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Financial Empowerment Centers

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Financial Empowerment Centers
Target population:
Additional Involvement:

The Financial Empowerment Centers were initially launched in New York City by a mayoral agency called NYC Department of Consumer Affairs/Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE). Nonprofit grantees were selected by OFE to provide client services (1 on 1 financial counseling). Often different nonprofit organizations physically hosted the services within their organizations. Social service providers from other NYC mayoral agencies saw value in the financial counseling services and integrated such services into the own programs to best serve their clients. In some instances, they required their clients to go to Financial Empowerment Centers. Partner agencies include: Department of Homeless Services (serving people in the shelter system), Human Resources Administration (providing “one‐shot” emergency grants, signing people up for government benefits), Housing Authority (serving those in the public housing to get people new/better jobs), and Parks Department (serving transitional employment program participants).

Funding was initially provided by private foundations, mostly from financial institutions, who made donations to the City’s nonprofit 501(c)3 entity for tax purposes. The City’s nonprofit then paid the non‐ private contractors for services provided.

Eventually, NYC government used tax‐levy dollars to fund the program and the City released a Request for Proposals to officially select contractors for this program.

The replication projects are being funded similarly with the funding all coming from a single private family foundation.

English

The Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund’s definition of financial counseling is to convey personalized— not general educational—information to directly and measurably improve a client’s unique financial situation. The model relies on a comprehensive financial health assessment that financial counselors complete with each client in order to understand their unique needs and current financial condition. This allows counselors to work together with clients to develop a customized service plan to help clients achieve milestones along their path to achieving their financial goals and, ultimately, their goals for their individual or family stability.

Outlining a clear path and timeline to reaching personal goals encourages clients to return and to see the progress they are making over time toward their goals. Expectations for client service levels and outcomes (to reduce debt, improve credit, increase savings, open safe and affordable bank accounts) also provide consistent standards and guidance for financial counselors and for integration partners as well as clients.

Achievements:
  1. Integrated: Deep partnerships with many NYC government agencies (homeless services, human resources administration, children’s services, housing authority, etc.) that recommend or even require their participants to receive financial counseling
  2. Demonstrated success: Success of New York City model, which relied on private funding in the first three years, demonstrated success so that in 2010, the program was included (using taxpayer levy dollars) into the general New York City budget. Some outcomes include $2.2 million of savings and $12.4 million of debt reduced to date.
  3. Replicable: Successful replication of model to five additional cities (launched in March 2013), which have all built the program from scratch based on integrated partnerships.
Member country:
Project duration:
November, 2007
Implementing Institution:

Targeted Conditional Cash Transfer Programme

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Targeted Conditional Cash Transfer Programme
Target population:
Additional Involvement:

‘Puente in the Caribbean’ program was launched in 2007.This regional program greatly assisted in the early stages of conceptualization and design. The major organizations involved were the Organization of American States (OAS) through the Canadian Agency for International Development (CIDA), El Fondo de Solidario e Inversión Social (FOSIS) of the Government of Chile and University of the West Indies

  • The Programme’s food support was implemented via a Debit Card. Persons were not given cash but rather they were able to purchase foodstuff. The First Citizens’ Bank of Trinidad was the chosen provider. They manage the cash transaction which includes the debiting of the various accounts and payment to merchants. They provide the Ministry with a comprehensive breakdown of all card transaction.
  • The Supermarket Association in general as well as other supermarkets were key stakeholders. They facilitate the transfer of a pre‐approved list of food items which are paid for with the debit card.
  • The initiative was not intended to create any new intervention so the Ministry of the People entered into arrangement with other Ministries/Agencies and private sector entities to operationalize the conditional component. This included training, retraining, upgrading of skills and employment. Additionally, these entities, were involved in activities to support of the mandatory components of the programme which includes family planning, household budgeting and life skills.
English

To Reduce the Incidence of Poverty in Society

Achievements:
  • Poverty reports suggested that level of indigence in the country was 1.2% (Just over 15,000 persons). At the end of Fiscal 2013 there were 42,202 persons on the programme. We feel that indigence no longer exist in Trinidad and Tobago. (To be determined via a current study)
  • Successfully worked with business partners to train or through direct employment to assist 8698 to successfully graduated from the programme by increasing the household income earning capacity. Out of this 208 persons became entrepreneurs.
  • The implementation of an emergency food support mechanism where persons are issued with a card for immediate use. Since its introduction over 25, 702 cards were issued.
Member country:
Project duration:
July, 2006
Project status:

M.E.N.D. Families in St. Kitts and Nevis Programme

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M.E.N.D. Families in St. Kitts and Nevis Programme
Target population:
Additional Involvement:

The Ministry of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs (MOCDCGA) is the focal point for poverty reduction measures implemented by the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis. Its mission statement is to promote a high quality human services programme designed to facilitate and encourage self-reliance, full participation in national development, child rights, family wellness, the enrichment and enjoyment of senior citizens and gender mainstreaming.

