Impact of cash grant to flood survivors being evaluated
PESHAWAR: An exercise to evaluate the short to medium term effects of the foreign-funded Citizen Disaster Compensation Programme has been launched in parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa districts affected by 2010 floods, according to officials.
The evaluation is meant to examine the positive and negative impacts of the cash grants programme, which, some independent foreign organisations’ field staff believe, is not likely to achieve the desired outcomes.
“The money is not being utilised by a large number of the recipient families for the purpose for which they have been extended the financial assistance,” said a coordinator of a European relief agency, carrying out relief and rehabilitation activities in the province.
Many recipients, he added, had spent the money to meet their pressing daily life expenditure requirements instead of utilising it to reconstruct their damaged houses or improve their livelihood.
However, the housing coordinator of the Provincial Disaster Management Authority, looking after the housing subsidy component of the CDCP, said the recipient families were utilising the grants to reconstruct their damaged houses.
“The National Database and Registration Authority has undertaken a drive to examine the impact of CDCP-II under which two equal installments of Rs20,000 each per family will be distributed,” said the housing coordinator.
He said that a sample survey carried out by an independent researcher in the province to evaluate the impact of the housing subsidy’s first installment had revealed that 80 per cent of the recipients had utilised the money on repairing houses and generating sizable economic activities.
Initial findings of Nadra’s ongoing evaluation, he added, had found out that a large number of the affected families had utilised the funds on reconstructing the damaged portions of their houses.
The CDCP-II involves a total of $580 million of which $355 million would come from United States Agency for International Develop and UK’s Department for International Development. The government of Pakistan is required to raise $100 million as a matching grant against the World Bank’s $125 million soft term loan jointly provided by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Development Association.
The loan agreement requires the federal government to conduct an impact evaluation of the cash grants programme under which, according to the PDMA official, a total of Rs9.2 billion has been distributed in the province since September 2011.
Some 254,974 affected families accumulatively received Rs7.2 billion at the rate of Rs20,000 per family as second installment of housing compensation. Around 100,000 families, said the official, had also received the third and final installments of Rs20,000 each. “In all, around Rs2 billion have been distributed among the families on account of their third installment,” said the PDMA official. Dawn
The Nadra impact evaluation exercise is also supposed to point out ‘if the cash transfer programme has had any negative effects at the household level or broader community or societal level,’ according to the World Bank loan document seen by .
One of the three-point success criteria, put in place to gauge the project’s performance, aims at ensuring ‘efficient delivery’ of the grants. The performance would be regarded as efficient if 70 per cent of the beneficiaries express satisfaction with the programme’s delivery system, according to the European organisation’s representative.
Out of 1.1 million households, verified as eligible for the housing compensation across Pakistan under CDCP-II, some 265,000 are in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
“Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is well ahead of other provinces in terms of releasing the second and the third installments,” said the PDMA official, expressing confidence that the process would be completed well in time.
Each family, he added, would receive a total of Rs40,000 each in the second phase of CDCP, in two installments of Rs20,000 each.
The desired economic outcomes of the cash grants, according to the loan documents, include: helping the affected families in making recovery from the devastating effects of floods, protecting their basic consumption requirements, helping them to resume their livelihoods, reconstruct their houses, and recover assets and other necessities of living.
“It’s a huge task, which is hard to achieve for all the affected families in just Rs40,000 each household,” said a development planner of the provincial government.
Those, who conceived the programme, said the development planner, also acknowledged the fact of the compensation money’s inability to achieve the desired results. “They have mentioned in their document that the money provided under the CDCP-II would be far less than the average reconstruction cost,” said an official of planning and development department.
The donors have estimated the average reconstruction cost for building basic houses at Rs150,000 per house.