The State of the World’s Cash 2023: Looking to hear your experiences on Locally led response and people centric CVA

Reply on Discourse | 8 comments

Feb. 8, 2024, 6:41 p.m.

Rory Crew

Catching up here, but I have been learning a lot from this great thread. I recently launched CALP's latest work on digital payments [Payment Solutions for CVA Implementers - The CALP Network](https://www.calpnetwork.org/publication/payment-solutions-for-cva-implementers/). It's more focused on multi-country payment solutions but touches on things that have been discussed here including agent networks and partnerships with FSPs. @Daniel Ogavu I'm curious, how did you make the case to Opportunity bank? Did you go to them with a detailed summary of the cash volumes etc so they could understand their revenue, costs and profits? Or was it more ad hoc?

Feb. 8, 2024, 8:03 a.m.

Meseret Getahun

Thank you so much Ralph for letting us see this from different angles. I do agree with your final suggestion on the need for having a bit of time to prepare and build relationship.

Feb. 8, 2024, 7:45 a.m.

Meseret Getahun

Thanks a lot! Similar approach we follow when partnering with the private financial service providers. For a country like Ethiopia with only few financial service providers and limited capacity, the prior engagement with them to improve their overall service will certainly help for effective and efficient partnership during responses. I do really appreciate your work around engaging FSPs in CWG meetings.

Feb. 7, 2024, 4:11 p.m.

Ralph OFUYO

Hi @Meseret in my humble experience, the primary question (and the others linked) you've posed is something that does not happen (more for large scale internventions) - at least in the agency I worked for previously. You mention ".*.beyond contractual agreements..*.." and this is something that rarely (and maybe should not) happen for different reasons including legal ones. That being said, I believe I understand the fundamental point you were trying to highlight, kindly correct me if I missed the mark. The crucial thing that I have seen in my experience/missing was looking at the service provider as simply that, a service provider and nothing more. Sure, we would always mention something related to financial literacy training or sensitisation of some sort during the procurement process, but it never went to a level as I suspect you're inferring. The reality is for this agency I worked for, sourcing (to use a procurement term) for the service providers is still carried out using procurement rules and regulations (nothing wrong with them), but there was where the disconnect started. You had the "Programme/Operations" team that had an idea, but in most cases, could never translate it to something the sourcing team could go and get in the market (also another issue is good market research). Both teams were well qualified, they just spoke a different 'dialect' so to speak and so you would up with terms of reference that were quite basic, to make it easy to score/separate the bidders. This is something that affected the 'local service providers' as in most cases, they could not compete with the services/margins/requiremets from the UN agency! Furthermore, the number of service providers that could dedicate resources, teams, liasion personnel to deal with the agency's requirements were quite few (leaving out local-led ones), especially looking at the money they made from the service - *they are private sector actors at the end of the day* - was minimal at best. 15yrs ago when I started, large banks and telcos were happy to simply have the names of the large UN agencies on their portfolio even if they made losses, as that (the name) made up for the lack of signficant 'sales' (and profits) from them, but today's world, there are bigger profits to be made elsewhere and teams need to show their return on ivestment. As this is a topic I could go on for weeks on (I spent a big chunk of time on sourcing for a few countries in Asia & S. Africa), there are lessons that other agencies can and possibly have been doing in the past few years (MercyCorps, CARE etc..). Being a complex issue, one thing (sure others have better ideas) I can think of that could help is in contexts where response actors might have a bit of time to prepare, and time to invest in the relationship with not just one, but a number of actors. I recall in 2015 (or 2016), the Mayor of Metro Manila had this taskforce that included UN/INGO teams for discussing various issue related to disaster prepadeness and response (cash was on the agenda). This to me seems like one avenue where more of what you infer can be tabled and discussed. For instance, what do the results of the PDM mean for retailers of food commodities, what can the telcos and banks AND small micro-credit agencies (for instance) provide in terms of expanding financial inclusion (Bangladesh and Vietnam) and so on. Good luck!

Feb. 7, 2024, 4:11 p.m.