The Inter-Ministerial Committee for Social Protection is a Federal Cabinet established body made up of key stakeholder Ministries and Departments that are critical to the full implementation and sustainability of the actions outlined in the National Social Protection Strategy. Specifically, their function is to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the Plan of Action and Monitoring and Evaluation Framework of the National Social Protection Strategy.

The National Implementation Team for the M.E.N.D. Families SKN Programme is charged with management and monitoring and evaluation of the Programme for three (3) years, 2013 – 2016. The duties of the Team are as follows:

  • The Team will offer input and guidance towards the implementation of the M.E.N.D. Families SKN Programme.
  • The Team shall act as the middle management and implementation committee for the M.E.N.D. Families SKN Programme.

The Department of Social Services and Community Development under the purview of the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs is the implementing and coordinating agency for the strategies and actions of the National Social Protection Strategy and its Plan of Action.

As such, the Department will be the focal point for the implementation of the M.E.N.D. Families SKN Programme. This includes the operationalization of all of the procedures and processes involved in the both the piloting and scale up process.

In March of 2012, the Federal Government approved the National Social Protection Strategy. This document along with the National Poverty Reduction Strategy stands as the guiding documents for poverty reduction in the Federation.

One of the actions of the National Social Protection Strategy is the review of the Social Development Assistance Act, the guiding legislative framework for social safety net programs in the Federation.

Technical Assistance for the creation and implementation of the M.E.N.D. Families SKN Programme was provided by the Organization of American States, UNICEF, UN Women, World Bank, the Government of Jamaica through the PATH Program and the Government of St. Lucia, through the Social Investment Fund.

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The goal of the M.E.N.D. Families SKN Programme is to eradicate indigence in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis

There are two (2) fundamental objectives of the Programme. These are:

  1. To build and strengthen the resilience of the indigent population thereby enabling them to benefit from investments in human capital development
  2. To provide streamlined, effective and efficient wrap-around services to the indigent population

The Programme intends to provide comprehensive support to the poorest and most vulnerable households aiming at strengthening and empowering them, thereby eliminating indigence and reducing poverty.

Achievements:

The pilot of the Programme is presently being implemented.

Member country:
Project duration:
September, 2013 to October, 2015
Project status:

Empowering the Poor

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Empowering the Poor – An intervention for the Social Graduation from the Jamaican Conditional Cash Transfer Programme
Target population:
Additional Involvement:

Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MLSS)

  • Public Assistance Division

Ministry of Education (MOE)

Ministry of Youth and Culture (MOYC)

  • HEART Trust/NTA
  • National Youth Service
  • National Centre for Youth Development ‐ Jamaica Foundation for Lifelong Learning

MLSS Electronic Labour Exchange

Ministry of Industry, Technology, Energy and Commerce (MITEC)

  • Jamaica Business Development Corporation

MLSS

  • Rehabilitation Grant Programme

MOE / MLSS

  • Early Childhood Commission
  • National Council for Senior Citizens
  • Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities
Preferred Methods of Exchange:
English

Households attain the social protection floor and maintain income security for 12 months enabling them to be no longer eligible for PATH Cash Transfers.

Achievements:
  • Attainment of key variables in the social protection floor for targeted families
  • Complete pilot of a robust case management procedure and protocol for graduation
  • Complete pilot of a systematic welfare to work programme to strengthen labour activation and attachment among poor clients to enable them to seek and retain employment.
Member country:
Project duration:
March, 2013 to July, 2016
Project status:
Implementing Institution:

SEED

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Support for Education, Empowerment and Development (SEED) programme
Target population:
Additional Involvement:

