The Lesotho Child Grants Program, an unconditional cash transfer program which has been in implementation since 2010, is in the process of national scale-up. In addition, the designs for the pilot of an integrated Social Safety Nets System and a Conditional Cash Transfer program as an extension of the CGP are in the works.
1. Child Grants Program
March 2013 saw the completion of a targeting exercise in 22 new community councils in 10 districts which adds 44,000 households to the National Information System for Social Assistance (NISSA). Out of these households, 10,000 households will be added to the CGP, bringing the number of program beneficiaries to a total of 20,000 households.
Village Area Committees (VACs) have been trained for validation and Ayala has worked with the Mobile Research Technology provider to configure phones for use during the enrollment process. The introduction of MRT for enrollment during this phase is a development from Phase I where paper forms were deployed.
2. Conditional Cash Transfer Pilot
With the aim of concentrating more efforts on the achievement of health and education objectives, specifically improved child and maternal health and an increase in school enrollment for OVCs, Lesotho is working towards the introduction of health and education related conditions to the CGP. These conditions will be piloted in 3 community councils in 3 districts of Maseru, Leribe and Mafeteng, targeting 1,500 households (approx. 4,000 children).
Ayala has submitted the final proposal to UNICEF and is embarking on the design of technical annexes and the operational preparations in readiness for implementation.
3. Integrated Social Safety Nets Pilot
Lesotho is embarking on a unique pilot of an integrated Social Safety Net (SSN) System. Preliminary meetings are being held with stakeholders of the existing SSNs and the draft concept note has been finalized. This integration will allow the Old Age Pension (OAP), Public Assistance (PA) and the OVC Bursary programs to capitalize off of investments made under the CGP. One major tool in this integration will be the NISSA. The pilot will allow for the addition of all households benefiting from these programs to be captured in this database and provide a more transparent targeting system for poor households through the NISSA categories. The pilot will therefore, among other things, develop a single set of streamlined, systematic tools and procedures which all existing SSNs could use to improve their efficiency and effectiveness.
Published: 23 July 2013