Mahdi Jamila

Hi Meseret, Please find below some experiences from both the humanitarian and Rural Resilience Activity perspectives. How are we engaging FSPs and other private sector actors from the beginning to have a shared vision and to understand our overall goal? MC prioritizes local FSPs available to support service and cash delivery to vulnerable HHs and communities in its humanitarian intervention, However, in a situation where there are no local FSPs or does not meet criteria (capacity, license registration, etc) MC works with any fully licensed FSP and provide partnership opportunities to the local FSP by this method local FSP gets exposed to capacity building, expansion of capacity and geographical coverage. While on the side of RRA, I will say the Activity has contributed immensely to supporting the development of financial services at the local level. Rather than relying on large commercial banks, the Activity partnered with state-based MFI to expand their services to the last mile within the states. Furthermore, many mobile banking agents have been established within the states by FinTech companies and MFI the Activity is in partnership with. The Activity ensures a shared understanding of its vision with partners using the following approaches, **Information meeting:** When the Activity puts out an Expression of interest/notice of funding opportunity for private sector engagement, an information meeting is conducted before submission of applications. This information meeting allows applicants to have a shared understanding of the Activity’s goal and objectives. This helps them tailor their business case to align with the objectives. **Co-creation:** upon successful selection of an application, the Activity-designated team members support the partner to co-create their implementation approach. During this phase, the designated team member(s) reemphasize the Activity goal and objectives. **Partners onboarding:** Finally, the Activity vision is equally reemphasized during the onboarding session of successful partners. • How are we supporting them to strengthen their communication strategy including feedback collection mechanism? From the humanitarian programs, we encourage local FSPs to participate in CWG meetings and involve them in CVA training, review, and development of policies (e.g. NCVA policy in Nigeria, Nutrition CVA guideline, CaLP training in delivering humanitarian cash in extreme emergencies). We also share CARM feedback that relates to them. While engaging with the private sector, the award agreement has a section that shows the partner's approach to receiving feedback from the community level, partners are assessed on the existence of a report mechanism, and where such does not exist, the Activity presents the partner with an option of adopting MCN CARM approach. The Activity regularly collects feedback from the community level through its CARM and shares necessary feedback with respective partners every week. • did we engage them in sharing the results of our assistance? Do we share the findings of our PDM back to the private actors we worked with? Yes, firstly, we share key outcomes of monitoring with the private sector partners (including FSP) to use data for insights and decision-making for their businesses. Secondly, partners share the impact and success of the engagement on their various social media platforms. I am happy to discuss further

Feb. 7, 2024, 2:58 p.m.

Meseret Getahun

Thank you so much Daniel for sharing your great experience. Looking at the will and skill of the private partners is critical and your adaptive management to add new interventions such as the financial literacy that will contribute for sustainable outcome are really impressive. Keep us posted for any publications/lessons of your work in similar area or any other related with Markets in Crisis.

Feb. 7, 2024, 11:23 a.m.

Daniel Ogavu

Great here is my experience so far Opportunity Bank Limited as an FSP; **How are we engaging FSPs and other private sector actors from the beginning to have a shared vision and to understand our overall goal?** Currently Under Kulea Watoto Project in Kampala Uganda, I am closely working with opportunity Bank Limited in Uganda to support access to financial services for vulnerable hosts and refugees. We begun the process of assessing a number of FSPs through the will and skill analysis i.e, sharing our vision, clients and what we are looking for; we were looking for an FSP that could start with offering trainings to clients in financial literacy at their cost(WILL) and an FSP that is accredited by the bank of Uganda as financial literacy training provider with qualified facilitators (SKILL) additionally we were looking for an institution with whom we shared vision and products to reach the bottom of pyramid so that we can create a sustainable linkage to continuously provide services(WILL) and also one with experience of working with refugees(SKILL) we found all these in Opportunity Bank Limited and therefore engaged them. We signed an MoU for training: So far, they trained all the clients we organized into groups. The clients have opened accounts with Opportunity Bank Limited They are teaching literate clients on digital financial literacy – originally not part of the MoU. We will transfer Business start up grants to the clients through opportunity Bank Limited – Original not part of the MoU, not mentioned at early discussions with opportunity. **• How are we supporting them to strengthen their communication strategy including feedback collection mechanism?** we provide opportunity Bank limited to reach out to our clients through all platforms especially during other non-financial trainings and they have established a relationship with clients Opportunity Bank Limited is already engaged, opportunity Bank has access to client’s data through clients not through IRC due to data protection policies. • **did we engage them in sharing the results of our assistance? Do we share the findings of our PDM back to the private actors we worked with?** To be continued as it unfolds, but definitely from the Uganda relationship, our intervention has got attention from Opportunity International UK. We are broadening our relationship, leveraging our expertise all with the intention to reachout to the bottom of pyramid and vulnerable communities. We will share information on results as much as we can with consent of our clients and in compliance to IRC data protection policies. **Daniel Ogavu |Project Manager -ERD Kampala (KULEA Watoto)** **International Rescue Committee – Kampala, Uganda** **Plot 3, Naguru Drive, Vale Close, Kampala (U)** **Tel: + 256 (0)772945708** **IRC Way - | Integrity | Service | Accountability**

Feb. 7, 2024, 5:49 a.m.

Meseret Getahun

Going through the [2023 State of the World of Cash Report](https://www.calpnetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/State-of-the-Worlds-cash-2023-overview.pdf) Under locally led response chapter, it highlights the importance of including local financial service providers (FSPs) and other private sector actors in delivering or facilitating payment solutions and transactions. Connecting this with the first chapter of this report which is about people centric CVA which is an area that requires a lot of attention. I am wondering **how much our organizations (UN agencies/NGOs) are investing on private actors to be people centric and go beyond contractual agreements for the service delivery they have with our organizations.** • How are we engaging FSPs and other private sector actors from the beginning to have a shared vision and to understand our overall goal? • How are we supporting them to strengthen their communication strategy including feedback collection mechanism? • did we engage them in sharing the results of our assistance? Do we share the findings of our PDM back to the private actors we worked with? I believe these areas will be critical to improve our commitment in putting people at the center and for our assistance to perfectly be locally led. Happy to hear your experiences.