SUPPORTING AGENCIES FOR SEED PROGRAMME IMPLEMENTATION

  • 2.1.1 RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE STEERING COMMITTEE: The Steering Committee is responsible for overall coordination of the SEED Programme and is chaired by the Ministry of Social Development and composed of representatives from MOSD, MOE, MOH, MOSD, MOF, PCU, Ministry of Legal Affairs and non‐governmental organizations.
  • 2.1.2 RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE TECHNICAL COMMITTEE: The Technical Committee is directly responsible for overseeing the design and implementation of the SEED Programme. It serves as the main mechanism through which the Ministries directly responsible for the Programme communicate and make decisions related to SEED implementation. The Committee members will ensure a steady reciprocal flow of information between the Committee and their respective Ministries, and facilitate consultations with Ministers and other key staff. The Technical Committee shall be composed of representatives from MOSD, MOE, MOH, and MOF.
  • 2.1.3 RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE MINISTRY OF FINANCE (MOF): The MOF has the responsibility of fulfilling the budgetary commitments of the GOG according to the requirements of the Programme.
    • 2.1.3.1 RESPONSIBILITIES OF DISTRICT REVENUE OFFICES (DROs): The DROs under the Ministry of Finance, are the primary location for payment of transfers to Beneficiary Households under the SEED Programme. Beneficiaries are paid via cash on a monthly basis from the current account designated at these locations for this purpose. DROs can serve as a point of contact for relaying information about the Programme. Staff at the DROs are responsible for liaising with the Accountant’s General Department, Ministry of Finance, regarding payments to Beneficiary Households and financial matters, including uncollected benefits.
    • 2.1.3.2 PROJECT COORDINATION UNIT (PCU): The PCU will provide fiduciary advice and guidance to all entities with responsibility for SEED Programme Implementation. The PCU will work closely with the MOSD and will provide guidance on compliance with fiduciary procedures and handle the procuring of goods and services for the MOSD.
    • 2.1.3.3 ACCOUNTANT GENERAL (AG): The AG’s office will liaise with the PCU to ensure timely and accurate financial reporting under the SEED Programme. The AG’s office provides final reconciliation of payments made under the arrangements for cash transfers. The AG will play a major role in liaising with financial staff in the MOSD to ensure that payment mechanisms employed by SEED are compatible with existing government accounting procedures.
  • 2.1.4 RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION (MOE): The MOE has the responsibility of ensuring that there are adequate places in pre‐school, primary, secondary and tertiary education to receive eligible Direct Beneficiaries from SEED Beneficiary Households as outlined in the SEED Programme Definitions. The MOE, as a key stakeholder of the Technical Committee, will also advise on on‐going trends in education outcomes, revisions to the Education Act, and potential revisions of education co‐responsibilities to build on the development of human capital.
    • Key staff in the MOE that will play supporting roles throughout the Programme include: School Attendance Officers: School Attendance Officers will be responsible for verifying compliance with education co‐responsibilities and liaising with SEED Officers every month to report school attendance of Direct Beneficiaries from SEED Beneficiary Households.
  • 2.1.5 RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH (MOH): The MOH has the responsibility to ensure basic health services as defined by Grenada’s health protocols to eligible Direct Beneficiaries from SEED Beneficiary Households. The MOH, as a key stakeholder of the Technical Committee, will also advise on on‐going trends in health outcomes in the country and potential revisions of health co‐responsibilities to build on the development of human capital.
    • Key staff in the MOH that will play supporting roles throughout the Programme include: Community Health Nurses (CHNs): CHNs will validate the health care check‐ups and verify compliance of co‐responsibilities. Subsequently, they will liaise with the SEED Officers every month to report compliance of health co‐responsibilities of Direct Beneficiaries from SEED Beneficiary Households.
Preferred Methods of Exchange:
English

The general goal of the SEED programme is:

To reduce poverty and increase investment in human capital among the poor and vulnerable.

The specific objectives of SEED are to:

  1. Improve educational and health outcomes of the poor through co‐responsibilities that link positive behaviour changes to cash transfers.
  2. Improve coverage of Social Safety Net programmes.
  3. Strengthen the implementation capacity, efficiency and effectiveness of Grenada’s Social
  4. Safety Net programmes.
  5. Serve as a safety net by preventing families from falling further into poverty in the event of adverse shock.
Achievements:
  • Central Beneficiary Registry
  • Development of an Operational Manual. Its purpose is to provide an ordered set of instructions on the organisation, procedures, management and resources dedicated to the efficient and effective achievement of the aims of the Programme.
Member country:
Project duration:
January, 2011 to December, 2014
Project status:
Implementing Institution:

