On the basis of international evidence and local experience on the most effective interventions to address these constraints, a package of accompanying measures was identified to be delivered to poor beneficiaries of cash transfer programs across the region. The components of the package of productive accompanying measures are detailed below.
Component 1: Group formation and coaching
This component includes the formation of groups of beneficiaries, the facilitation of program activities, group-based coaching, as well as individual counseling and referral. Throughout the project period, coaches (project staff, NGO field workers or community agents) will assure the continuity of all of program components at the village-level, including mobilizing beneficiaries for meetings and coordinating with other service providers. In addition, these coaches will provide group-based follow-up to beneficiaries as well as referral of individual cases to relevant field agents.
Component 2: Facilitation of savings groups for cash transfer beneficiaries
This intervention will target the groups of beneficiaries and facilitate the establishment of savings activities based on the village savings and loan association model, and provide technical support to their management over time.
Component 3: Community sensitization on aspirations and social norms
This intervention attempts to address aspirational and psycho-social constraints to saving, diversification and entry into new activities. It will take the form of a community-level screening of a realistic fiction on individuals successful with productive investments in poor communities similar to those targeted by the safety nets programs, complemented by a facilitated group discussion.
Component 4: Life-skills training
This week-long training addresses cognitive and social barriers to decision-making, and addresses topics such as self-esteem and personal initiative, aspirations, social norms, and spousal, gender and generational roles. This training will make use of the video produced and screened as part of Component 3, and is designed to increase beneficiaries’ capacity to orient themselves toward more productive investment in economic activities.
Component 5: Micro-entrepreneurship training
This week-long group-based training will cover basic business skills. It will focus on cross-cutting micro-entrepreneurship skills, including basic accounting and management principles, market research, planning and scheduling, saving, and investing. In addition, the training will focus on the choice of livelihood activities, providing risks and opportunities for potential productive activities.
Component 6: One-time lump-sum cash grant
A one-off lump-sum cash injection of 100-200 USD per beneficiary will be provided. This cash injection is significantly larger than the periodic cash transfers with the objective to promote investments in productive activities.
Component 7: Facilitation of market access
This intervention will help solve coordination failures through facilitating group-based access to markets. Field agents will be trained to operate as market agents on behalf of groups of beneficiaries and help connect to suppliers of inputs or bulk-buyers of output. Services may include pooling resources and negotiating on behalf of the group with a higher bargaining power; buying inputs in bulk before distributing to group members; surveying demand for outputs and organizing delivery or pick-up by buyers.