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Urban webinar #5: Cash programming in urban areas: What's new?

Thursday 21 November 2013

The audio of this webinar is also available below.

To download this file, click on the soundcloud logo above and then on the arrow under the track.

This webinar focused on cash transfer programming, with speakers from Oxfam and Concern. Case studies from Nairobi and Gaza explored project goals, challenges, and the impact of cash-transfer on local communities. 

'Cash Transfers for Kenya's Ultra-Poor Living in Urban Slums':

Amina Ibraham Abdullah
• Nairobi's urban poor face acute poverty, dependence upon markets, drought, poor access to basic services, unemployment of around 40% in slum areas, limited coping strategies, crime and violence.
• The Kenyan government has broadly refused to acknowledge slums such as Korogocho, instead focusing upon rural poverty reduction with the aim of limiting urbanisation.
• The objective of the Korogocho project by Concern and Oxfam was to meet the basic food needs of households. It comprised of cash transfer, livelihood development and social transformation.
• The project helped to stimulate the market, with beneficiaries engaging in small trade, and vendors diversifying their goods because of greater purchasing power, whilst prices remained stable.
• Longer-term gains for the poorest recipients were more mixed, with many returning to old consumption levels once the scheme finished.
• Disproving many of the myths of cash-based transfers, the Government of Kenya approved of the results, and seeks to continue and expand the scheme.

'WASH Cash Transfer Programming in Gaza – Challenges and Opportunities':

Tim Forster
• Water access and quality in Gaza is very difficult, primarily coming from a single aquifer contaminated by chemicals and saline intrusion. Around 890,000 people buy water, at considerable expense, from vendors using reverse osmosis that can still carry a high risk of re-contamination.
• Oxfam distributed water vouchers to 696 households as part of a holistic approach to try and improve water quality and access.
• Difficulties in targeting the 'extreme poor' within communities led to blanket coverage across specific areas.
• With Oxfam monitoring the cleaning process, 84% of the beneficiaries were satisfied.
• The involvement of both more suppliers and community water resellers would have improved distribution, as well as providing more containers at a household level.
• The private sector has the potential to meet demands during conflict, thus more work is needed in research of the water supply chain.

Q&A Snapshot:

How was targeting done? What were the specific challenges?
AIA: Targeting is difficult in urban areas, with Concern dividing Korogocho into administrative 'villages' and identifying the poorest households within them, in a time consuming process lasting 6 weeks.

Is there any evidence that cash influences impact?
AIA: After the Korogocho project around 25% were able to continue with investments beyond the period of transfer; given the vulnerabilities of this context this can be considered a positive outcome. We need to go back in 2/3 years.

Would cash-based programmes be suitable for post-Haiyan Philippines?
AIA: Cash-based programmes could be considered appropriate but assessment of markets and infrastructure is very important.



Tim Forster

PHE Capacity Buiding, Coordination and Research


Leah Campbell



Amina Ibraham Abdullah

Programme Manager


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