Capital Project

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Capital Project
Target population:
Additional Involvement:
  • Proyecto Capital works with governments to design and improve public policies that promote financial inclusion and with financial institutions to design financial inclusion strategies for CCT recipients. Proyecto Capital also creates and shares knowledge to expand innovation linking financial inclusion and social protection.
  • Government: Proyecto Capital provides technical assistance in the design of CCT-linked financial inclusion programs, advises government bodies in the executants selection process and in follows up and monitors project implementation. The main roles of government bodies are to fund project activities and to provide technological and logistical support (mainly through its CCT program). Proyecto Capital also leads inter-institutional and inter-sectorial coordination activities (between planning, social inclusion and financial inclusion authorities).
  • Financial institutions: Proyecto Capital provides technical assistance in the design of suited financial products and channels, as well as in the development of adapted costumer services and the implementation of client protection principles.
English

Proyecto Capital describes a public intervention to facilitate and complement existing public government- to-person (G2P) transfer programs in general, and conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs in particular, and expand their scope and impact, as well as to encourage other stakeholders from the civil society, cooperation agencies and socially responsible businesses dedicated to poverty alleviation to get involved in this effort.

The general objectives are:

  • To promote the use of a better payment system for CCTs: the savings account
  • To provide a secure and convenient instrument to help families to save in the formal financial system.
  • To Facilitate access to and use of other financial services

Based on the encouraging results of financial inclusion programs, and particularly the mobilization of poor people’s savings, channels for a direct relationship between public sectors and recipients of social assistance, and virtuous processes of economic and social inclusion, Proyecto Capital works on a regional initiative to promote and implement mechanisms for financial inclusion as a complement to social policies implemented in Latin America and the Caribbean. This regional initiative assists with the design, implementation and evaluation of public policies that link social protection with mobilization of savings in low-income sectors.

Achievements:
  • Proyecto Capital succeed in interconnecting, combining and adjusting appropriate CCT programs with policies that encourage grassroots savings and inclusion of poor people in the financial system (opening and use of personal savings accounts), asset building, and access to knowledge essential for their businesses, facilitating their productive investment and reducing their vulnerability.
  • Proyecto Capital has cooperation agreements signed with ten countries, at least one financial institution in each country and two bank regulatory bodies.
  • Proyecto Capital also developed the capacity to influence and be involved in the design, implementation and evaluation of public policies related to financial inclusion and financial literacy for the BoP.
  • Finally, we have achieved a recognized regional expertise on understanding low-income populations financial behavior, content design and management of various channels for financial education and the design and development of suited savings products
Project duration:
January, 2008 to December, 2014
Implementing Institution:

The Graduation Program

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The Graduation Program
Target population:
Additional Involvement:
  • The design of the pilot project in Colombia is the result of collaboration between FundaK’s and GoC entities selected strategically based on their responsibility in the design of the country’s public policy, as described below:
  • The National Department of Planning is responsible for designing and monitoring the country’s environmental, social and economic development policies, in coordination with ministries and sub‐national entities.
  • The Department for Social Prosperity is responsible for defining and implementing social policies in an integrated and coordinated way. It manages, among others, the Conditional Cash Transfers program.
  • The National Agency for Overcoming Extreme Poverty manages a network which, in addition to articulating inter‐institutional efforts, has an operative structure based on over 10,000 community workers or facilitators in charge of identifying extreme poor families and accompanies these families in the implementation of a road map based on nine goals that will help them to overcome their condition.
  • The integration of local authorities from the selected areas of intervention was crucial given their deep understanding and knowledge of their community.
  • The “Law on Victims and Restoration of Land” describes the responsibilities of the GoC in the implementation of a process of accompaniment to the indemnization that is distributed to qualifying victims of the armed conflict in Colombia. This series of two laws and six decrees has been a guide to FundaK, the DPS and the UARIV in the adaptation of the Graduation model to a specific population of victims who are interested in starting productive projects to improve their socioeconomic conditions.
English

The Graduation Project’s objective is to provide an innovative, sustainable and scalable strategy whereby people living in poverty and those living in extreme poverty can stabilize themselves socioeconomically, increase their resilience to shocks, and continue on the pathway to development through accumulating productive, financial, human and social assets.

Since 2011, FundaK has helped the Government of Colombia (GoC) in the design and implementation of the pilot project “Producing for My Future”, which is helping 1000 families lift themselves out of extreme poverty, and scale up is scheduled to begin in 2014. The project transfers seed capital for the implementation of a productive project within participating targeted households while asset‐building coaches provide accompaniment to these households. Information and communication technologies, such as tablet computers, train the participants in business management, financial education and human and social development modules.

