FORSA is a program initiated by the Ministry of Social Solidarity building on Takaful and Karama that aims to graduate beneficiaries from reliance on Takaful and Karama (TKP) cash transfers by supporting the economic inclusion and empowerment of TKP beneficiaries and rejected applicants just above the PMT threshold. Forsa’s main objective is to reduce longer term dependency on Takaful transfers by linking beneficiaries to employment services, the provision of training, and asset transfers. The Forsa graduation program includes two modalities: (1) an asset-transfer modality and (2) a wage employment modality which focuses on job matching and training. 70 percent of the Forsa budget will be allocated to the self-employment modality activities in regions with limited formal labor market opportunities, while 30 percent will target wage employment modality activities in regions with more potential access to formal labor market opportunities.
The Forsa package, for both the wage and self-employment modalities, costs approximately US$1000 per beneficiary; these costs include the provision of assets to be transferred to beneficiaries, technical and financial trainings, wage subsidies, and administrative fees. The Forsa program activities are expected to last between 12-18 months, depending on the modality.
The geographic targeting will focus on eight governorates in Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt: Fayoum, Beni Suef, Assiut, Sohag, Luxor, Menia, Sharkiya and Qalyoubia. 330 villages were identified as potential sites based on district and governorate level targeting criteria (poverty and economic opportunity) and having at least 500 current TKP beneficiaries in the village. 165 individual villages within these governorates have been selected as program sites.
Targeting based on administrative data on household characteristics:
Eligibility is limited to TKP beneficiary households and TKP registrant households that fall just above the poverty cut-off point (exact range of PMT scores to be determined), with 30% of beneficiaries and sample households drawn from the latter group.
Based on information from the TKP registration database, eligible households must:
• have at least one working age member (19-55 years old)
• have a household head and (if present) spouse without formal employment
• own 5 qerats or less of land that is used in agriculture
• not be receiving a transfer/asset from any other program
• own no more than 4 medium-sized livestock or 1 large animal
• have a house with no more than one floor
• not be receiving remittances from a member working out of the country
Self-selection and behavioral change “nudge”:
Within treatment communities, a door-to-door campaign for the eligible households will be organized by the implementing NGOs: Al-Koura and CARE Organization. Local MoSS and MoH social unit employees (“raedaat”) will be tasked individually invite eligible households to attend behavioral change sessions about the Forsa program in their community.
The main objectives of the behavioral change sessions are to introduce more details about the modalities offered by the Forsa program and to emphasize the benefits of financial independence and economic empowerment relative to financial reliance and aid dependency. The behavioral change sessions will be small (approximately 40 participants) and separate sessions will be offered by gender and age category. Additionally, attendees will be made aware that cash transfers will not be stopped upon registration for Forsa, they will be sustained for 6 months to allow a smooth transition into self-reliance. Program registration will be opened for the participants at the end of the session to express their decision about joining Forsa.
Profiling and final selection:
The roll-out of behavioral change sessions will take several months and will be followed by a period of profiling. Households that registered their interest at the behavioral change session will be interviewed to gather information about their work experience and preferences and based on this profile, 50,000 individuals will be selected by MoSS for inclusion in the Forsa program pilot.
For the self-employment track: the service will be conducted by the contracted NGOs under the supervision of MoSS program staff. During the session, the NGOs staff will present to the beneficiaries the list of assets that could be transferred and the general and asset-specific trainings that will be offered such as financial literacy training, business development and entrepreneurship skills training, asset-specific/technical training and regular coaching. The asset costs and the associated trainings are valued at US$1000 per beneficiary.
FORSA participants will be given the option to either choose the asset on the spot, or to submit their choice after 2 to 3 days after discussing the options with other household members. In some cases, another physical verification visit may be prearranged to assess the suitability of the household for asset keeping and considering environmental factors.
Beneficiaries will also benefit from an ongoing mentoring relationship with a volunteer participating in a national service program.
For the wage employment track: the service will be conducted at the village level, through a Training and an Employment unit at affiliated premises to MoSS, or/and through collaborations with other partners when needed, such as the Job Search Clubs, established by the ILO in collaboration with Ministry of Youth, where sessions can take place to inform beneficiaries about the package components/services offered in the wage-employment modality and the expected timeline for delivering these components. The wage employment modality offers several components/services that fall under two main categories: 1) availing employment opportunities for unskilled, semi-Skilled and skilled labor in the formal private sector; 2) creation of new jobs categories such as assistant nurse, elderly care, home cleaning and babysitting services.
The wage employment package includes technical and soft skills trainings for employment; a benefit package offered in collaboration with the employer through which MoSS finances wage subsidies for up to six months (to be determined), health insurance, social security coverage, annual and sick leave, and life insurance; and a job-matching and mentoring program which is considerably more involved than a one-time support for the beneficiaries as it includes resolving issues and potentially finding a new match if the beneficiary loses or wants to leave their employment during the program period.