increasing the Uptake of Multi-Purpose Cash Grants in Emergency Responses’.

The event, entitled ‘The uptake of multipurpose grants in humanitarian response plans: Lessons and way forward from the MPG Consortium pilots in Nigeria and Ethiopia’, took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 26 and 27 April. Along with representatives from the ERC MPG Consortium, which is led by Save the Children and comprised of CaLP, Danish Refugee Council, Mercy Corps, and OCHA, the event was attended by donors, UN Cluster and Cash Working Group representatives, and NGOs who were involved in the pilots.

The purpose of the event was to agree how the work undertaken by the ERC MPG Consortium to date – which has included a range of tools, approaches and trainings for delivering MPGs – will be taken forward, scaled up and institutionalized in future humanitarian responses.

Reflecting on what we have learned

Day 1 began with a panel discussion featuring representatives from organizations who were involved in the pilots in Ethiopia and Nigeria. The panellists reflected on their experiences of the pilots, and their expectations for taking the work forward. You can watch the panel discussion in full at the link below.

The remainder of the day saw participants attend break-out sessions dedicated to five of the tools developed and piloted by the Consortium. Over the course of afternoon, participants gave their recommendations for how each of these tools should be taken forward, in sessions facilitated by the people who had led on their development. The tools and approaches discussed were:

The Basic Needs Assessment guide and toolbox (BNA), a multi-sector needs analysis approach, which was discussed in a session facilitated by Aaron Thegeya, the consultant who piloted the tool in Ethiopia, and Francesca Battistin, from lead agency Save the Children.

The Response Options Analysis and Planning guidance (ROAP), tools and templates for a multi-sectoral response analysis and plan. The session was facilitated by cluster representatives Andre Griekspoor and Tabata Fioretto who participated in the roll-out of the ROAP in Ethiopia.

The Financial Service Provider assessment tool (FSP), a guide for identifying appropriate delivery mechanisms for MPGs, which was discussed in a session led by Alexa Swift from Mercy Corps.

Monitoring for MPGs, a range of monitoring tools to gauge the effect of MPGs, which was discussed in a session led by Louisa Seferis and Azim Noorani from lead agency DRC, and Kate Hirschboeck, from project partner Tufts University.

The Multi-Sector Market Assessment guide and toolkit (MsMA), a tool developed by UNHCR for conducting market assessments and market monitoring. The session was facilitated by Jo Zaremba from Blue Lemur Consulting, who piloted the tool in Ethiopia, and Geraud Devred from UNHCR.

Participants were positive about the work, but from the feedback, it was clear that some tools – specifically the BNA and ROAP - would require further revision before being ready to be shared or scaled. However, there was consensus that together the tools have the potential to positively transform the way we deliver MPGs collaboratively.

Agreeing a way forward

Day 2 began with a panel discussion, where representatives presented opportunities for scaling or further developing the FSP, BNA, ROAP and Monitoring tools. This discussion can also be viewed in full at the link below.

Following the debate, participants joined groups to agree a specific set of recommendations for the wider uptake and, if necessary, the development of each tool.

The event closed with a personal pledge from each participant on how they can contribute to the continued success of the Consortium’s work. 

Check out our Facebook page for more photos.

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