Achievements:
  1. Revision of models of productive projects worldwide for the creation of the FundaK graduation model (including the BRAC model and the various CGAP/Ford Foundation replicas as well as IFAD’s experiences in Perú) and integration of lessons learned from FundaK’s model of using TICs for education in rural areas
  2. Successful targeting using government databases
  3. Development of a comprehensive program for monitoring and evaluation 4. Agreements with Guatemala, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Brazil
Project duration:
January, 2013 to December, 2014
Implementing Institution:

BOOST

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BOOST (Building Opportunities for Our Social Transformation)
Target population:
Additional Involvement:
  • The Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation (MHDSTPA) is the entity which designed and implements the programme. It is managed by the Family Support Services unit, with officers from that unit responsible for collection of school attendance data to determine monthly compliance with the education conditionality in approximately 60% of schools. Data from the remaining 40% (mainly urban schools) is collected by the Truancy Unit in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. The Ministry also supplies a list of secondary school students at the beginning of each academic year so that student beneficiaries who transition from primary to secondary school can be tracked. Agreements are being finalized for the Ministry of Health to supply health conditionality data by the end of 2013. The Ministry of Heath supports the aspect of the programme for children infected or affected by HIV/AIDS by confirming if a household is registered with them as either being infected/affected by the disease. The programme database is supported by the Policy and Planning Unit in the MHDSTPA.
  • There is also a very strong partnership with the Credit Union League and individual credit unions through which payments are made to beneficiaries.
  • Technical assistance was provided early on in the design phase of the programme by the World Bank, who have also funded an independent process evaluation of BOOST as well.
English

To build human capacity through preventative health care (pregnant woman, children aged 0 to 4) and investment in education of children aged 5 through 17, to break the inter-generational cycle of poverty for families and households.

Achievements:
  1. Linking poor households into the formal finance system through Credit Unions. Over 95% of the beneficiary households now have a credit union account.
  2. Cooperation with Ministry of Education with respect to school monitoring data collection, and partnership with the School Liaison Unit
  3. International support through study tours to Columbia, courses such as the World Bank Social Safety Nets course, and learning from experiences in Jamaica (with technical support of the World Bank)
Member country:
Project duration:
February, 2010
Project status:

RUBEN

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RUBEN - Single Registry of Beneficiaries of Social Programs
Target population:
Additional Involvement:
  • Internal Allies: Senior management, General Office of Decentralization, and PRONAA.
  • External Allies: Regional and local governments, National Registry of Identification and Civil Status (RENIEC), Household Targeting System (SISFOH), and Comptroller General of the Republic (CGR).
English

To identify and register people who benefit from state-subsidized goods or services,1 in order to reduce leakage and undercoverage in social programs.

Achievements:
  • Implementation of a culture of registration, monitoring, and evaluation in management of social programs.
  • Targeting problems (leakage and undercoverage) addressed within two main programs (Glass of Milk and Supplementary Food through the People’s Restaurant model)
  • The program has made systematization of the Registry of Beneficiaries—RUBEN a priority, which will be part of the strategy in sharing knowledge management at both the national and international level. (We have received considerable interest from other Latin American countries that are developing similar processes, such as Honduras and Ecuador.)
Member country:
Project duration:
March, 2008 to December, 2011
Project status:

Tekoporã-Secretariat for Social Action’s Cash Transfer Program with Co-Responsibility

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Tekoporã–Secretariat for Social Action’s Cash Transfer Program with Co-Responsibility
Target population:
Additional Involvement:
  • General Office of Social Protection and Human Development (DGPSDH)
  • Officeof Cash Transfers with Co-Responsibility(TMCTekoporã)
  • Officeof Information
  • Officeof Management and Finances
  • Departments under the Office of Cash Transfers
  • Liaison Department
  • Targeting Department
  • Department of Adjustments and Claims
  • Department of Operations and Management
English

To improve the quality of life of the target population by ensuring the rights to food, health, and education; increasing the utilization of basic services; and strengthening social networks, with the goal of ending intergenerational poverty.

Achievements:
  • Fulfillment of co-responsibility in education: 85% of school-age population regularly attends educational institution.
  • 70% of beneficiaries fulfill the co-responsibility in health
  • Identity: Documents issued for beneficiary families
Member country:
Project duration:
January, 2005
Project status:

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