Ref N° 403

Yemen Social Welfare Fund Monitoring Mission

Country
Yemen
Client
EC
Overall project value (EUR)
€ 87 441
Origin of funding
EC
Proportion carried out by legal entity
100%
Consortium members
B&S Europe (FWC COM Lot 1)
Start date
January 2012
End date
April 2012
Number of staff provided
90 w/d

Detailed description of project Back

The Yemen Social Welfare Fund was established in 1996.In 2008 the GoY endorsed a new Social Welfare Law reorienting SWF’s objectives to make poverty the primary focus of assistance. The SWF’s cash transfer budget has grown from US$4 M at the outset to US$200 M in 2008/2009 covering roughly 1.05 M households (an additional 500,000 households was reportedly added to the SWF caseload in mid 2011 although the sustainability and the full budgetary implications of this increase are unclear at this stage).The maximum benefit provided to SWF beneficiaries is YR 4,000 (US$20) per case per month.The challenge for the GoY is to mobilise additional resources to sustainably phase in wait-listed poor beneficiaries (currently 500,000 HHs added in mid 2011) and phase out ineligible households (approx 270,000 HHs).

The European Union (EU), the World Bank (WB), the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Yemen (EKN), and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) are providing support to the SWF.The EU has been supporting the SWF since 2002, focusing on policy reform and institutional capacity building to improve SWF’s effectiveness and efficiency.The Bank has been providing technical assistance since 2007, including the introduction of proxy means testing (PMT) to improve targeting.The Bank is also administering an EC-funded emergency cash transfer project (Enhancing Emergency Social Safety Nets EESSN – Euro 7.5 M) which provides temporary cash transfers to 41,000 poor households (US$20/month/household over 12 months which should be added to the GoY beneficiaries afterwards).EKN and DFID are providing cash transfers to another 30,000 HHs for a 12 month period under the same basis as the EU.An IDA-financed Institutional Support Project (US$10 million) is providing assistance to strengthen targeting and delivery capacity of the SWF.UNICEF is also providing technical assistance to improve SWF’s monitoring and evaluation capacity.

The delivering procedure of the SWF to reach the beneficiaries is mainly through the post offices network, which make effective the payments after validating the identity of the beneficiary. However, other means to reach beneficiaries are in place such as mobile cashiers and the CAC Bank and its branch offices.

Events in Yemen since early 2011 have led to the suspension of donor funding to SWF.Donor presence on the ground has also been significantly reduced which has limited the opportunities for donors to engage directly with SWF and monitor donor funded activities.The EU, WB, EKN and DFID are therefore commissioning a consultancy to update them on the present capacity and performance of SWF.This will inform present, and possibly future, donor programmes to SWF.

The global objective of this study is twofold: to asses the SWF’ actual working conditions, in order to provide to the donor community a monitoring report and a risk assessment of the delivering procedures of the organization.

The specific objectives are: 1) to assess the institutional capacity and administrative performance of SWF in Yemen, in particular the timely and full delivery of cash transfers to beneficiaries in a fragile context and fiduciary risk measures; and 2) to propose a remote monitoring mechanism appropriate for a fragile country context.

Type of services provided

PROMAN provides the full expert team consisting of 2 senior and 2 junior experts. Core services include:

  • Undertake a review of project documents relevant to the SWF and review guidelines relevant to Fiduciary Risk;
  • Conduct telephone interviews with donor counterparts in capitals including EC, WB, DFID and EKN;
  • Consult UNICEF on the monitoring and evaluation support they are providing to SWF to indentify synergies and complementarities;
  • Conduct key informant interviews with SWF management and programme and finance staff at HQs and in the field and with Ministry of Finance and Post Office staff amongst other stakeholders;
  • Carry out field monitoring visits to Sana’a, Taiz, Hajjah and Hodeida Governorates, to assess targeting and financial management performance and capacity at all levels;
  • Conduct focus group/stakeholder workshops with members of the community and village committees in the above governorates (and indicative sample beneficiary households).

PROMAN HQ provides overall backstopping and quality control.

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