Food Security Cluster Cash & Markets Task Force

Purpose

The purpose of the Cash & Markets Task Force (CMTF) is to strengthen the implementation of market based food security interventions (inclusive of cash and vouchers). CMTF is specifically termed a task force to ensure that it remains time-bound and output driven.

Background

Somalia’s food security cluster has a strong cash transfer programming (CTP) history which over time has allowed it to accumulate a wealth of knowledge in terms of best practices, lesson’s learned and qualitative programming elements to consider. There has however been an increasing demand from partners for the FSC to provide guidance around transfer values. Through the Somalia Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) as well as CHF allocations, the FSC has noticed a wide range of CTP transfer values along with a wide range of justifications. This variation has in the past and could continue to contribute to challenges between different beneficiary groups, villages and FSC partners.

Given this background, FSC with wide support from its partners and members, proposed the formation of Cash & Markets Task Force to address this gap. It is anticipated that the CMTF will develop consensus on a sound logic to determine transfer values and this would subsequently contribute to an improved and better coordinated food security response.

Objectives

  1. Leverage FSC partners’ knowledge and experience to develop guidance on cash transfer value logic for both unconditional and relevant food security conditional1 programming.
  2. Leverage FSC partners’ knowledge and experience to develop guidance on monthly labor/time requirements for relevant food security conditional programs.

Outputs

  1. Unconditional cash transfer guidance (UCT) note specific to determining transfer value. Must include logic and considerations in “Notes” section. (1-3 pages)
  2. Conditional cash transfer (relevant to food security) guidance note specific to determining transfer value. Must include logic and considerations in “Notes” section. (1-3 pages)
  3. Conditional cash transfer (relevant to food security) guidance note specific to labor/time requirements (days worked/trained per month and number of hours per day). (1-3 pages)

Workplan

Activities Outputs Focal Points Deadline
ToRs ToRs are endorsed by SAG members. Somalia FSC Feb 2015
CMTF formation CMTF partners invited and committed to joining. Somalia FSC Feb 2015
CMTF meetings conducted First draft of outputs 1, 2 and 3 delivered. CMTF Chairs May 18th, 2015
Guidance Note Review Guidance note reviewed by SAG and reference group. Somalia FSC May 25th, 2015
Guidance Note Feedback CMTF incorporates feedback as appropriate

CMTF Chairs June 15th, 2015
Guidance Note Endorsed by SAG Final guidance note endorsed by SAG SAG / Somalia FSC June 30th, 2015
Guidance Note shared with FSC community Present final guidance at FSC general and regional meetings. Organize bi-lateral meetings to share results and promote uptake. Somalia FSC Starting July 2015

Method of work

The Chair/Co-Chair will manage and ensure the communications with the CMTF through:

  • Regular email correspondence
  • Meetings as needed
  • Circulation of outputs to all partners.

Structure

The CMTF is accountable to the Somalia FSC Secretariat. The CMTF will have the following structure:

  • FSC as Chair and CaLP as Co-Chair. Chair organizations will be responsible for organizing venue, facilitating and documenting discussions. FSC will organize the meeting and facilitate communication.
  • 6-8 members selected based on experience, technical expertise and willingness to participate. Interested partners will be requested to self-nominate and provide justification based on the criteria mentioned above. Final selection of members will be done by FSC and CaLP. Group composition will consist of 2-3 UN Agencies, 1-2 LNGOs, 1 FEWS NET or FSNAU and 2-3 INGOs.
  • Reference group formed of key FSC CTP partners, donors and gFSC Cash and Markets Working Group.

Notes: CMTF is requested to consider the following elements when developing the guidance.

  • General alignment with relevant in-kind commodity baskets. Eg: Transfer values should be of comparable value regardless of modality chosen.
  • Outputs should deliver a transfer value logic (ie: how to determine transfer value) and not an actual value.
  • Conditional programming (relevant to food security) transfer value logic should be at such a level to facilitate/support local labor markets and not detract from them. This would necessitate knowledge of local wage labor as part transfer value logic determination.
  • Ensure that recommended transfer values are able to be geographic specific. Given wide range of market conditions; guidance should incorporate local market considerations. In this regard, CMTF could leverage existing FSNAU/FEWS NET market monitoring data.
  • Consider timeliness and length of CTP. Are there specific seasonal considerations such as livelihood lean season? CTP should not place undue burden on vulnerable populations nor detract from seasonal labor activities (could complement). Consider overall time length of CTP. Ideally this should be reflected as a calendar and specific to each livelihood.
  • Guidance should consider vulnerability and food basket needs of population being targeted. This could be reflected through having two different UCT levels based on certain criteria (crisis vs emergency / moderate vs severely food insecure)
  • CFA/CFW labor requirements should consider variation/range (in terms of daily hours) based on whether activities are labor intensive or not.
  • Guidance should as far a possible build upon existing CTP guidance documents for Somalia.