INTRODUCTION

The Social Cash Transfer Programme is a Government programme aimed at reducing extreme poverty and eradicating intergenerational transfer of poverty in targeted households. Results under the Social Cash Transfer Programme have shown that households accessing Social Cash Transfers have seen notable improvements in their lives, including reduced hunger and better school attendance for children. The Programme is fulfilling Government’s vision of “A nation with capacity to promote and provide sustainable security against constant or periodic critical levels of deprivation and extreme vulnerability by 2030” and contributing to the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP) Pillar of “Poverty and Vulnerability Reduction” and its Outcome 1 “Enhanced Welfare and Livelihood for the Poor and Vulnerable”.  

The Ministry of Community Development and Social Services (MCDSS) has put in place a formal grievance mechanism (GM) to increase the SCT programme’s accountability and credibility. The Social Cash Transfer Grievance Mechanism provides beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries with an official pathway to lodge their grievances, and implementers with standard resolution processes to resolve those grievances in a harmonized manner. The Grievance Mechanism thereby aims to enhance transparency and accountability of Government towards its citizens within the realm of the Social Cash Transfer Programme and to uphold the Programme’s rights-based intention. The Grievance Mechanism contributes to 7NDP Pillar “Creating a Conducive Governance Environment for a Diversified and Inclusive Economy”, particularly in its Outcome 2: “Improved Transparency and Accountability”.

OBJECTIVES

Objective 1: Materialize the rights-based nature of the programme.

“As cash transfers are entitlements of beneficiary households, households must have the opportunity to claim their rights through the grievance component of the SCT.”

Objective 2: Increase the transparency of the government and implementing partners by providing an official structure for beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries to formally register programme-related grievances.

Objective 3: Increase the SCT’s credibility amongst beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries.

Objective 4: Collect data on GM performance and grievances lodged to use them to improve the SCT programme.

OPERATIONAL TOOLS AND PROCESSES

The GM is designed to use the following three channels:

  1. Paper-based grievance form and community boxes

The paper-based grievance form is a standardized form on which complainants can fill in their grievance(s). They can do this in an anonymous or non-anonymous way. Table 1 outlines the three available paper grievance forms – form A, B, and C – and their respective properties.

Table 1. Paper grievance forms

Form

Purpose

Anonymous

A.      

Exclusion error; Payments; Wrongful exit; Service Standards

No

B.      

Previously submitted grievance not / unsatisfactorily resolved

No

C.      

Anonymous grievances (Staff behaviour; Inclusion error; Other)

Yes

Paper-based grievance forms are available at the following points:

  • District Social Welfare Office.
  • SCT Pay Points.
  • CWAC members.
  • Other designated places in the community.

Each grievance form contains a serial number which is found at the top of the form and on the tear-off receipt retained by the person filing the grievance. This can be quoted by the complainant during inquiries into the status of their grievance. It is also used on Resolution Letters, which communicate the grievance resolution to complainants. However, if a complainant loses or forgets his or her serial number, the NRC on the form can be used to identify the grievance.

Completed grievance forms are deposited for collection into clearly marked community boxes at designated locations in the community.

  1. Smartphone application

The mobile application collects grievance data that are then immediately uploaded onto the SCT MIS.

The mobile application is available on mobile phones that are in the possession of

  • The District Social Welfare Officer (DSWO).
  • Pay Point Managers (PPMs).

Lodging a grievance through this channel means that the complainant must communicate his or her grievance face-to-face to DSWOs or PPMs, who subsequently enter the details of the grievance into the application.

This same application will also be used for taking pictures of cover forms when community boxes are opened.

  1. Web portal

A web-based grievance form will be available on a web portal, targeting the public, including policy makers and politicians. It aims to provide them with an opportunity to lodge programmatic concerns and suggestions, which may go beyond those that can be filled in on the paper or mobile phone-based grievance form. The web portal can be accessed on the following link: SCT Grievance Mechanism.